February 12, 2013

Laskiaispullat - Shrove Tuesday Buns

Happy Shrove Tuesday!

Shrove Tuesday (Laskiaistiistai) buns filled with jam (or marzipan) and whipped cream are a traditional treat in Finland and all over Scandinavia. These buns used to be my favourite as a child and they still taste pretty good! I love the smell of freshly baked pulla (Finnish for bun) - it always reminds me of home where mum used to bake fresh pulla on most Saturday mornings.

Wish you all a delicious Shrove Tuesday!


500ml milk (organic, full cream), heated to about 42C
50g fresh yeast or 22g (about 4 teaspoons) dry active yeast
1 egg (large, free-range, organic)
a small pinch of salt
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
160g raw caster sugar
1 tablespoon raw vanilla sugar (with pure vanilla)
about 700g-800g plain flour
200g melted, cooled butter (organic)

1 egg (free-range, organic), for brushing
pearl sugar, for sprinkling

300ml heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla sugar
raspberry jam or marzipan

* Healthier, modernised version here.

1. If using dry yeast, mix it with a tablespoon of flour and add to warm milk. Stir until dissolved. 

2. Using a wooden fork or spoon, whisk in the egg, sugar and spices. 

3. Start adding flour bit by bit, whisking well the whole time. Knead using your hand after the dough gets thicker. Add melted butter and knead well until you have a soft, smooth dough that doesn't stick to your hand. Leave to rest, covered with a tea towel, until doubled in size.

4. Bake the dough into small round buns and arrange on baking sheets lined with baking paper. Be careful not to crowd the sheets (I spread mine on four baking trays). Cover the buns with tea towels and leave to rest for a further 30 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven to 200-225C.

6. Just before baking, brush the buns with egg (whisked in a bowl beforehand) and sprinkle with pearl sugar. Bake the buns in the middle rack, one tray at a time. Cool on a wire rack covered with a tea towel.

7. Whip the cream until pretty thick. Flavour with vanilla sugar. Cut the top of the buns with a serrated knife and spoon jam and cream on bottom part of the buns. Top with the "lid" and enjoy. 

8. Store the remaining buns in thick freezer bags in the freezer. Please note that this amount will make about 30 buns (depending on the size you make), but the filling will only make enough for about 10 buns.