Baking with Julia – Finnish Pulla

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This one snuck up on me AGAIN! I mentioned this previously but the holidays have turned my brain into total mush. When I got the email last night saying the LYL post was up I was like “What the what?!” Thankfully I had today off so it wasn’t really a big deal. Unless you count venturing out in the season’s first real snowstorm to get cardamom pods a big deal, but I don’t. This is Wisconsin after all.

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This was my first experience with cardamom pods and I gotta say, I kinda dug it. I used ground cardamom in a sugar cookie recipe I made awhile ago and thought it was really yummy so I was excited to try this.

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I got to use my mortar & pestle for about the first time ever to grind the seeds and that was fun. I always have it out on my counter but I just don’t have to pestle things very often I guess… I got it from my dad in his “collecting Red Wing Stoneware” phase. He also had a Hudson Bay blanket phase and is currently in a canning phase. Ebay is totally his jam. I’ve profited from all of these phases so I’m not complaining one bit. I ground the seeds from 9 pods and got the requisite teaspoon.

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I sort of liked taking pics of my mortar & pestle, can you tell? I elected not to use the mixer for this. I felt like getting in there and doing it the old-fashioned way and it really wasn’t very difficult at all. Also my mixer has seemed a little loosey-goosey lately so I did some googling and we tightened some screws and I’m kind of afraid to use it. If we made it worse I’m going to be one sad girl.

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This recipe had several rising times but that was fine with me today. I watched Holiday Inn for the very first time and finished my Christmas cards in between the steps. The song and dance numbers in Holiday Inn are great (especially the firecracker dance Fred Astaire does!) but the story is pretty so-so. I think White Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life get my vote for favorite old-timey Christmas movie.

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Shaping this into the wreath was really fun. I decided to put some “holly berries” on in the form of maraschino cherries and I think they helped to make this look especially festive.

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Despite my bow turning out decidedly un-bowlike, I really liked how this came together. It reminded me of the challah I made earlier this year and since I love making bread more than anything this was definitely a fun one for me. The flavor was slightly sweet and the texture was amazing. Truth be told, I’m pretty proud of this one. I kind of can’t believe I made it myself. If you want to give it a try for your Christmas breakfast, check out Erin’s blog The Daily Morsel for the recipe.

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15 thoughts on “Baking with Julia – Finnish Pulla

  1. A perfectly gorgeous looking bread, Maggie!! Love the cherries placed on top…so festive! I also love your mortar and pestle…Redwing…nice! I have been known to peruse ebay looking for my favorite collectables!

  2. Great looking wreath! It was my first time using cardamom too and I absolutely loved it. (and loved using my mortar and pestle) :o) The smell of the cardamom while I was crushing it was incredible. And it really made the bread taste great.

  3. Hi Maggie – that sure looks great! Maybe you and I can make another one when I am down there to see you next weekend. Maybe you can get me into a baking phase. You are also going to have to show me how to do your pictures like you do, they are all very gooood! Talk soon

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