Ever since I set foot in the kitchen I have been on a quest to learn more about different cuisines and how cultures, tradition and sometimes religion impact on people’s life.
This made me want to learn more about baking food from around the globe and every now and then “Emiratize” it!
Living in a fast developing country, which embraces diverse nationalities and cultures puts us in contact (either directly or indirectly) with a huge number of various cuisines, ingredients and of course experience.
All you have to do is look around you and you’ll get a new idea, a new ingredient, a way of cooking you’ve never heard of or even similarities in dishes from some countries with your own.
I love adding an Emirati/Arabic touch to my cooking/baking. Not only does that makes it more personal but it also modernizes Emirati cuisine.
This is something I have always had an interest in and wanted to share it with the world.
Emirati cuisine is all about spices, hospitality and lots of love. Yes, love!
You wouldn’t feel the dish if it wasn’t made with love. That’s why I only like to learn how to make the Emirati dishes from my mother.
I’m sure you noticed my love for spices and how I include them a lot in most things I mak
Last year I came across Pulla. A Finnish bread which is made with spices, and sometimes dried fruits.
It definitely was on my baking list. After searching and reading more about Pulla, it’s history and how it’s made, I finally made it a few months ago.
There’s something about making bread that satisfies you deep inside and Pulla makes this satisfaction even better.
I called mine the Cardamom Braid!
The recipe I adapted was from Saveur. It was very thorough and the outcome was great!
This recipe makes two loaves.
1 ⅓ Cups Milk, Warm
1/2 Cup Sugar
8 TSP Ground Cardamom
4 ¼ TBS Active Dry Yeast
3 Eggs, Lightly Beaten
6 ½ Cups Flour
1 TSP Salt
5 TBS Butter (at room temperature)
1 TBS Heavy Cream
1 Egg Yolk
Chouquette Sugar, for garnish (optional)
Sliced Almonds, for garnish (optional)
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, combine milk, sugar, and yeast. Let stand for a minute and stir until the yeast and sugar dissolves. Let sit until foamy. Add 6 TBS of Cardamom.
Add the eggs and mix to combine. Then add the flour and salt. Mix until a dough forms. Change to the hook hook attachment and knead the dough on medium speed for around 2 minutes. While the mixer is on, add the butter in batches, making sure it’s incorporated before adding next batch. Continue kneading for around 4 minutes until the dough is elastic.
Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to proof and double in size for 1 hour.
In the meantime, preheat the oven to 190C and place a parchment paper on your baking tray.
Punch down the dough, cover again with plastic wrap and let sit until it rises again for 30 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and divide into 2 equal pieces.
Set 1 piece aside and cover. Divide the other piece into 3 equal portions.
Roll each portion between your palms and the work surface to create a 40cm rope. Braid ropes together to form a loaf. Tuck the top and bottom of the ropes under the loaf to seal (and your braid stays intact). Transfer loaf baking sheet and repeat with second dough.
Cover loaves with plastic wrap and allow to puff up for 20 minutes.
Whisk together remaining cardamom, cream, and egg yolk in a small bowl. Brush the mixture over loaves. Sprinkle with sugar and almonds (if using).
Bake, one loaf at a time, for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
Transfer to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before serving.