Finnish Pulla Bread

"A unique bread with a sweet flavor that makes a wonderful holiday gift! It takes about 4 hours to make, so allow yourself plenty of time. Feel free to add raisins or any chopped dried fruits."
photo by FinnKidd photo by FinnKidd
photo by FinnKidd
photo by maria.c.drysdale photo by maria.c.drysdale
photo by Kat W. photo by Kat W.
photo by FinnKidd photo by FinnKidd
Ready In:
2hrs 30mins
3 loaves




  • Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Let cool until lukewarm.
  • Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Stir in the lukewarm milk, sugar, salt, cardamom, 4 eggs, and enough flour to make a batter (approximately 2 cups). Beat until the dough is smooth and elastic. Add about 3 cups of the flour and beat well; the dough should be smooth and glossy in appearance. Add the melted butter or margarine, and stir well. Beat again until the dough looks glossy. Stir in the remaining flour until the dough is stiff.
  • Turn out of bowl onto a floured surface, cover with an inverted mixing bowl, and let rest for 15 minutes. Knead the dough until smooth and satiny. Place in a lightly greased mixing bowl, and turn the dough to grease the top. Cover with a clean dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch down, and let rise again until almost doubled.
  • Turn out again on to a floured surface, and divide into 3 parts. Divide each third into 3 again. Roll each piece into a 12 to 16 inch strip. Braid 3 strips into a loaf. You should get 3 large braided loaves. Lift the braids onto greased baking sheets. Let rise for 20 minutes.
  • Brush each loaf with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
  • Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes. Check occasionally because the bottom burns easily.

Questions & Replies

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  1. This is delicious! I tried a few different recipes I found online and this was the best. Made it for my Finnish BF & he was thrilled.
  2. I'm so glad this is posted. I have a friend who is Finnish and she gave me this recipe (or at least most of it). It's nice to have an amount for the cardamom and for the topping. Everyone that I know who has tried it loves it.
  3. I first had pulla while visiting Finland and it was love at first taste! I've been experimenting with various recipes and like this one the best. I make a half recipe in my bread machine (it's too small to fit the whole amount) on the "dough" setting, then shape it into two braided loaves or roll it out to make cinnamon rolls. I top it with Scandinavian pearl sugar, which is a nice touch. Also, I bake both the loaves and rolls at 350 (25 min for the former, 20 min for the latter).
  4. Excellent recipe! I fed it to finns here in finland and they all said it tasted like "normal pulla". I have made it as stated and I have also experimented with toppings. Sometimes after shaping into braids I push down the middle of the unrisen dough with the sides of my hands making an indentation in the middle. Then I put the quark filling found in Recipe #290790. Other times I fill the indentation with blueberries then put chunks of butter down the middle then A LOT of sugar on top of that forming a crust when baked like in butter eye buns. Like in Recipe #326192. I love this recipe so much, thank you for posting it!
  5. I have been looking fora recipe for pulla. My mother was first generation American but my grandparents came to this country from Finland. I used to watch my mother and grandmother knead the dough and braid the loaves. My grandmother kept the bread in the house all the time to dunk in her coffee. I look forward to making my own. This brings back some nice memories, Thank you Annacia


  1. Substituted cows milk with organic almond milk, white sugar with organic cane sugar, and used a vegan spread instead of butter.
  2. My Grandmother was from Finland. We grew up with Pulla. The only change is Finns use Cardamom Seeds not ground. They crush the seeds, add them to the milk before it is scalded. When the milk has cooled, fish out the black seed pieces. This infuses the Pulla with Cardamom flavor.



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