When things come in groups, especially ingredients, I often find that using just one component of the group leaves the others a little dejected. So while, yes, this does fall under the category of personification of ingredients and the occasional normal chat—or two—one may have with their foodstuffs, I’d like to submit that it’s really just consideration for lonely ingredients. Such is the case with yeast packets. They come in groups of three, for a reason unknown to me but most likely logical to those with a vast knowledge of bread making.
To come to the point, when I bought the yeast and made sticky buns, I had to use the other yeast packets the next day not just because I had the yeast, but because the two were are sad little couple. Hence this Chocolate Pulla.
A Pulla, as I’ve come to learn, is the Finnish equivalent of a brioche or Challah. Egg-rich and full of butter, it’s essentially a rich man’s brioche that’s been braided and formed into a wreath. Traditionally flavored with crushed cardamom, I assumed that any type of slightly normal bread would be greatly elevated by the addition of ¾ lb. of chocolate and more butter. Some cream and extra sugar as well. A tablespoon of honey just in case there wasn’t enough sugar. And upon eating said Chocolate Pulla, I was struck—yes by the joy of once again adding chocolate to my breakfast in a slightly more acceptable form than just handfuls—but by the absolute resemblance Pulla has to Challah. It’s true I may have bastardized the Pulla, removing the cardamom, adding chocolate and honey, and it may also be true that real Challah does not include chocolate. But, when comparing these two yeast-risen chocolate bastards of true religious and cultural tradition, they are, essentially, the same.