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


Post-cooking, pre-belly


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.


2 responses to “Nisu

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