In my Finnish cookbook (published in 1964) I wrote about popular Finnish bakery items. Sometimes people write and ask me about a Finnish pastry and I have to be like a spy and try to figure out what the object of the question really is. Recently, a person asked about a Finnish bun called “Rahapulla.” When translated, that would mean “money pulla.” Hmmm. I knew that it was a misspelling, and she must have been referring to “Rahkapulla” or “cheese pulla.” In my Finnish cookbook, it is called “Rahkapiirakat,” a great example of how popular recipe names can change from one area to another, or even one household to another.
Rahkapulla (Finnish Cheese-Filled Buns)Course: Breads, BakingCuisine: Finnish
These traditional Finnish buns are soft and have a creamy dollop of filling baked into an indentation in the middle. They are just the right amount of sweet, are fabulous served warm, and freeze really well for a coffee time treat.
1 package active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water, 105 to 110°F.
1 cup milk 1%, 2% or whole, scalded and cooled to 105°F.
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom seeds, optional
1 teaspoon salt
3 ½ to 4 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
1 ½ cups creamed ricotta cheese
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 egg, slightly beaten
½ cup raisins
Additional egg, beaten, for glaze.
- Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and add the milk, sugar, cardamom, salt and half of the flour. Beat vigorously for 1 minute. Stir in the butter until well combined and add enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff but still soft dough.
- Turn out onto a board and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes.
- Wash the bowl, lightly oil it, and place the dough into the oiled bowl, turn it to grease the top, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled. This may take as much as 2 to 3 hours when the weather is cool.
- Prepare the filling: Mix the ricotta cheese, sugar, lemon zest, egg and raisins.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Divide the risen dough into 12 equal parts. Shape each part into a smooth round ball. Let rise until puffy, about 30 minutes.
- With a greased tumbler (about 3 inch diameter) press down on each risen ball of dough firmly to make an indentation to hold the filling. (See Video) This will result in a rounded edge that will hold the filling in. Spoon the filling into the indentations.
- Cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Place 6 of the filled buns onto each of the parchment covered cookie sheets. Brush with additional beaten egg. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden. Makes 12 Rahkapulla.