Finnish Cardamom Bread (Pulla)

Classic cardamom-scented Finnish bread—perfect for fika, the Scandinavian coffee break.
  • Prep time 120 mins
  • Cook time 10-12 mins
  • Yields 1 loaf or 1 dozen buns
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  • 2 cups warm milk
  • 25 g active fresh yeast (about 3 tsp dry yeast)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom (optional)
  • 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cups melted butter
  • 1 egg to use for egg wash


  • measuring cups and spoons
  • small pot or bowl for warming milk
  • mixing bowl
  • wooden spoon or mixer
  • cookie sheet
  • pastry brush


  1. Mix together warm milk, yeast, salt and sugar. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add egg, cardamom and about half the flour, and mix well. Add the rest of the flour, little by little; pour in melted butter just before the last portion of flour. Knead well until the dough pulls away from your hand and the sides of the bowl.
  3. Cover the dough with a cloth, and let rest in a warm place for about 30 minutes, or until it has doubled in volume.
  4. Knead the dough again, and shape into round buns. Cover the buns and let rest for 20 minutes or so. Use a pastry brush to brush egg wash over the buns, then bake at 225° C (450° F) for 10–12 minutes, until golden. Cover with a cloth and allow to cool.

You can also divide the dough into three parts, roll them into logs, and braid them into a loaf just like in the picture! Rest, egg wash, and bake as above.

Please note: This is a time-consuming recipe because of the resting time for the dough. Make sure you have half a day...

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