by Dorie Greenspan
Contributing baker: Beatrice Ojakangas
I was not going to publish this post after the tragedy in Connecticut. I felt guilty going on with the enjoyments of my everyday life. I realize that life does, and must go on after such horrific incidents. That all we can do is keep the victims in our hearts and thoughts and never, ever, forget them, and hope that we can somehow curb these horrible acts from happening in the future; and to love and cherish those around us.
Therefore this post is dedicated to all in Newtown, Connecticut ~ my heart goes out to them.
As I have mentioned before, everyone should at least once try their hand at bread making. The aroma of the yeasted bread rising alone, not to mention the bread baking, fills your kitchen with a heavenly wonderfulness, and prepping the dough really isn't that difficult; it's easier then you would think and the braiding of this loaf was a lot of fun.
The finished bread is soft, sweet and with just a hint of cardamom spice. As with all breads, it is best the day it is baked. I placed leftovers in a Ziploc bag, by day three the bread was stale - but a short stint in the microwave (ten seconds or so) it was back to its first day softness.
Success meter (1-3): 3
There is no comparison to the aroma of freshly ground cardamom and the ground cardamom you purchase in the store; the difference is night and day.
Beautiful cardamom flecks.
Did anyone else have problems with the dough shrinking after being rolled? They were shorter than the suggested thirty-six inches. I just tugged and stretched them while braiding..
Wreath formed and ready for its last rise.
(A bit uneven, but not bad for my first braided loaf!)
I did not need to add yet another type of sugar (pearl is called for in the recipe) to my collection, so I took Carmen's (Baking is my Zen) suggestion of crushing sugar cubes. Thanks Carmen!
Not so pretty after the rise ~ I may have let it go too long.
Topped with sugar and sliced almonds.
It turned out beautifully in the end.
I pulled my Finnish cookbook from the shelf to see if it had a Pulla recipe, and to my surprise the food editor of this book is Beatrice Ojakangas, the contributing baker for this TWD recipe. The ingredients are the same, though in different increments.
Beatrice recommends (in Fantastically Finnish) to serve the pulla with Egg-Cleared Coffee (recipe follows). I vaguely remember hearing something of this egg & shell in coffee grounds bit before, but never have tried it myself. Have you?
This would be a wonderful bread to serve on Christmas morning. If you would like the recipe you will find it on Erin's blog The Daily Morsel, or you can purchase the book, Baking with Julia (the recipe is on page 106).
Do make sure and check out my fellow baker's take on this recipe. There are always interesting variations from ingredients to finishing techniques.
8 cups cold water
1 egg, well washed
16 slightly rounded teaspoons coffee, plus one for the pot
Bring the cold water to a boil in a coffee pot or saucepan. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, crush the egg (shell and all) into the dry coffee grounds and mix thoroughly. When the water has come to a rolling boil, add the egg-coffee mixture and stir quickly. Let it come to the boiling point, and remove from the heat. Repeat this twice more. Then cover and let stand about 5 minutes so the grounds can settle.
Makes 8 cups.
Coat of Arms