Finnish Cardamom-Spiced Sweet Buns with Dates

August 03, 2015

Finnish Cardamom-Spiced Sweet Buns with Dates

Pulla is a cardamom spiced sweet bread eaten with coffee
or tea in Finland. We’ve substituted date paste and cardamom for sugar
and cinnamon. This recipe is from our dear friend,
Merja Bjorksten.


  • 7 cups Bread Flour
  • 2 ½ cups warm milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar (optional)
  • 1 lb. Sahara Dates finely chopped (heat over stove in 1/2 cup water to make a paste)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • Pearl Sugar (or brown sugar)
  • Butter–2 sticks, plus extra to spread on dough
  • Yeast – 3 ½ T dry yeast
  • 2 eggs – at room temperature - plus 2 for egg wash
  • 3-4 T black cardamom seed – freshly ground


For the dough: Pour warm milk, sugar and yeast
into electric mixer fitted with dough paddle. Mix
well for 2-3 minutes on low until yeast is dissolved.
Let stand 10-15 minutes.
-Add 2 tsp salt, 2 cups flour and 2 eggs –
mix for 4-5 minutes.
-Add 2 more cups flour, and melted butter– mix 2-3
-Add 2 more cups flour and 3-4 T black cardamom
seed–mix 4-5 minutes or until dough is elastic and
slightly sticky.
-May have to add ¼ to 1 cup more flour. Cover bowl
with dishtowel and let rise for 30 minutes. Should rise
3-4 inches.
-Meanwhile heat chopped dates in small saucepan on
medium heat with 1/2 to 1 cup water, to make it
spreadable. Should be texture of softened butter.
-Lightly dust clean, dry work surface with flour.
-Turn the risen dough out, and with floured rolling
pin, roll it out to 20” by 16” rectangle. Spread
softened butter over dough, then spread date paste
evenly over dough all the way to edges.  Sprinkle fresh ground cardamom over top of date paste.
-Then beginning with long side, roll dough into
a tight cylinder. Cut the cylinder into 20 triangles
(cutting log at an angle). Pick up the top point of the
triangle and fold it toward the center. Press the point
tightly into the center.
-Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and
arrange 9-12 Pulla on each sheet.
-Cover with dishtowel and let rise in warm draft-free
place for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
-Egg Wash – 2 eggs mixed with 1 T sugar
-Brush the Pulla with beaten egg mixture and sprinkle
with Pearl Sugar (or brown sugar).
-Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Apply
egg wash immediately after taking out of oven,
AGAIN for golden shine. Serve warm.

Makes about 36-40 Pulla

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