Living in Finland, one of my biggest weaknesses has to be be fresh pulla. To those of you not familiar with pulla, think soft pillowy buns spiced with cinnamon or cardamon, often bursting with berries and nearly always accompanied with cups of strong coffee. This is my attempt at making a healthier version of my favourite treat. Pulla are usually full of butter and sugar, but by adding the flavours to simple soda bread, you end up with a more guilt free pleasure. Cardamom and cinnamon are paired with fresh blueberries and the soda bread has an almost cakey finish. I like to serve it fresh from the oven, or toasted with some sugar free jam.
If blueberry and cardamom doesn’t tickle your fancy, why not check out my Vegan Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Irish Soda Bread.
Blueberry Cardamom ‘pulla’ Soda Bread – makes one large loaf
250 ml soya or other plant based milk
1 tsp cider vinegar
30 g vegan margarine
250 g plain flour
60 g porridge oats
100g fresh blueberries
2 tsp cinnamon
1 – 2 tsp cardamom, depending on how much you like it
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp of salt
a handful of poppy seeds and oats to decorate
Start by mixing the milk and vinegar together. Set to one side for about 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees c.
In a large bowl, rub the margarine into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the remaining ingredients, except the milk, and stir well.
Quickly fold in the milk, until just combined, and bring together into a sticky dough. Using floured hands, pour the dough onto a lined baking sheet and shape into a rough round loaf shape.
Use a sharp knife to cut a deep cross in the centre of the bread. Sprinkle with the poppy seeds and a few oats and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, until golden.
Allow to cool a little on a wire rack and serve warm or toasted.