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.
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:
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
1,5-2 tbsp roughly ground cardamon
200g unsalted butter or baking margarine
12-15 dl flour
for the filling
brown sugar (white works fine too)
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.
Now cut the roll into pieces with a knife into shapes like this: