Tikkupulla is a sweet bun dough flavored with cardamom that is wrapped around a stick and baked over an open bonfire. Languages portray the people and their culture, creating words to describe the things that are a part of life. I did not find a suitable word for it in English other than sweet-bun-on-a-stick. Tikkupulla is more concise. Tikkupullas are a version of the traditional Finnish pulla or sweet bun. It is a fun snack to take with when hiking for the day. If the hiking trip lasts for longer than a day, it is not as convenient since the small bucket it is packed in takes up space.
Our hiking trip consisted of two families with a total of four adults and eight children with oldest being 11 and the youngest at 1.5 years of age. The littelest ones were carried in carriers. Our destination was the Finnish National Park, Repovesi. We followed the “Ketunlenkki” or the “Fox trail” which measured at 4.76 km/2.95 miles. Most of the terrain was uneven and even our smallest hikers that hiked themselves (3.5 years of age) did not complain. One of the highlights for the kids was eating lunch outdoors at a little campsite. Food always tastes better outside than in. We were lucky to have perfect fall weather. A clear sky, the warm sun and a slight crisp breeze reminding of the changing seasons.
The children were excited and a little nervous crossing the suspension bridge.
0,5 l/2,1 c warm water
50 g/1.8 oz fresh or 1 sachet/11 g dry yeast
1 tbsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. salt
200 g/2 dl/1 c sugar
150 g/5.3 oz butter, melted
little over 16.5 dl/7 c flour
Pour the warm water in a bowl and add yeast. I usually have fresh yeast on hand in the freezer. I just place the frozen block of yeast in the warm water and allow it to thaw. I have found that the fresh yeast gives the dough a slightly softer texture. Mix in the sugar, salt and cardamom. This amount works great with a stand mixer (5 l/ 5.3 qt bowl). Add half of the flour and knead steadily. The key to this dough is that it has enough elasticity. The amount of flour is a little higher than in the standard pulla dough. If the dough remains too “loose” it will fall off the sticks. Work in the rest of the flour little by little, adding in the melted butter and egg when about 2/3rds of the flour has been used.
I let the stand mixer knead for about 15-20 minutes.
Pour into a small bucket with a lid. At the campsite, take small balls of dough and stretch them out and wrap around a whittled stick. Bake over open flames or alternatively in a fireplace. Make sure the pulla is not too close to the flames so it does not get much color at first. Once the dough has risen a bit and starts to get a little color move it closer to flames for a finishing touch.
After lunch we continued on. There was even a small ferry to use to cross the water.
And right as we were leaving we spotted this Amanita mushroom. It is a very familiar mushroom to the children. They call it the “myrkkysieni” or poisin mushroom. Although toxic it is quite picteresque bringing to mind childhood stories where little forest mice make their home in the mushroom.