(Finnish pronunciation: [ˈpulːɑ]; Swedishbulle or kanelbulle) is a mildly-sweet Finnishsweet roll or dessert bread flavored with crushed cardamom seeds and occasionally raisins or sliced almonds. Braid loaves (pitko) are formed from three or more braidedstrands of dough. The braids may also be formed into a ring. These braided strands or rings are typically coated with melted butter and then sprinkled with white sugar or almonds.[1] – Wikipedia

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But I’ve always known it as coffee bread that we would pick up before we visit Grandma and Grandpa or Setä and Täti.

As soon as it entered the car from the bakery, I would press my nose against the clear bag that was sealed off with a white twist tie to inhale the blended scent of sweet and spice. Mix in the smell of a freshly brewed pot of coffee and I’m instantly back at the little 1 bedroom apartment on Wilson Avenue, sitting at the kitchen table of my great aunt and uncle.

It was usually around 2 o’clock because the west sun would be blazing through the sheer and crocheted curtains, into the livingroom filled with teak and plaid. My Dad would be speaking Finnish and catching up with family news and I would naturally tune out of the conversation because I didn’t understand and I was 7. Instead I would have a glass of milk and a slice of pulla with a thin layer of butter on it. As a kid, it was 5 mins of deliciousness.

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I’ve always been so fascinated with the varieties of pulla between cultures. Everyone seems to have some slightly different version of it. The Greeks have Tsoureki and there is challah in Jewish cuisine.

The Croatians have badnji kruh. The Portuguese have folar de páscoa and the French have Brioche.

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I guess it’s because bread has been around for about 30,000 years and between exploring and conquering – I feel like humanity has been connected in some way. We each take a little something of the other every time we get together over coffee or tea. We learned something new, something old or have filed away a new memory of spending time together. Everyone’s recipe will always be slightly different from another in some way.

I picked up the Pulla from Nordic Foods in Pickering. My grandmother mentioned they were out there and I drove over as soon as I could since Hillside Cafe is now closed (A Scandinavian Bakery that was a staple in the Finnish/Estonian community in Toronto for 20 years, right in the heart of Davisville Village) and Milbree Viking Bakery and Deli in Newmarket is a tad far for me but I’m happy to know that there is Finn food north of the city 😀 Sweet sweet cardamom and sugar filled the air in my car as I drove home and I couldn’t wait to get started on the film.

One thing I do recommend that if you are the sort who has company that pops by unexpectedly, Pulla in the freezer is a great back up for such occasions – and I’m told that it makes amazing french toast 😀 Yum Yum.

For this month I decided to try out a stop motion video. It’s the first one I have done and I learned a few things along the way and enjoyed the challenges and new skills in Adobe Premiere. But what I was most excited about was that I used my new Nikon D750 to shoot it. And FYI – with the exception of the stills – these are all SOOC. I didn’t colour balance or exposure correct and was really impressed with the colour tones 😀

Until next month – Enjoy!

For anyone looking for some great licensed tunes – check out Song Freedom . I’m a huge fan of motown and they have a great selection of top 40 artists 😀
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Kristina Laukkanen, owner and lead talent at PearStudios.ca – a wedding + portrait studio based in Toronto. Find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.