Nisu or pulla, or Finnish cardamom bread is a sweet bread recipe, served with tea or coffee. Cardamom bread is a traditional dessert among Swedish Americans. The recipe’s high content of butter and eggs makes it similar to brioche. The braided styled cardamom bread is a holiday food that boosts sweet tastebuds during the festive season.
Finnish Cardamom Bread
- Preparation time: 2 hours 50 min
- Cooking time: 25 min
- Total time: 3 hours 15 min
- Type: Dessert
- Cuisine: Scandinavian
- Yield: 4 Servings
- Calories: 210 kcal
Finnish Cardamom Bread Ingredients
- Milk 2 cups
- Unsalted softened butter 1 cup
- Eggs 4 large
- All-purpose flour 8 cups
- Sugar 1 cup
- Pearl sugar 4 tbsp
- Ground Cardamom 1 tbsp
- Salt 1 tsp
- Instant yeast 4 tsp
Directions for Making Finnish Cardamom Bread
Melt Butter and Milk
Take a saucepan and pour two cups of fresh milk into it. Then add one cup of butter into the milk and whisk them until well incorporated. Place the saucepan on the stove or induction and let it heat for 30 seconds. Then dish out the mixture in a wide bowl.
Add Eggs, Sugar, Cardamom, Yeast, and Salt
Then in a milk bowl, add 4 large eggs, one cup of sugar, one tablespoon of ground cardamom, and one teaspoon of salt. Then whisk them well until combined. Now add four tablespoons of yeast into the mixture and give it a good mix. Set it aside for later use in making cardamom bread dough.
Add Flour & Knead the Dough
Once the wet batter is ready then gradually add eight cups of flour into it and combine them all to make a slightly sticky dough. Then knead the dough for 10- 15 minutes or until it will turn stretchy and soft in texture. You can also use a stand mixer for making the dough. If you like you can add raisins into the dough.
Let it Risen
Then cover the dough with a towel or lid and let it rise for 1-2 hours. Once the dough gets double in size take it out from the bowl and place it on a flat surface. Again knead the pulla dough to make it a round ball.
Divide the Dough
Then divide the dough into 4 equal halves and roll each of them into a 2 feet long rope. Place them all together side by side. Then join the top of the ropes together.
Cross Dough Ropes
Then turn the dough into braided bread by crossing ropes. Firstly, cross rope 4 over rope 3, then cross rope 2 over rope 1. Then cross rope 2 over rope 3, and repeat this sequence until the cardamom bread dough is braided in shape.
Let it Risen Again
Place the braided dough lying on parchment paper into a baking tray. If you don’t have parchment paper available then it’s better to grease the pan with butter. Let it again rise for 30 minutes.
Egg Wash & Bake the Loaf
Brush the loaf with egg yolk and sprinkle pearl sugar on top of it. Then bake it at 375 degrees preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.
Let it Cool and Serve
Once the cardamom bread is ready, take it out from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack. Then brush it with melted butter, slice the loaf and serve it warm with tea or coffee.
You can store cardamom bread once it is cooled, take a ziplock bag, and put the slices in it. it will stay fresh for 3-4 days at room temperature. However, there is a hack for storing bread for a longer time. You can place the ziplock bag of bread into the freezer and then you can use it by microwaving the bread. You can use cardamom bread for making, french toast and even serve it along with garlic butter sauce.