It was a revelation the day I discovered that seemingly unending varieties of Pulla exist across Scandinavia. With the slightest tweak to a recipe a flick of the wrist this simple, delicate bun transforms into an array of wonderful delights.
OK, this may sound a little over the top – but trust me, once you’ve been to Dallas (aka Flavour Town) you’ll never be able to Pulla yourself away (wow – that was corny even for me – but seriously *grabbing your arm with wild abandon* this is the stuff).
To start you’ll need the basic Pulla recipe found here. The only difference is when I have the time I like to let this dough slowly rise for as long as I can. Allow the dough to get started for half an hour or so and then whack it into the fridge for five or six hours or even overnight – the cold won’t stop the fermentation, just slow it.
When you’re ready to roll, let the dough warm up a little as it will be easier to handle. While it’s warming up get started on the filling.
250 grams of Quark cheese at room temperature
100 grams of unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup of caster sugar
¼ cup of custard powder (or you can use plain cornflour with an extra dash of vanilla extract)
Dash of vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
An additional egg and dash of milk for egg wash
3/4 cup of icing sugar
Dash of warm water
Pearl sugar (optional)
Firstly make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature – it’s the same method as for a cheesecake, if the ingredients are too cold it’s more challenging to end up with smooth custard.
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and beat together until well combined and smooth.
Roll out the dough into a large rectangle, at least 40cm wide by 30cm tall. Keep the thickness around a centimetre. Evenly spread the custard mixture over the dough leaving a clean edge of about 1.5 cm along the edge closest to you, reserving a quarter of the mixture to top the buns at the end.
Brush the clean edge with a little warm water and gently roll the dough into a sausage and seal with the damp edge. Using a sawing action (to avoid squashing the rolls) cut the dough into 5cm lengths.
The buns will need to rise again before baking. Place the buns flat side down onto a baking tray with enough room to comfortably double in size and not touch. Spoon the extra custard on top of the buns and allow to rise in a warm place for at least 30 minutes.
While the buns are rising, preheat the oven to 200c. Once ready gently brush with the egg wash and place into the oven. Bake for 20 mins and then increase the temperature by 10c for another 5-10 minutes and bake until golden.
Remove the buns and allow to cool for 15 minutes while you prepare the icing.
Combine the icing sugar and water to make a smooth paste the consistency of honey. Liberally drizzle the icing over the buns while still warm. Sprinkle with pearl sugar. Wait as long as you can to resist trying one – I lasted about 3 minutes.