My mom’s family immigrated from Finland to Canada in the 1950’s, hoping to find a better life, working in the mines around Northern Ontario. I grew up very close with my mummu (grand mother) and papa as they passed on Finnish traditions to their grandchildren. Saunas, Sisu, Joulupukki and my favourite, Pulla.
Pulla is a mildly sweet Finnish coffee bread that is braided and made with cardamom. When I was a kid, my brother, sister and I could eat a whole loaf in one sitting. We loved to toast it and smother it with butter and sugar. My mom and mummu used to tell us that this is an insult to the Finnish culture, because it is not meant to be eaten this way, but it’s how we loved it!
Since I have become a vegan, I haven’t been able to eat pulla, so this weekend I decided that I was going to try to make my own version of Pulla, made with organic ingredients and all vegan.
After some intense google searching I found a blog called “philosophy and cake” and she had created a successful loaf of vegan pulla!
I gave it a try and I am quite proud of the result, next time I’ll try to substitute the flour with buckwheat or spelt flour, for more nutritional density! Make sure you use as much organic ingredients as possible, I used all organic.
- 2/3 cup warm non-dairy milk
- 1/3 cup organic cane sugar
- 2 teaspoons cardamom
- 1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons mashed banana
- 3 ¼ cups All Purpose Flour (Try ½ of it buckwheat or spelt for added nutrients)
- 2 ½ tablespoons Earth Balance Soy Free Butter
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon non-dairy milk
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine milk, sugar, 2 ½ teaspoons cardamom, and yeast; stir together and let sit for about ten minutes until foamy. Add mashed banana and mix to combine. Add flour and salt and mix just until a dough begins to form.
- Knead dough and while kneading, slowly add butter and mix until incorporated; this will take about three to four minutes. Continue kneading for four more minutes after adding butter.
- Transfer dough to a greased bowl and cover with a towel. Let sit in a warm place for about one hour. Punch down dough; cover again and let sit until fully risen, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Transfer dough to a very lightly floured work surface and divide dough into three equal pieces. Roll each portion between your palms and surface to create three ropes. Place ropes on a parchment-lined baking sheet and braid together to form a loaf. You will have one large loaf. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for another 20 minutes, or until slightly puffed up.
- In a small bowl, whisk together ½ teaspoon cardamom, maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon nondairy milk. Brush over loaf. If you want, you can sprinkle with crushed lump sugar and / or sliced almonds, but being the peasant that I am I did not have either of those things. The loaf is now ready to bake. Stick it in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the top is somewhat golden brown. It will not be quite as browned as a traditional non-vegan loaf, but it will still be delicious.
- Let cool for about ten minutes before serving. Enjoy!