My bestie is Finnish. A while back she taught me how to count to 10 (which I still remember) and her Grandma, who is all Finnish, taught me a funny little song, which isn’t Finnish, but is very funny and I would like to think that only Finnish people know it 🙂
However, in addition to the counting and the song, they have also recently shared with me Nisu – a Finnish sweet bread. This was my first attempt at a bread and I was pleasantly surprised with the results. Although I’ve been wanting to make since I returned from DC, it took me a few tries to find Cardamom – I would suggest Whole Foods, if you don’t have this item already stocked in your cabinet.
The directions and ingredients are fairly simple.
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup sugar
4 teaspoons yeast
Mix the above ingredients in a stand-up mixer.
Over low heat, combine:
1 cup milk
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons cardamom
Heat to 105-115 degrees fahrenheit.
Gradually beat milk mixture on low into the dry ingredients, add 3 eggs.
Gradually beat in 4 more cups of flour; beat 6-7 minutes.
Form dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled suraface; turn to coat and cover with plastic. Let dough rise 1 1-2 to 2 hours (or doubled in size).
Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes and then form dough into 3 pieces, roll out and braid with oiled hands; cover and let rest for one hour.
Brush with egg yolk and 1 teaspoon of water; sprinkle with sugar and bake for 25-30 minutes in a 375 degree oven.
The dough ball
The doubled dough ball
The only change I would make would be to possibly sprinkle with salt instead of sugar. I know it is supposed to be a sweet bread, but I really think I would like the taste of salt better… for next time.