The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Cinnamon Raisin Pulla

baltochef's picture

Cinnamon Raisin Pulla

First I would like to thank Julie J for posting her mother-in-law's recipe for Finnish Cardamom Buns, ie. Pulla on 02-11-09..Her recipe was my inspiration for modifying her MIL's recipe..I am the only one in my family that likes the smell and taste of cardamom..When I announced that I was thinking of trying out the recipe, all hell broke loose..So, to appease the family I sat down and reworked the recipe in order to substitute cinnamon for the cardamom, substitute some dark brown sugar for part of the granulated sugar, and to add raisins where there had previously been none..

I really like the use of some kind of pre-ferment in my recipes, so I created a sponge stage to get the yeast activated, and to start flavor development..I converted her MIL's volumetric measurements to weight measurements..I also use the bowl of my DLX mixer for the sponge stage, kneading the final dough, and for the first proof of the finished dough after washing out, drying, and oiling the bowl..The recipe follows..

Finnish Cinnamon Raisin Buns---Pulla


22 oz. milk, heated to 100F

3.5 oz. granulated sugar

4 oz. dark brown sugar

20 oz. bread flour

3 tsp. SAF Gold instant yeast

Heat bowl of DLX mixer under hot running water..Heat milk to 100F..Add to bowl of DLX..Add sugars, and mix with whisk until sugars dissolve..Add yeast, and mix to combine..Add flour and stir until all lumps are wet, and flour is well incorporated into wet ingredients..Cover tightly with plastic wrap..Proof for 60 minutes, or until doubled in volume..

Final Dough:

Sponge in DLX's bowl

4 oz. unsalted butter, very soft--(I had to use margarine as my budget is very tight at this time..The extra salt in the margarine did not seem to effect things)

1 large egg, room temperature

20 oz. bread flour, plus 2 oz. to bring dough to a ball stage, and 1 oz. for kneading on bench--total = 23 oz.

1 tbsp. coarsely ground cinnamon--To try and mimic the crushed cardamom in the original recipe I took cassia cinnamon sticks, broke them into 1" pieces, and ground them into a coarse meal in my spice grinder--This worked out very, very well!!..

1 tsp table salt

8 oz. raisins soaked in 4 oz. warm tap water--After soaking for 60 minutes, the raisins were drained and re-weighed--Final weight was 9.95 oz, for all intents and purposes 10 oz..

Bowl was installed on the mixer..Sponge was punched down..Scraper and roller were installed..On low speed the butter and the egg were mixed into the sponge until well incorporated..The flour, cinnamon, and salt were added, brought to a ball stage, and kneaded for 4 minutes..The drained raisins were then added and the dough kneaded for an additional 2 minutes..It was at this time that I added the additional 2 oz. of bread flour..It took some stopping and starting of the mixer, and cutting the dough with the blade of a Cuisinart spatula to keep the now wetter ball of dough from wrapping itself around the roller and spinning uselessly..After realizing that the raisins were not incorporating evenly into the dough, I removed the dough to the top of my wooden kitchen cart, chopped the dough up into about 20 pieces with a bench knife, added 1 oz. of flour, and hand kneaded until the raisins were evenly distributed..This took approximatelt 1 minute..Internal dough temperature was 85F..Yield was 5 lb. 7.6 oz. of kneaded dough..Dough was put back into the washed and oiled DLX bowl, covered tightly with plastic wrap, and proofed until doubled in volume..This took 60 minutes..

The proofed dough was punched down, turned out onto the cart's top, cut into twenty-one 4 oz. portions, and one 3.6 oz. portion..Each portion was rounded tightly up into a ball and placed on parchment lined 1/2 sheet pans..Eight buns on two of the pans, and six buns on the third pan..I used a staggered pattern..The pan with six buns was bagged in a tall kitchen garbage bag, sealed tightly, and retarded in the refrigerator for later baking..The two pans of eight buns each were placed on top of the stove to proof, and covered with clean cotton tea towels..At the 20 minute mark the oven door was closed, the temperature raised to 375F (my oven bakes about 20 degrees hot), and the oven allowed to come to baking temperature..The buns were allowed a third, and final proof of 30 minutes..A depression was made in the center of each bun, a 1/4" x 1/4" cube of margarine placed in the depression, the entire bun brushed with egg / milk wash (leftover French Toast mix), and sprinkled with granulated organic cane sugar..The buns were baked, both pans together at the same time, for 10 minutes..The pans were then rotated 180 degrees, switched shelves, and finished baking for another 6 minutes..Tops were a dark golden brown, and the internal temperature was 200F..The third pan was removed from the refrigerator when the first pans went into the oven..It proofed, covered with the tea towel, for 45 minutes, everything else that was done to the first two pans was repeated; except that with a single pan of six buns in the oven it only took 14 minutes to bake to completion..

Finished yield was 22 buns with an average weight of 3.75 oz..The buns are approximately 3.5" across at the bottom, and 2" thick with a domed shape..They taste FANTASTIC!!!!..I definitely want to try my version of the recipe with the crushed cardamom, as well as the original recipe from Julie J's mother-in-law..I have the cardamom seeds in my pantry that I purchased from Penzeys Spices..

Thanks again to Julie J, and her mother-in-law (whatever her name may be!!)..Please do try her recipe..I am sure that it tastes as good as my version does!!..