A few weeks ago, my Dad mentioned these slightly sweet rolls his paternal grandmother used to bake when he was younger. “Bulla bread!” He said. He had never mentioned them before, but I’m always up for a baking challenge! His 50th birthday party this past Sunday was the perfect time to try my hand at them.
Bulla’s origins look to be Finnish, but are made across Scandinavia. My great-grandmother was Swedish and Danish so this recipe was most likely engrained in her brain. (Kind of like Red Velvet cupcakes are for me). Take a dinner roll, add sugar and cardamom and that’s basically it. You can add raisins or cinnamon too, but having never made them before, I went for a basic recipe. I loved making them for my Dad, and watching he and his siblings reminisce while eating them. They made yummy breakfast treats the next day too!
Bulla Bread — makes 32 rolls. Recipe adapted from Snovej.
- 2 cups + 2 tbs milk
- 2 packages of dry yeast
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sugar + 1 tsp, divided
- 2 tsp ground cardamom
- 5½ – 6 cups flour
- 14 tbs (1 ¾ sticks) butter, room temperature or melted
1. Microwave the milk for about a minute and pour it into a big bowl. Dissolve the yeast in it, then stir in one egg and 1 cup sugar, and the salt and cardamom. Mix well.
2. Add flour 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly between each addition. After 4 cups, mix in the butter, then more flour until you have a nice dough that no longer sticks to your fingers. (This was about 5½ cups for me).
3. When you’re satisfied with the consistency of your dough, cover it with a towel and let it rise in a warm place.
4. After 1-2 hours, it should have doubled in size. If not, let it rise for longer.
5. When it’s risen, pour the dough onto a floured surface and knead it, adding more flour if necessary.
6. Divide the dough into four equal-sized balls.
7. Roll each ball into a log about 8″-10″ long.
8. Slice each long into 8 equal pieces. I slice it in half first, then quarters, then eighths.
9. Lay out your sliced dough on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Let rise for another 30 minutes or so.
10. Make an egg wash with your other egg and 1 tbs of sugar, and lightly baste your dough, then cook at 450º for 8-10 minutes.
11. Sprinkle with sugar and enjoy!
For more ways to make Bullas, check out this recipe from Snovej.