11 February 2013

Laskiaispulla – Shrove Tuesday bun

Once again I felt pressure to make a seasonal Finnish classic which I have never baked before. I loved them as a child and now the craving got too strong and drove me into the kitchen. In the end they turned out to be quite simple to make. All you need is some patience with the rising of the dough. 

Laskiaispullat are sweet buns filled with jam and whipped cream or almond paste, which are traditionally eaten on Shrove Tuesday (or mid-winter sliding festival as Wikipedia puts it) before starting Lent.

The recipes vary regionally within Finland and the Scandinavian countries have their own variations as well.  In Finland it's a tradition to go sledding or to slide down snowy hills on Shrove Tuesday and especially after those activities these buns taste extraordinarily good.

The buns are regular Finnish Pulla [ˈpulːɑ] - a mildly sweet roll or bun often flavoured with crushed cardamom seeds.

Ingredients to make about 12 buns

For the buns:

50 g Butter
2 ½ dl Milk
1 Egg
7 dl Wheatflour
½ dl Sugar
½ tsp Salt
1 Bag of dry yeast
1 tsp Ground green cardamom seeds
2 tbsp Icing sugar

For the filling:

1 dl Strawberry jam
2 dl Whip cream
3 tbsp Sugar

Gently melt the butter in a saucepan and warm the milk slightly above room temperature. Mix the dry yeast with about a quarter of the flour.

Mix the sugar, salt and cardamom in a bowl and add the milk. Then add the part of flour that was mixed with the yeast into the bowl. Follow this by adding the melted butter and then the rest of the flour gradually while mixing until the dough is nice and smooth. 

Let the dough rise under a teatowel for about 45 minutes until it doubles its size.

Shape small buns out of the dough. Sometimes laskiaispulla are made massive but I prefer them a little smaller. Place them on a baking tray and let them rise again for about 10 minutes. In the meanwhile pre-heat the oven to around 220C. Brush each bun with the beaten egg before baking. Bake them for about 10 minutes until they are golden brown.

Remove the buns from the oven and let them cool down. While they are cooling down you can whip the cream. Add the sugar to the cream and whip with a hand mixer until it's a firm foam.

Cut the buns in half slightly above the middle in order to form a lid. Spread strawberry jam on each side (lid and base), spread whipped cream on the base in approximate thickness of 1 cm.

Place the lid on the base and in the end sprinkle some icing sugar on the buns.

Ready to be served - Divine with coffee or hot chocolate!

Your VegHog

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