Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Finnish Cinnamon Rolls "Korvapuustit"

Many people have been asking me for the recipe of "pulla" or Finnish cinnamon rolls I've mentioned a few times on the blog. Since it's Ramadan and lots of people are baking I thought now is a great time to share the recipe. These would also be perfect to serve for Eid!

Pulla is very popular in Finland and it comes in many different variations. Pulla can also be said to be coffee bread because Finns always serve their coffee with them. Pulla basically means any kind of sweet pastry made from this dough. "Korvapuusti" are specifically the Finnish style cinnamon rolls, directly translating to "ear buns" because of their appearance which resembles an ear. What makes the Finnish cinnamon rolls special is the dough which is made with milk and contains lots of ground cardamon giving it a unique taste and appearance.
The most fluffy and moist pulla is achieved by using fresh yeast. The filling is less messy and not overly sweet like the american version. Korvapuusti is also shaped a certain way and always topped off with pearl sugar.

There are many variations to the recipe out there and over the years I've made some small changes I liked and thought to make them as fluffy and delicious as possible!  I always make the dough into milk because I think it makes the result more moist. If possible I will use fresh yeast. If anyone knows where to get it in Saudi please do let me know! I just brought four packets of fresh yeast back from Finland where we have it readily available at all grocery stores.

Another important factor is the cardamon. It has to be roughly ground, so that small black parts can be seen and of course free of any residue from the pods. Yet another spice I haven't been able to find in Saudi-Arabia, they only seem to have finely ground cardamon which looks like a powder. After trying and testing, I can say this won't work well in the pulla. After a few failed attempts of crushing the cardamon seeds myself and sifting the pods out, I continue to bring my cardamon from Finland. This is what it looks like:
When making the dough the temperature of the liquid has to be carefully measured for best results. I always use a thermometer to check. For fresh yeast it needs to be a bit warmer than your hand temperature, +38c and for dry active yeast +42c for the yeast to "awaken". This way the dough will raise the best. The pulla is actually raised on two separate occasions before baking! If the liquid was too hot the yeast will die and the dough will become like a heavy rock, also if the milk was too cold it will take many hours if not until the next day to properly raise. The dough should double in size before you start baking. Make sure all the ingredients are room temperature too!

So here are the ingredients for approx 25-30 korvapuustis depending on what size you cut them.

5 dl milk
50g fresh yeast or 20g active dry yeast
2 dl sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1,5-2 tbsp roughly ground cardamon
200g unsalted butter or baking margarine
12-15 dl flour

for the filling
100-200g butter/margarine
brown sugar (white works fine too)
cinnamon
optionally cardamon

Start with warming up the milk in abowl in the microwave. Make sure the temperature is right for the type of yeast you're using, then dissolve the yeast into the milk until clear. Add the sugar, salt, cardamon and egg and mix well.
Next start adding the flour by first whisking in about 5-6 dl in to make the dough airy. Then mix in 5-6 dl more into the dough by hand. Knead well. Now add the melted butter and continue kneading. Lastly add just enough flour to make the dough comes off from the bowl, but not too much so it doesn't become too hard. It should be soft and easy to handle. Leave it to raise covered in a warm, draft-free place. I use the top of the oven or inside the microwave is good too because there's no draft. The dough should double in size in about half hour to an hour if the yeast has had optimal conditions. To speed up the raising time you can put the oven on very low heat (30-50c)and place the bowl there or place a cup of hot water inside the microwave.
When the dough has doubled in size take it out and start kneading it again thoroughly. Divide it into two sections. Take one and start rolling it out into a thin layer. Next spread a layer of soft butter all over the dough. Then sprinkle some sugar, again using your own taste of how much you want to add. I sprinkle generously! Next sprinkle plenty of cinnamon on top to cover the rest of the filling and for cardamon lovers you can sprinkle a little bit additional cardamon too.
Start rolling the dough from the top toward you trying to make the roll as tight as possible and leave the seam on the bottom.
Now cut the roll into pieces with a knife into shapes like this:
Then take each piece and press your index finger in the middle so that the "ears" of the roll pop out. Then press gently on the ears so that the top stays closed.
Place them on a baking tray on a baking sheet to raise in a warm draft-free place while you do the next batch. When the korvapuusti's have risen to about double their size use the beaten egg to swipe them and decorate with pearl sugar. If you don't have pearl sugar you could use large grained sugar. Bake in 200C for about 6-8 minutes or until golden brown from top.
Enjoy with a nice cup of coffee or cold milk! The rolls are delicious even the next day, just pop in the microwave for 10 seconds (if you have any left at that point)!


37 comments:

ربة منزل said...

This looks really good. mmmmm
I don't have a kitchen scale at home. Can you add the volume to the weight measurements?

Thanks

Anonymous said...

what form of measuring are u using...dl??

Karen King said...

Instead of buying pulla from the finnish ladies in town, i might try my own this fall. But pulla made from older finnish women in fitchburg is just perfect, so I'm torn as to what to do!

Sending you love from the Finnish-American city of Fitchburg,
Karen

karimakene said...

awwwwwww i love them and i remember when we was small and our mom baked them ... this smell when she just took them out from owen mmmm yummie with cold milk !

Laylah said...

You don't need a scale just convert the (dl) deciliters to cups!

Laylah said...

1 dl is 100 ml. We use these in many european countries, rather than cups.. It's a more logical system :)
You can easily convert the milliliters or dl to amount in cups online.

Laylah said...

Hi Karen!Yes you should definitely try your own, nothing beats the aroma that fills your home after you've made these!

Laylah said...

karimakene-yes that smell is amazing!

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for the recipe. Always when I saw a picture of it in your blog, I wanted to try it. So now I will do. It is very similar to a recipe my mother here in germany use to make.
I enjoy reading your blog and I hope you keep on :)

Farooq said...

yum yum. I knew I shudnt have read that post while I was fasting hehe. when can we hope to taste a sample of your pulla?

Anonymous said...

yesssssss! thank you!! i've waited for this, inshAllah i'll serve these for Eid!
you made my day sister!

Karoliina said...

Morning! I have a small blog award for you in my blog :)

Noor said...

Now you know I will have to try these :)

Laylah said...

Karoliina-ohhh thank you! How do I get to your blog, by clicking on your name it says profile does not exist!

Laylah said...

Noor please do let me know how you liked them and feel free to share the recipe on your blog if you like them!

Laylah said...

thanks, hope that you like them!

Laylah said...

Farooq-maybe I should start a Finnish home bakery lol

Laylah said...

you're welcome, hope that they are a hit!

Sandra-DXB said...

Thanks for the recipe! Will def. try it!
For the yeast, maybe you can try some local bakeries (French bakeries if there are any). I know that in Dubai, I can get some in Paul (http://www.paul-international.com) or Le Pain Quotidien (http://www.lepainquotidien.ae/) but it doesn't look like they have branches in KSA.

Sufra said...

Hi Laylah,

When I was living in Riyadh I saw fresh yeast for sale in the Carrefour in Granada. Maybe try there?

Anonymous said...

I read also Karoliina's blog and you can find it here :)

http://karoliinalta2.blogspot.fi/

and this is the blog award post:
http://karoliinalta2.blogspot.fi/2012/08/tunnustus-ja-8-satunnaista-asiaa.html

June

Farooq said...

I'd have a repeat customer card. Love baked goodies lol

Anonymous said...

Hi Layla,

Celebration of the Eid in Odense Denmark: the celebrating people stabs and shoot a man. When the ambulance and police arrives, the celebrating starts throwing stones at the rescueteam. The glass of the ambulance is broken. Afterward 60 - 70 men armed with bats and sticks continues the celebration at the hospital. They demand to see the man, so they can kill him and demolish the waiting room. The staff hides and calls the police. The men hit the police. During the attack another policeman takes his gun and says he will shoot, if they don´t stop immediately (he doesn´t) The party finally stops.

What do you think of this?

Laylah said...

Thanks Sufra for the tip!

Laylah said...

I will try that Sandra, thanks!

Laylah said...

Well I don't know what to say to this! Sounds awful, I am wondering what was going on and where these people came from?

Hope said...

My fav dessert in all of RIyadh :-) but u gotta have them with the Finnish coffee ... plus the large grained sugar is a must, gives them a nice sweet crunch.. good luck finding something similar in RIyadh lol

Anonymous said...

Hi layla!
I love your blog, i have this dream of visiting saudi arabia for years but as a single female for now this is not allowed... Hopefully someday! About the lovely recipe, i cant seem to find conversions from dl into solid measurement like grams. You used dl for sugar and flour. Do you know how much they are in grams? Im ok with the liquid conversion.
Take care and tanks for sharing your experiences in the magic kingdom!

Anonymous said...

Hi!
I made them! Sooo delicious! In grams, in case anyone wonders, it would take about 200g of sugar and 700g of flour for that recipe. I used fresh yeast which made them so soft!. It made 40 buns!!! I ll half the recipe next time as its far too much for a single person! ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi,
thank you for sharing, I made them today for my friends and all are gone :-)!
For sure not the last time I baked them, already shared the receipe.
I follow your blog since short time, congratulations on this great work!
Regards from Germany,
Malina

Laylah said...

hi there and thanks for the comment! I don't know exactly how much they would weigh in grams, but one dl is 100 mls which I would assume is 100g in liquid. Does this make sense?

Laylah said...

I am so glad you liked them so much!! and thanks for the tip on the grams. Now that I think of it, I usually use a 1 kg (1000g) pack of flour for these.

Laylah said...

Hi Malina! Did you find pearl sugar also? You can crush sugar cubes and try substitute it!

Laylah said...

ohh yes the sugar is a must, you can always crush sugar cubes to make something similar! When will you bake some ;)

Madame Kissankulma said...

My children just love them as I did when I was a kid and my mum baked them. This is defenately one of the finnish things you miss when you live abroad. Thanks for your great blog!

Anonymous said...


Ensinnäkin suuret kiitokset aivan mahtavasta blogistasi!
Toiseksi vinkki korvareihin: kokeile joskus laittaa voin, sokerin ja kanelin lisäksi omenahilloa puustin väliin, toimii mainiosti!

Laylah said...

Kiitos kommentista ja vinkista taytyypa kokeilla ensi kerralla :)