Pulla bread

Pulla bread


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In Scandinavia, December is the time for white, glossy, heavy bread, unlike the rye bread we favour for the rest of the year ... Christmas is not the time for health food! This lovely loaf is best eaten the day it is baked, although after that it makes fantastic toast.

  • 50g of fresh yeast, (or 19g dried yeast, but fresh is preferable)
  • 250ml of whole milk, lukewarm
  • 100g of salted butter, softened, cut into small pieces
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 700g of plain flour, sifted, plus extra to dust
  • 100g of golden caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp of cardamom seeds, crushed
  • 100g of raisins
  • 50g of blanched almonds, chopped, plus extra for decoration
  • 1 egg, beaten, to egg wash
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast into the warm milk, then add the butter and the 2 eggs
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, sugar, salt and cardamom. Mix this into the yeast mixture with the raisins and almonds. Now knead the dough on a floured surface for 5 minutes
Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size
Knock back the dough, punching out the air, then allow it to rise for 30 minutes. Divide the dough in half. Roll each piece into a rectangular shape, cut each rectangle into 3 long ropes. Plait the three strands of dough together to form a braid, pressing in the ends, repeat this with the other 3 strands to form 2 plaited loaves
Place both loaves on a baking tray lined with baking parchment, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise for 30 minutes
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6
Brush the loaves with beaten egg, sprinkle with a few more almonds and bake for 25–30 minutes, until golden brown. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, serve plain, or spread with butter and jam
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