...because you thought Sweden was Switzerland!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Food journal number 32: my first cinnamon buns

I try my hand at making what
Swedes learn to bake from childhood

I first wrote about cinnamon buns here, on the 2006 entry on Sweden's Cinnamon Bun day. We baked the buns as a group then, and I think I only contributed to putting on the filling. Yesterday though, it was my first time to make them myself all from scratch. The idea to do this came along because we had leftover flour with wholemeal (Kärnvetemjöl med Fullkorn). I used to make dense and healthy fruit-and-nut loaves out of that flour, but I guess we got tired of eating healthy so we decided to put the flour to use on some sweet fluffy pastry instead. The wholemeal didn't affect the taste (i.e. they don't taste "fiber") and they actually turned out really fluffy and caramelized on the tops. Yum! I would like to imagine that they're also a tad healthier thanks to the wholemeal, but then again the amount of sugar probably balanced that off. And I'm sure it goes well with ordinary flour too.

Here's the recipe I used (makes ca. 40 small buns):

5 deciliters (2.11 cups or 500 ml) milk
50 g yeast
150 g butter at room temperature
1 deciliter (100 ml or .42 cup) sugar
1/2 t salt
800 grams (ca. 1.4 liters) flour with wholemeal
optional: 1 T cardamom

100 grams (less than 1/2 cup) butter at room temperature
1 deciliter (100 ml or .42 cup) sugar
2 T cinnamon

1 beaten egg
pearl sugar or ground almonds

Warm the milk to body temperature. In the meantime, crumble the yeast into a big mixing bowl. When the milk is ready, pour half of it unto the yeast and stir until the yeast is dissolved. Pour the rest of the milk in, followed by the sugar, salt and cardamom, butter (in glops), and finally the flour (though if you are kneading by hand, you could save just a bit of flour for dusting the board and kneading the dough). Knead by hand for 10 minutes, or by machine for 5 minutes until the dough feels elastic. I used a hand beater with dough hooks for the first 3 or 4 minutes then kneaded the dough. When it feels right, leave the dough to rise under a cloth for 40 minutes.

After 40 minutes, take the risen dough and divide it into 4. Roll each one out into a big rectangle, and spread the filling on the surface. Then take the long edge of the dough and roll it into the middle to create a "log". With a knife or a spatula, cut them log into small portions. Place them in a wax-paper lined baking tray, and let them rise again under a cloth for 40 more minutes. By the end of the 40 minutes, they would have grown to their full bun-size.

Brush the tops with some of the beaten egg, garnish with pearl sugar or chopped almonds, and put in a pre-heated oven for 5- 10 minutes at 225-250 degrees C (bake one tray per time!) I put the oven somewhere at 240 C for 8 minutes, but I also checked on the buns from time to time. They are ready when the tops have taken a nice brown color.

Now one of our freezer shelves contains buns for days to come (we usually pop them in for a few seconds in the microwave in bags straight out of the freezer before eating them; they taste almost newly baked that way).

P.S. For future baking projects, I borrowed this recipe book from the city library on how to make different variations of kladdkaka, a Swedish chocolate cake that has a chewy brownie-like consistency. I'm looking forward to trying the mint-chocolate version – I could almost taste it just reading the recipe – or perhaps even the variant that has almond paste and chocolate mousse on. That last variant is prepared with a raw egg yolk though. I'll have to read about how "safe" it is to eat raw eggs. Even though I'm supposed to be living in one of the safest and safety-conscious countries in the world, but I guess you can't be sure enough about these things...


Blogger Ishtar said...

Not bad at all! Must come by for a good fika one day... :-)

11:57 PM

Blogger Ahoy! said...

Yeah why not? If you ever find yourself in Norrköping... :-)

9:45 AM

Anonymous Lara said...

i noticed that you missed out on one egg for the dough. did you just forget to write it or will it turn out ok if it is left out?

5:50 PM

Blogger Ahoy! said...

Hmmm... Honestly, I don't know now. I suppose I better compare with other recipes to make sure. Glad you saw it though. Did you use egg in your dough?

8:32 PM


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