My last days in the Bay Area were nothing short of blissful. In between working on my sketchbook project and after waiting (many days) for my liquid levain to get extra bubbly, I baked several loaves of slow bread. I received Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery book as a Christmas gift, so it’s been really exciting to imagine all the new goodies I’ll learn to bake in the new year.
I am excited to share my Finnish pulla recipe with you, which is a soft, sweet bread, spiced with cardamom. The recipe makes three loaves of bread, which may seem like a lot. It takes quite a bit of time to prep and bake, so I figure you might as well bake enough loaves to eat, save, and share. Nothing beats fresh bread, but it was still good a few days later. We sliced up the rest of the bread, made French toast with almond milk, and spread Speculoos cookie butter on top. So good!
Finish Pulla / Scandanavian Cardamom Bread
adapted from red star
makes three loaves
9 cups all-purpose flour
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups whole milk
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1. Combine 2 cups flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and 2 tsp. cardamon, and mix well in a bowl.
2. In a saucepan, heat milk, water, and butter until warm. Let cool until lukewarm, and add to flour mixture.
3. Add 4 beaten eggs to the mixture to make a batter. Gradually add about 3 cups of the flour and beat again until the dough looks glossy. Stir in the remaining flour and mix by hand until the dough is stiff. Knead the dough on a floured surface until smooth and satiny, around 5-10 minutes.
4. Place the dough in a lightly greased mixing bowl, making sure to turn the dough to grease the top. Cover with a plastic wrap or a clean dish towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down, and let rise again for 30 minutes.
5. On a floured surface, divide the dough into 3 parts. Divide each third into 3 pieces again. Roll each piece into strips. On greased cookie sheet, loosely braid 3 strips into a loaf. You should get 3 large braided loaves. Let rise for 30 minutes.
6. Whisk together the remaining cardamom and egg. Brush each loaf with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Bake each loaf at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 25 minutes, or until golden. Let cool before serving!
In feeble attempts to off-balance our carb consumption, Taurin and I ventured out to explore Northern California. We went wine tasting in Sonoma, scoped out some potential wedding venues, and ate lots of oysters by the coast. On my last evening, Taurin took me to see the sunset by the East Bay.
“가까이 갈 수 없어 / 먼발치에 서서 보고 돌아왔다 / 내가 속으로 그리는 그 사람마냥 / 산이 어디 안 가고 / 그냥 거기 있어 마음 놓인다” — 정희성·시인
See you again soon, California!