Saturday, December 09, 2017

Finnish Cinnamon Buns

Ellen, thank you for asking for the “Pulla-recipe” (Cinnamon buns the Finnish way). 

My Mom used to bake on Saturdays when I was a child, thus writing down the recipe on a Saturday is very appropriate. I have done this before, however this is my post number 601(!!), I just checked yesterday, it is acceptable to do it again (I think only once before).
Confession: I am not a born baker. I had to learn to cook to feed and delight (in good and in bad) my family. I have been a stay-at-home Mom for the most of my life and if I could do this all over again, I would probably choose this career, but would take some useful schooling to be able to do it better, like in plumbing and electrical work, little bit in car mechanics, medicine, gardening, cleaning and cooking.

Sometimes my pulla works out very well, sometimes it does not. It has to do with being in the present, and seeing and feeling the dough and knowing when to stop adding the flour.


for the dough

0,5l                (2.1cups)                              milk
50g                (1.8oz)                                 piece of yeast
2 dl                (0.8cup)                               sugar
1                    teaspoon                              salt
1                    tablespoon                            cardamom
2                                                               eggs
150g               (5.3oz)                                 soft butter
16-17 dl          (6.5-7cups)                           wheat flour

for the filling:

50g                (1.8oz)                                 soft butter
3-4                 teaspoons                             cinnamon
1 dl                (0.4cup)                               sugar (I use brown sugar for this)

1 egg for brushing before going to the oven
sugar for sprinkling on top

In a big bowl, mix lukewarm milk, yeast, sugar, salt and cardamom. Add eggs and beat lightly to break them. Add flour little bit at a time. In the beginning I use a whisk to add as much air to the dough as possible, but when the dough becomes heavy, I use my hands. I never use machine, I find that it is easier to do with hands, sort of feel the dough. Add soft butter and the rest of the flour alternately. Keep kneading the dough until it is bouncy and does not stick to the bowl. It is easy to add too much flour, try to keep the dough as soft as possible. Let the dough rest in a warm place until it doubles up, about an hour.

There is a video on Youtube showing you how to bake the dough, and it shows it so well, no need for me to write it down here. (I usually cut my dough into two pieces before rolling out.)

After baking, let the buns rest again for 15 minutes. Then brush with egg and sprinkle sugar on top.
Bake in the oven in 225ºC (440F) for 10-12 minutes. Eat with a glass of cold milk, the traditional way.
Last Christmas we had lots of left over chocolate, those pieces in the box that nobody wants to eat (my husband usually does this duty, but he was sadly away). I read that you could bake them into pulla. I made balls out of the dough, cut a small hole, stuck a piece of chocolate inside, rolled gently back into a ball and then the rest as usual, brush with egg, sprinkle little sugar on top and bake.
These dollhouse buns did not turn out as traditional “korvapuusti”, but nonetheless were very tasty, I was told.

Hope you have a good Saturday!

Wool with you,
PS. The old dishes were my Mom’s, from 1944 I think. The tea pot has lost its handle in the course of time. They are so lovely, bitten by time and playing.


  1. Anonymous16:11

    Dear Lene,
    You are such a kindred spirit/soul sister to me! Sometimes you write so many things that are in my head but you are able to articulate them as I can not.
    I feel very much as you do about my making, the processes of creativity, and the product--and why I do all of it.
    I have always regretted not taking the car mechanic's course offered through the local university. I also regret not paying more attention to my father's skills at electrical wiring and plumbing.
    I am often asked why I make or do things myself and my answer is always, "Because I can." Youtube has been such a gift to me as it has enabled me to do so much more for myself.
    Love everything about your blog. Thank you for writing.
    Denise in Ohio

  2. Hello Lene! I have been reading your blog for many years and rarely comment. I love the post! The doll house and pulla brought back many memories from when I was a child. My grandmother lived in Northern Wisconsin here in the United States. Her best friend was Finnish, when we would go over to her house she would have made fresh pulla for us to have with my "tea", which was warm milk with a splash of coffee. I can smell the bread coming out of the oven now. She would make some as buns and would also do a large braided loaf for my grandmother to take home with us. Now I will need to try to make some for my family this Christmas for breakfast and try it with some chocolate in it.

  3. I was wondering if that was the dollhouse – or a GIANT cat! ha! Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Ahhhh Lene that is soooooo SWEET
    Love the pictures (didn't realize it was a doll house first !

  5. Your posts are delightful. Also, the socks in the previous post are beautiful. They look toasty warm. I hope the electricity didn't go out with the wind.

  6. ♥ As always, thank you for sharing bits of your life with us. I thoroughly enjoy your posts.

  7. Such a pretty post. Am loving your little doll house (and the kitties especially). Caught up on some of your recent posts and love our Christmas socks. Perfect for the snowy environment where you are.

  8. Ellen in Connecticut00:58

    Hahah! Thank you so much Lene! I will make pulla for my family, to whom I am committed.
    Best regards from New England.