Okay I’ll be the first person to profess my love for cinnamon rolls. Homemade or from the Pillsbury tube, they’re like a warm hug and a fuzzy blanket on a snowy day- but in food form. That makes sense sort of, right? Cool. Back to my point, I’ve been watching a lot of The Great British Bake-Off and was inspired by Bread Week to make these beautiful Swedish buns flavored with cinnamon and cardamom. I never thought I’d see the day where something would replace my cinnamon rolls, but these soft, knotted buns have definitely earned a spot in my snow day baking lineup. As a side note, who knew that it would be SO hard to find cardamom at a normal grocery store, is it just me? I spent at least an hour and a half at two different grocery stores and found not a trace, only to return home and find two full jars hidden in the back of my spice cabinet. I think the universe wanted me to try these too.
Bread dough is something that has continuously mystified me. I made it a New Years Resolution of mine to try more bread recipes because I will NOT let it get the best of me, and I was pleasantly surprised by this one. As I understand it, there are several ways to start your bread dough, and I was originally nervous that the recipe I was following didn’t require you to bloom the yeast at all first, but it turned out just beautifully without that step so don’t be worried!
If you’re looking to shake up your routine without straying too far from the classic cinnamon roll, the flavor of cardamom is truly under-appreciated, and brings a wonderfully spicy-sweetness to these rolls that will instantly make them a cold-weather classic.
Adapted from Food52’s Classic Swedish Cinnamon and Cardamom Buns.
Makes: around 18 buns
Prep Time: 1 hr.
Inactive Time: ~2hrs.
Total: about 4 hrs.
1 tbs cardamom
1 cup milk
135 grams (about ½ cup) superfine sugar
1 packet fast-action dried yeast
150 grams unsalted butter, softened (about 1½ sticks)
1 tsp kosher salt
660 to 720 grams bread flour (roughly 2¾ to 3 cups)
200 grams unsalted butter, softened (or 2 sticks)
90 grams superfine sugar (a little more than a quarter cup)
Beaten egg, for brushing
1 tbs honey + 1 tbs corn syrup, for brushing
Superfine sugar, for sprinking
Ground cardamom, for sprinkling
1. Add milk and cardamom to a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Heat until it reaches around 115ºF. Make sure not to overheat, if the milk is too hot it could kill the yeast and your dough won’t rise!
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine sugar, yeast, salt, butter, and egg. Add the cardamom-infused milk and stir briefly, then add in most of the flour- this is by judgment really, but less is always more! Remember, you can always add more flour if the dough is too sticky, but you can’t take it out!
3. To knead, either attach the dough hook to your stand mixer and let mix for about 5 minutes, or turn out onto a floured surface and knead by hand until its soft and smooth.
4. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place, until doubled in size. Meanwhile, mix together the cinnamon, sugar and butter to make a smooth paste for your filling.
5. Once the dough has sufficiently risen, turn it out onto a floured surface and divide in half. Roll the dough into a wide rectangle (measuring off my Silpat, mine was around 9″ x 13″, but don’t stretch too thin), and spread half of your filling over the entire area.
6. Fold the dough in thirds long-ways (or “hot-dog style” like in elementary school) like you would fold a letter, taking the top third down to the middle, and then fold the bottom long side over the top. It should now be a third of the width, but the same length.
7. Cut the dough into 2 inch wide strips (you can estimate this part), and then cut every strip down the middle but not all the way, so that each strip looks like a pair of pants. Also if that’s not the cutest line in a recipe I don’t know WHAT is.
8. Take the cut strips and tie them into a rough knotted shape, feel free to experiment, their perfection lies in their imperfection. Place the knotted buns onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let rise again, until doubled in size (around 40 minutes or so).
9. Preheat your oven to 400ºF. Brush each bun with beaten egg. Bake for around 10 minutes or until golden brown. The key is to underbake them just slightly so that they remain soft.
10. Brush the still warm buns with the glaze of honey and corn syrup mixed with a little water (unless you can find golden syrup, in which case, use that!), and sprinkle with sugar + cardamom. Best eaten warm!