Happy New Year and welcome to 2018! Anyone start something new and exciting for the year yet? Start a resolution (or already give up on one)? 😉 I find myself slowly easing into my new years goals so far. I’m definitely still halfway in holiday/birthday mode. However, over the holiday break I was finally able to nail down a recipe I’ve been wanting to make for probably a year or two! Swedish Cardamom Buns!!
It all started a few years back on a family vacation cruising around the Baltic Sea. One of our stops was to the beautiful Stockholm, Sweden! That trip, along with the fact that my Grandmother was Swedish and my Uncle is continuing on the Swedish family traditions has slowly increased my interest in Scandinavian baking. (Hi Uncle Bub! 👋 That’s Jerry to everyone else!)
I had a failed attempt at making a version of these cute twisted little cardamom buns around this time last year. But sadly they turned out tough and not quite what I was hoping for. Luckily, this Christmas I asked for about a gazillion Scandinavian cookbooks so I could do ample research. One of the best I received (and the one this recipe is primarily based off) is called Fika – The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break. It has lots of great info for a baking nerd like myself!
A truly awesome feature about this recipe is that you don’t need a mixer for the dough! Many bread recipes I come across require the use of a stand mixer with a dough hook. Not everyone has that kind of equipment so this is a great way to try out a bread recipe if you’re not ready to make that kind of an investment.
Another thing that I personally love is that cardamom is the stand out flavor here! An under-utilized spice that I find extra special. It’s the Swede in me!
If you’re not a fan of cardamom, firstly, how-dare-you!
Secondly, give it a try!
Thirdly, if you must, you can swap out the cardamom for cinnamon.
The bun will be similar to an unfrosted cinnamon roll, but more bread-y in texture. Don’t forget I’ve got an awesome cinnamon roll recipe for when you’re in the mood for those!
- 8 TBS butter
- 1½ cups milk (whole or 2% is best)
- 2¼ tsp (or 1 packet) active dry yeast
- 4½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1½ tsp ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp salt
- 8 TBS butter, softened
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 3 tsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp cinnamom
- 1 egg, beaten
- Pearl sugar
- In a small saucepan, melt butter, then stir in milk and heat until warm to the touch (about 110°F).
- In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in 3 TBS of the warm milk/butter mixture. Stir and let sit for a few minutes until small bubbles form on the top of yeast.
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, cardamom and salt. Add in the yeast mixture and remaining milk/butter mixture. Begin mixing together with a large spatula (or your hands) until the dough starts to come together. Finish mixing with your hand until you can form dough into a ball. On a clean, flat surface knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes. The dough should feel slightly moist but not stick to your hands. (If dough is sticking add a small amount of flour to work surface and continue kneading.)
- Return dough to bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Place in a draft free place until dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- When finished rising take half the dough and roll into a rectangle about 11x17 inches in size, with the long side closest to you. Spread half of the filling on top of the dough so that it covers the entire area, all the way to the edges. Repeat with remaining half of dough.
- To make twisted buns: fold dough in half lengthwise, with the seam side farthest away from you. Slice into 12-14 pieces, about 1¼ - 1½ inch wide. Cut each slice up the middle until almost split into two pieces, but keep connected. Twist each "leg" of the slice in opposite directions. Then wrap each twist around each other to form a bun shape. Place buns on parchment lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise for an additional 45 minutes.
- To make a loaf: roll dough upward on the long edge (similar to a cinnamon bun). With the seam side down, place on parchment lined baking sheet. Make several deep horizontal cuts along the top of the loaf, about 1 inch between each cut. (It's easiest to use kitchen shears for this step.) Pull each cut section away from center of loaf, alternating right and left so that the loaf fans out and the filling can ooze out a little. Cover loaf and let rise an additional 45 minutes.
- Using a spoon or hand mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Mix in spices until you get an evenly mixed, spreadable paste.
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- When done with the 2nd rise, brush buns or loaf with beaten egg and sprinkle with pearl sugar.
- Bake buns for 9-11 minutes. Or bake loaf for about 15 minutes.
Cheers to 2018!
And as always, happy baking!