Alana smiling

Finnish Coffee Bread

Being on break from school means time to be a human again. It also means I get to experiment and do nice things for my Alana. Alana has a strong Finnish background, as both of her Grandparents immigrated from there and were a big part in raising her.

One of the items she spoke so lovingly about was Finnish Coffee bread. Since I had time on my hands and a hankering for baking; I decided to give it a go! I smell a new tradition!

  • 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast (original recipe specifies one package but I use 2)
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 cups milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 -12 cardamom pods, seeded and crushed, depending on how strong a cardamom flavor you like (I use 10-12)
  • 5 eggs, beaten, divided (1 egg is used for glaze)
  • 8 -10 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup butter or 1/2 cup margarine, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar, for glazing braids (or less)


  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl.
  2. Stir in milk, sugar, salt, cardamom, 4 eggs, and 2 cups of flour.
  3. Stir until dough is smooth.
  4. Add 3 cups of flour and stir well.
  5. Stir in melted butter or margarine.
  6. Stir in 2-3 cups more flour or until you have a stiff dough.
  7. Turn dough out onto a floured bread board and cover with inverted bowl.
  8. Let rest for 15 minutes.
  9. Knead dough until smooth and satiny (8-10 minutes).
  10. Place dough in large lightly greased bowl, turning to grease top.
  11. Cover with plastic wrap and/or towel.
  12. Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled (1-2 hours).
  13. Punch dough down.
  14. Let dough rise again until almost double (30 minutes- 1 hour).
  15. Turn out onto floured board.
  16. Divide dough into thirds, working with only one third at a time.
  17. Divide (one- third of dough) into three parts.
  18. With your hands roll each part into one 18″strand.
  19. Braid the three stands together to form one braid, tucking ends under.
  20. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet.
  21. Let rise 20-30 minutes until puffy.
  22. Repeat with other two parts (each one-third of original dough).
  23. You will have three braids when finished.
  24. Brush braids with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.
  25. Bake in 400°F oven for 20-30 minutes or until braids are light brown.

A couple things. 1. It took waaaay longer to rise than we expected, cover with plastic wrap and a towel and keep in a warm place. We used an 80 degree oven (off of course) 2. egg wash and sugar the bread before you put it on the cooking sheet.

Alana working the dough!
Alana working the dough!
Braided bread proofing
Braided bread proofing
All done!
All done!
Holy crap! So delicious!!!!!
Holy crap! So delicious!!!!!

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