After years of secrecy and a whole lot of begging, my mother has finally decided to lift the lid on her swedish Cinnamon bun recipe. Cinnamon buns or Kanel bullar as they are know in Sweden are probably the most popular sweet treat, such is their popularity that the swirly treats are even sold freshly baked in most petrol stations (I kid you not).
This is one of the very first things that I baked with my mother whilst stood on a chair, propped up against the work surface. We would make dozens at a time, the kitchen air heady with the scent of cinnamon. My mother would always place the buns under a clean cloth so that the buns would steam and remain soft, then only problem was that if I came home from school and saw that cloth laid over a lumpy mound of secret treasures I knew it was cinnamon bun time. I have been brought up on these, as my mother was, so it's only right that she would make the best buns I have tasted, I have to say that my Auntie Birgitta also gives my mum a good run for her money, and would often make huge bags of cinnamon buns and give them to my father as a christmas present. The dough of the buns are yeast based and because they contain a lot of butter and eggs the buns taste very similar to a cinnamon laden brioche.
Swedes use various different spices in their breads and sweets which offers a different dimension and deeper flavour in the finished result, in this case cardamon is used, a spice not only great in curries but wonderful in bread too.
You will need:
For the dough
800g of bread flour
300g of melted butter
300ml of lukewarm milk
100g of fresh yeast
4 tbsp of golden syrup
3 tsp of Ground cardamon (or crush it yourself in a pestle and mortar)
For the filling
250g of butter
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
250g of light brown caster sugar
Cinnamon (there is no specific amount)
200g of grated marzipan
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees c
2 eggs for the egg wash and pearl sugar if you can get it, or use flaked almonds for texture.
Firstly heat the milk in a pan until lukewarm, add the melted butter and ensuring that both ingredients are luke warm (blood temperature)add the yeast and golden syrup and allow to activate for five minutes.
In a large mixing bowl add the flour and cardamon and mix in the yeast mixture in slowly as well as the two eggs. Mix by hand until the dough is fully incorporated then on a floured surface knead the dough for at least ten minutes. Place back into the bowl, cover with a cloth and leave it in a warm place for an hour.
For the filling mix the sugar, butter and vanilla until very soft.
When the dough has risen, knock it back (punch the air out) and divide the dough into two. On a floured surface roll out the first half of the dough into a rough rectangle roughly 1/2 cm thick, spread half of the sweetened butter over the dough and dust the dough all over with cinnamon powder, be liberal! Top the dough with half the grated marzipan, spread all over the dough. Roll the dough into a large sausage, rolling from one side to the other. Using a bread knife slice the dough sausage into rounds roughly an inch and a half thick, place each bun into a muffin case and allow to rise again for half an hour. Repeat this process with the second half of the dough. When the buns have risen for the second time, brush with egg wash and either top with pearl sugar or flaked almonds, bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.