Let me blow your mind for a second: I have not purchased a loaf of bread since the beginning of 2014.
WHAAAAAAAAT? Yep. My manfriend and I have been making all our bread from scratch! That no-knead bread recipe is a real go-getter you guys. It’s super easy, and it make beautiful chewy, knotty bread. We’ve added in wholemeal and rye flours in the past and it’s been working fantastically for us.
The flipside of all this delicious, fantastic smelling bread baking is that when I tried a piece of regular white bread the other day, it felt like I was eating cake! It was so sweet and soft. I’m not a bread snob by any means; it was amazing!
So I was left yearning for a slightly more indulgent addition to our bread baking routine. Enter, the Swedes.
Scandinavian folks sure know their way around a loaf. The traditional sweet Swedish loaf is called Pulla bread, and this is my vanilla-infused version. It’s got the texture of brioche, but not quite as rich and buttery. It’s the perfect everyday treat, if that make sense.
Plus, if you’re like me and you live somewhere that Scandi bakeries are scarce (nonexistent), then you’ll probably be baking something that a lot of people haven’t seen before. And there is NOTHING more welcoming than the smell of warm, baking bread when your friend/girlfriend/sister/grandma/knitting circle turns up for brunch.
A word to the wise, this bread makes some of the greatest french toast you’ll ever have. So, you know, stay tuned for that recipe.
On to the biggest news of the day, the Super Bowl! What did you think? I arbitrarily chose to root for the Seahawks, but I was feeling pretty sorry for the Broncos by the end! How about you? A triumph or a tragedy? Or you totally missed it and baked bread instead?
- 1 cup (250ml) milk
- ½ stick (50g) butter
- 1 vanilla pod (or 2 tsp vanilla extract or paste)
- 3 + ⅓ cups (500g) plain flour
- 1 tsp dried yeast
- ¼ cup (50g) caster sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 whole egg, beaten for glazing (optional)
- Place the milk and butter into a medium saucepan and bring up to just under a boil.
- Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds, and add them to the pan along with the pod. Set aside to infuse for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the flour, yeast and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
- Fish out the vanilla bean from the milk, and add it to the mixer (it should be only just warm by now - if it's still too hot, leave it for longer), along with the egg yolks and begin mixing on a low speed until the dough comes together and looks smooth.
- If mixing by hand, start with a wooden spoon and then knead until the dough is smooth and combined.
- Cover the dough with plastic, and set aside for an hour or until doubled in size.
- Split the dough into three, and roll them into long ropes and braid them together into a loaf, and then place it on a lined baking sheet. Set aside for 45 minutes to prove.
- Preheat the oven to 425F/220C. Brush the loaf with beaten egg (if using), and place into the hot oven for 10 minutes, before turning the temperature to 400F/200C and baking for another 35 minutes, or until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped on the base.