Tuesday, May 25, 2010

a nice slap on the ear

as we find ourselves facing june, i can't ignore the looming texas summer any longer. the heat. the humidity. the utter nastiness.... causing me to experience an overwhelming amount of reverse homesickness for finland, and finnish treats, of course. i suggested to the husband that we take a stab at making korvapuusti (a finnish pastry reminiscent of a cinnamon bun), and he was immediately on board. roughly translated, korvapuusti means "slap on the ear".  this is a very common sweet bread that you can find easily in a grocery store, either in the bakery section or the frozen food section in finland. it is also easily found in cafes, pretty much everywhere in the country (as far as i have seen, at least). korvapuusti is part of a larger, more general term for sweet breads, pulla, which can either be similar to the korvapuusti, or more closely resemble what americans consider 'danishes'.
it was my first time working with yeast, and the results weren't too shabby.

adapted from the finnish cookbook by beatrice ojakangas
for the dough
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup of warm water
2 cups half and half (or whole milk), scalded, and cooled to lukewarm
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tspn salt
1 tspn cardamom*
6 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, melted + cooled

*we only put 1 tspn of cardamom in, but i suggest upping it to 1 tbspn instead.

dissolve the yeast in the water. add milk, sugar, salt, cardamom, and half the flower. beat for about a minute. stir in the melted butter until well combined, and keep adding the remaining flour to make a stiff dough. if you feel the dough isn't 'stiff', you can try adding a little bit more flour into the dough. turn the dough out onto a board and knead until smooth- this should take about 10 minutes. put the dough in a greased bowl, turn it to grease the top, cover, and let it rise in a warm place until it has double in size. this may take up up to 2-3 hours.

filling (we used a combination of the two fillings)
1/2 cup soft butter
1 tbsn cinnamon
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup ground nuts (we used walnuts and almonds)
(mix all together)

1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup marmalade- we used apricot for one part

large granulated sugar
egg wash (egg yolk and a little bit of water)

once risen, roll the dough out to a rectangle of about 24" x 36".spread the butter evenly over the rolled out dough. spread the filling of your choice over the the buttered layer. make sure to stop the filling the long side about 1/4"-1/2" from the end. roll the dough up into a tight log, making sure it's well sealed.

cut diagonally into the log to make trapezoid-ish pieces (about 1 inch on the short side, and 2.5 inches on the long side). flip each piece upwards so it's sitting on the wide bottom, and press down the middle with a finger to flatten it out, forming little ears (really creepy looking ears). brush with an egg wash to add a glow, and sprinkle large sugar granules on top. place on a greased cookie sheet, and bake at 375F for about 25 minutes. 


  1. Ooh your korvapussti are magnificent! When I saw the first pic I thought "oh wow, they aren't korvapussti are they?" and I got so excited! :D I had no idea that's what it translated to though-do you know why? :P

  2. Oh these look so amazingly tasty! Nice work gorgeous! And about the DIY wedding projects; Andrew and I originally were getting married in the Dominican BUT due to my craftiness and need to create small little touches like the vases, we switched to having a wedding at home! Jesh we are so similar you and I. Happy Friday lovely xo

  3. lorraine, it is a funny translation, isn't it? "korva" does mean ear, and supposedly these pastries look like ears (deformed ones, if you ask me). i'm not sure about the "slap" part,though. i asked the husband and he didn't know.

  4. Wow, first time with yeast?? You must have a natural talent.

    Re: increasing the cardamom. Go easy! A little goes a long, long way!

  5. Those look divine. I adore cinnamon swirls but yours cut at an angle look so much more enticing that usual. I may be tempted to give them a whirl myself. ;D

  6. oh my goodness, yes, i agree with all of the above! thank you for the recipe, i'm "pinning" it now :) and funny translation. i wonder if slap on the ear refers to the pressing down the dough part? hmm, funny where these names come from!

  7. Yours did come out pretty. ;) Thanks for sending me the link. Have a fun time on your trip!



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