Pääsiäisleipä (Finnish Easter Bread) for #BreadBakers

This month Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla chose the #BreadBakers theme of Easter, Passover, and Springtime breads from around the world.  Breads are by definition heavily limited for Passover and since I made matzah last year I decided to see what interesting Easter and spring breads I could turn up for this month.


A great deal of the Easter breads I had known about before were (unsurprisingly) rich and egg laden doughs, often with a whole egg baked into the outer part of the loaf.  The Greek Easter bread Tsoureki is an example of one such bread.  Though I figured any Easter bread would be egg heavy I wanted to do something more off the beaten (HA!) path.  A search on The Fresh Loaf turned up this incredible bread filled with fruit, nuts, and a wonderful combination of spices.

Before I go any further I’ll answer the obvious question: no, I have absolutely no idea how I’m supposed to pronounce this.  I did some searching around but any results I turned up were in Finnish and Google translate doesn’t work so well when you’re searching for phonetic information.  If anyone knows I welcome your help, but for now I will continue to refer to it as ‘that delicious Finnish Easter bread’.


I learned from The Fresh Loaf that this bread is typically made in large milking pails to celebrate spring and the birth of new calves.  In it is a fantastic mix of orange and lemon zest that provide an intensely satisfying citrus flavor to the dense and chewy loaf.  The addition of almonds and raisins make it more complex, but the ground cardamom is what I think really sets this apart.  Since I didn’t have a milk pail lying around, I had to settle for a small 1 quart pot.  If you go this route make sure you cook it in something oven safe up to 350° F.


I will definitely be saving this recipe for the future.  It was a wonderful reminder that spring has (mostly) made its way to Ann Arbor.  Yesterday after having our leaky windows taped over with clear coverings for 6 months we finally took them off and opened our windows.  That to me is one of the final signs that winter is over.  The last, which will hopefully take place soon, is the ceremonial putting into storage of the winter coat.  Until that happens, why not try out this bread and scroll down to see what the other #BreadBakers were up to?!  Thanks again to Camilla for hosting!

Pääsiäisleipä (Finnish Easter Bread) – Makes 1 medium sized loaf 


  • 1 C + 1/2 C AP flour, divided
  • 1/2 C rye flour
  • 1/2 C raisins
  • 1/2 C sliced almonds
  • 1/4 C milk, scalded and cooled
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1/4 C butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/3 C cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 orange


In the bowl of a stand mixer (or other large mixing bowl) combine 1/2 C of the AP flour, yeast, water, and cream.  Mix on low speed for 2-3 minutes, until there are no dry bits of flour and the dough is smooth.

Cover and let rise for 40 minutes, until the dough has doubled in size.  Add in the egg, sugar, butter, salt, caradamom, lemon and orange zests, raisins, and almonds.  Mix again on low speed until combined.

Add in the scalded milk, rye flour, and the remaining cup of the AP flour.  Mix for 5 minutes on medium speed.  Cover and let rise for approximately 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size.

Butter the bottom and sides of an oven safe 1 quart pot.  Punch the dough down and work into a smooth ball.  Place into the pot and cover and let rise once more.  Let rise for about 1 hour, until the dough has reached the top of the pot.

After 30 minutes preheat oven to 350° F.  When risen place the dough in the oven and bake for 40 minutes, turning halfway through.  The finished bread will have a golden brown top.  If the top is browning too quickly place some aluminum foil lightly over top.  A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean when done.

Remove from oven and take the bread out of the pan.  Let cool for two hours before slicing.

Recipe adapted from We Love Jam and inspired by The Fresh Loaf user Breadsong.

Here is what the other #BreadBakers were up to!

What is Bread Bakers? It’s a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Bread Bakers Pinterest Board. Links are also updated after each event on the Bread Bakers home page.

Bread Bakers

How is the monthly theme determined? We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

Would you like to join in the fun? If you are a food blogger, send an email with your blog name and url to Stacy at foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

20 thoughts on “Pääsiäisleipä (Finnish Easter Bread) for #BreadBakers

  1. I was going to ask you how to pronounce it, Adam. All those vowels with so many umlauts! I wouldn’t know where to start either. But, fortunately, we don’t need to know how to say it to enjoy its deliciousness!

  2. Sometimes all we need to know is if there is more of that bread in the kitchen, specially with breads like these. So may be eventually we will figure out how it is pronounced but right now.. Boy! does that look good!

  3. Pingback: Hungarian Egg Twist – #BreadBakers | Hostess At Heart

  4. The crumb on this looks familiar. It’s reminding me of something else that I can’t put my finger. Glad spring is making its way to you! It’s already summery here in South Florida.

  5. Pingback: Pain de Campagne | Bakers and Best

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