Sweet buns, pulla, have been baked in Finland since the late 19th century. Serving pulla and coffee is a staple of Finnish food culture: it is hard to imagine a traditional coffee party without them. This is reflected in the expression pakkopulla (compulsory bun), the ritual of eating the obligatory pulla before tasting anything else. More recently, though, pulla has lost some of its dominance.Korvapuusti, with its characteristic spiral shape and cinnamon seasoning, is one version of pulla. The dough is rolled flat and spread with butter, cinnamon and sugar. It is then rolled, cut into slanted slices and pressed into shape. A similar Swedish cinnamon roll, kanelbulle, is thought to have inspired korvapuusti. The Finnish name korvapuusti means ‘boxed ear’, but its exact origin is unknown. It is believed to stem from confusion of the Swedish word giffel for croissant with the French gifle, slap on the ear. On the other hand, it may well simply refer to the ear.
Warm the butter, cardamom and milk. Mix the yeast, salt and sugar in a baking bowl. Add some of the butter-milk mixture into the bowl. Add the flour little by little and knead the dough. Add the rest of the soft butter and knead the dough until it separates completely from the sides of the bowl. Cover the dough and let it rise.Divide the dough into 6 pieces. Roll each piece out to make a rectangular (about 30 x 60 cm) sheet. Spread each with some soft butter and sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon.
Roll the sheets up tightly, starting from the longer side. Cut each roll diagonally into pieces. Each piece will be about 2 cm on one side and 5 cm on the other. With two fingers, press down the middle of the side of each roll. By doing this the two cut edges will be forced upward. The rolls will resemble two ‘ears’. Place the cinnamon rolls on baking sheets and let them rise. Brush the buns with beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Baked for about 10 minutes ai a preheated oven (225 °C)