For more than a year already, we have had the privilege to step in many incredible people homes who wanted to share a dish with us. With every recipe, a story. With every story, more evidence of the complex, colorful and delicious paradox behind the seemingly discreet Finland. Once again, as my car makes its way onto the motorway, I can already tell this encounter with Satu will be memorable. She is on the porch, greeting me with a wide smile and gently lecturing Uuno, the family dog, for his exuberant reception which left me with a few snowy mark of enthusiasm as he jumped with joy. I already feel welcome!
In the hallway, a vintage “Theater of magic” pinball machine, finishes to convince me that it will be no hard feat to find the story behind the recipe.
“This was meant to be a gift for my fiftieth Birthday, It’s strange though, as I never actually turned 50! ” she announces with a straight face. “I was so excited about it, because I have always loved Pinball and until then I had to pretend that we had to spend the day at the Arcade only to make my nephews happy!
If you ever needed a proof that Satu is a Serial Baker, you would only have to look for a few seconds to find the clues. On the kitchen counter, two large containers filled with sugar and flour are patiently waiting to serve their bubbly, fast paced and incredibly funny master. But above all, it’s the gleeful look on Satu’s face which is the evidence of someone having found their bliss.
“I always have flour & butter in my hand”
She tells us hilarious anecdotes from her life as a flight attendant for Finnair and spices her anecdotes with Japanese phrases while effortlessly shaping Korvapuusti (ear buns with sugar & cinnamon) , voisilmäpulla (or Buns with a butter eye), shoving the dough in the oven and as you blink, has already filling the next cooled batch with jam and whipped cream.
It’s impressive and inspiring and I decide here and there: when I grow up, I want to be a Pulla Master just like Satu!
Satu’s “Theater of Magic” Pullas
About this Recipe: “I make it different from the traditional recipe which Usually calls for 2 eggs.It’s also a Speed version that makes the perfect Pulla every time. It’s lighter because you don’t fall into the common trap of adding flour! It makes approximately 24 pullas, so you can freeze them before or after baking, to keep them for longer”
- 5 dl milk
- 12 dl flour
- 200 g butter
- 1 dl of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of ground Cardamom or up to 2 Tablespoon to taste
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 cube fresh yeast, ~50 g (if using dried yeast, mix 2 packets with flour)
- 1 egg for eggwash (Optional)
For the filling & topping:
- 2 dl heavy cream for whipping,
- 1 tablespoon of Sugar
- 1 block almond paste / Marzipan
- Raspberry jam ,
- Almond slivers
- pearl sugar
- Preheat the oven to 210C
- Melt the butter in the bowl,
- Add the milk and heat it a bit more in a microwave proof bowl, , until lukewarm,
- Add yeast, sugar cardamom, pinch of salt,
- Gradually the flour (never add more than 12 dl) no matter what it looks or feel like; trust the recipe!
- Roughly mix it together with the hand, Leave to rise under a cloth for an hour
- Leave it to rise for 1 hour , divide in 2 or 3 smaller pieces, and roll into whichever sweet pastry you prefer!
- Brush with an egg-wash and sprinkle some pearl sugar on half of the buns
- Bake at 210C for 10 minutes
- Whip the cream with 1 tablespoon of sugar and put in a piping bag
For the garnish
- to assemble the laskiaispulla, allow the buns to cool, then cut in half lengthwise, add the marzipan or the jam and pipe the whipped cream before covering with the 2nd half of the bun
- When you bake both Marzipan or jam version, the sprinkle of pearl sugar helps to recognized the one with the Jam, Add a touch of icing sugar for final look!
In Finland, these are eaten all year long but especially on Laskiaistiistai (Shrove Tuesday). It’s among one of the most ancient Finnish tradition and has long been considered a celebration of the best part of Winter; when there is still snow outside and the sun is shining bright. At the end of a full day of sledge or ski you would get to enjoy a warm Pulla. Traditionally you put it in a soup bowl with hot milk and eat with a spoon, but just like Satu, I much rather prefer the “dry version” with a warm drink on the side!