The 4th October is National Cinnamon Bun Day in Sweden, which is obviously cause for celebration! I hadn’t planned on baking any today as I thought we had a big bag from when I last made them in the freezer, however when I checked this morning it turned out there were only two left!! And when hubby then found out what day it was he
demanded requested I’d bake more, so I did.
I saw somewhere that these types of buns seem to be served for breakfast in the US. I’m not sure if that’s actually true or if they are maybe just had by busy people who pop in to a coffee shop for some sustenance on their way to work. In Sweden they definitely belong at ‘fika’, be it in the (late) morning or afternoon, but not for breakfast. I would love to hear from any Americans readers what their thoughts are! And other nationalities – when do you enjoy them? Do you enjoy them?!
I quite like adding a few additional flavours to the buns, particularly cardamom. It’s usually added to the dough, but I tend to forget to add it when making the dough, in which case I add it to the filling instead. Either way is delicious!
Another flavour I frequently add is a bit of grated marzipan, just grate it on top of the other filling before rolling or folding the dough. Just don’t add to much as it will end up melting and make the buns all sticky. Lovely as that may sound, less is definitely more here!
It’s traditional to decorate the buns with ‘nib’ or ‘pearl’ sugar, which seems to be typically Scandinavian. I’ve never seen any in a shop here in the UK, but I did notice Sarah-Jane using it on her buns last week in the Great British Bake-Off’s ‘Sweet Dough’ episode.
Thanks to the mighty interweb I discovered it’s still easy to get hold of, particularly from Swedish or Scandinavian online food shops, but also from Amazon. (Is there anything they don’t sell?)
If you don’t have any at hand, or just want something different, sliced almonds or chopped hazelnuts work just as well, and gives the buns a slightly healthier feel. (Or is that just me?!)
1 tbsp cardamom pods
300 ml milk
50 g fresh yeast or 14g (2 sachets) fast action dried yeast
150 ml sugar
0.5 tsp salt
150 g soft butter
1.2 liter strong flour
100 g soft butter
100 ml sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 beaten egg
Sugar / Flaked Almonds / Chopped hazelnuts
1. Remove the seeds from the pods and grind the cardamom seeds in a pestle and mortar
2. Add the cardamom and milk to a pan and heat until tepid
3. Crumble the yeast into a bowl and dissolve it with the milk, sugar, salt, diced butter and eggs. (If using dried yeast, mix the yeast with the flour and add to the other ingredients in next step)
4. Add a little flour at a time until you have a smooth dough, kneading for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and pliable
5. Leave the dough to prove in a warm place, covered with a clean tea towel, until doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes
6. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees
7. Mix the butter, sugar and cinnamon for the filling.
8. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, roll out into a large thin rectangle, about 5mm. Spread the filling all over the dough
9. Roll it up into a tight roll and slice it into 3 cm thick slices or fold the dough in half lengthways and slice into 2 cm ribbons. Twist the ribbons into a bun
10. Place the slices/buns on a baking tray, cover with a tea towel and leave to prove until doubled in size, about 30-60 mins.
11. Brush the buns with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar / flaked almonds / chopped hazelnuts.
12. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 10 minutes. Let cool on a rack, then enjoy with a glass of milk.
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The buns are nicest freshly baked, so freeze any that don’t get eaten right away and you will have fresh buns whenever you fancy one! (Unless you also have a little, or rather big, mouse who raids your freezer!!)