In 1905, my grandmother came to the United States when she 5 years old from Finland and grew up in Michigan. This Cardamom-flavored bread is a common Nordic bread and is also called Pulla. In my family we called it Nisu, which I understand is an old Finnish word meaning “wheat.” This was her hand-written recipe, which she made many times for our family. We usually had it around Easter time when I visited my grandparents’ house.
Prep time: 4 hours Bake time: 30 minutes Yields: Makes 3 loaves
2 cup milk
1 yeast (cake or dry)
10 to 15 cardamon pods
¾ cup of butter (melted)
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp of salt
6 ½ to 7 cups of flour
1/8 lb. of sliced almonds
• Heat milk to scalding but not boiling
• Add sugar and cool to lukewarm
• Add yeast that has been dissolved in ¼ cup of warm water and 2 cups of flour & salt – beat using mixer.
• Let stand while crushing cardamon seeds
• Add cardamom seeds, butter, eggs, and again beat with a mixer.
• Add the rest of the flour using mixer as long as possible.
• Then knead by hand
• Put dough into 3 parts
• Put into greased bowl and then turn dough in bowl to grease top.
• Cover with towel and let raise for about 3 ½ to 4 hours in a warm place
• Divide the dough into 3 parts
• Put into greased pans, cover with towel and let raise about an hour.
• Brush with sugar water and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.
• Remove from oven and place on rack to cool
• Brush immediately with sugar water twice and sprinkle with sugar
• After dividing dough into 3 parts if you wish you can braid into loaves; otherwise, just shape into loaves.
SUGAR WATER INSTRUCTIONS:
• ¼ to 1/3 cup of sugar and scant ¼ cup water
• Stir until sugar is dissolved
• 2 tbsp of butter
• 1 cup of confectionary sugar
• ½ tsp of vanilla extract
• 2 tsp of milk
• 1/4 cup toasted almond slivers
• In a small bowl, mix together butter, sugar, stir in vanilla, milk and mix
• Spread frosting over cooled NISU
• Sprinkle the Almonds for Decoration and taste to the Bread surface.