Tuesday, December 18, 2012

TWD -- Beatrice, I love you!!

After a couple of recent failures, I was ready for a success. When I saw the recipe for the week was a Beatrice Ojakangas bread, I knew I was on solid ground. I am a big Beatrice fan! I own two of her whole grain bread books and use them constantly. I have come to trust Beatrice on every recipe. She has never lead me astray. Three smaller sizes of this same bread are in her book "Whole Grain Breads by Machine or Hand," a book a heartily recommend.

I was really ready to try her Finnish Pulla, since I grew up with Finnish descendants in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and knew they baked somewhat differently that those of us of German descent. I recognized from reading the recipe that cardamon was going to make this coffee bread distinctive, and I wasn't wrong.

The braid with raisins
Half the dough before adding sugar mixture
The recipe looked like it would make a big ring, so I decided to make two breads. After researching Finnish Pulla on the Internet, I saw that some people added cinnamon and sugar, others raisins. So I did both. To  half of the dough, I added plumped raisins, then braided the dough into one long loaf. Following Beatrice's suggestion, I used the egg wash, almonds and sparkling sugar.

I rolled out the other half of the dough, slattered butter on a 12 by 18 inch rectangle, then rolled up the dough, and cut it into 12 cinnamon rolls. I kept the filling rather tame not wanting to overpower the cardamon. I used a Christmas tree shaped pan, and after baking the rolls, used a simple confectioners' sugar glaze and some Christmas sprinkles to decorate the tree. The tree will go in the freezer for Christmas morning.
The cinnamon roll tree ready for freezing
The baked braid with almonds and sugar

I waited a day before sampling the first pulla, and wish I hadn't. Beatrice is right in that the loaf goes stale rather quickly. But with some butter on the bread and after warming it a wee bit in the toaster, the taste was delicious. I will make this again!


  1. Wasn't this fabulous?! I love that you made a Christmas tree! How fun for Christmas morning. I think this dough would make awesome cinnamon rolls - good call. Do let us know how they survived the freezer! ~Happy Holidays!

  2. I am a huge Beatrice fan too! Can´t live without her quick danish recipe. The idea of cinnamon rolls with this dough is wonderful. Nice job!

  3. I am also a fan of Beatrice!! In fact, her book is sitting in front of me as I write this. Love the way you interpreted this recipe…everything looks beautiful!! Love the tree!

  4. Glad this was a success!
    THis bread was lovely - I saved about ~1/3 of it to make a bread pudding. I thought the stale bread would be perfect for that.
    Have a nice week.

  5. I would never have thought to use half the dough for another bread altogether. That's a fabulous idea. And it looks good as both a braided loaf and cinnamon buns! Great thinking!

  6. Love your idea of the cinnamon roll tree. Your pulla looks delicious. Can't wait to try our gf version of this loaf.

  7. I'm so impressed with your cinnamon roll Christmas tree - great idea! I made the recipe as it was in the book and it was delightful. I can imagine your additions made it even more so.