Swedish cinnamon rolls (Kanelbullar)Posted: March 6, 2012
Swedish cinnamon rolls are lots of work and worth every little bit of it. Cardamom in the dough makes the entire bun aromatic, and since it is made with fresh yeast and milk, and left to rise for over an hour, it is incredibly tender and puffy yet not as heavy and buttery as its Danish cousins. The filling of cinnamon and vanilla gives them an almost gooey centre, and the topping of brittle pearl sugar a contrasting texture. And once you get the hang of it, they aren’t that difficult to make. There is probably nothing in the world that makes your kitchen smell as heavenly as these little cardamom and cinnamon bundles. Promise.
For the dough
- 12-14 decilitres of plain flour
- 50 grams of fresh yeast (you can get a hold of this from your local baker, or if you live in London, buy Swedish stuff at Scandinavian kitchen, in which case you need 1 packet of kronjäst)
- 150 grams of unsalted butter
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 decilitres milk
- 1 decilitre sugar
- 1 tsp ground cardamom (this can also be bought at Scandinavian kitchen if you don’t have the means to grind it at home)
- 9 tablespoons plain sugar
- 4 1/5 tablespoons vanilla sugar (yet again a Swedish ingredient, however if you can’t get ahold of it you can subsidise it by adding more plain sugar and a few drops of vanilla extract).
- 125 gram unsalted butter
- 1 1/5 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 egg
- Pearl sugar (this is the traditional topping on the cinnamon rolls and can be bought at Scandinavian kitchen as “Pärlsocker”. But you could use an alternative topping)
+ 24 large paper muffin tins
And this is how you make them:
Melt the butter and add the milk on the stove until it is about 37 degrees (this should feel like your finger’s temperature, just a tiny bit warmer. You don’t have to get the temperature absolutely precise, but it is important that it is warm in order to activate the yeast). Break down the yeast into small pieces in a bowl, and add some of the butter-milk mix to dissolve it.
Add the rest of the butter-milk mixture and start adding the flour bit by bit until you have a dough (my friend Natalie who is a trainee chef in Sweden says to under-do the flour a little bit and then add in more as you knead rather than accidentally add too much from the start). It’s a good idea to mix all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl (flour, salt, cardamom, sugar, and, if you’re using dry yeast, that too) and then add it all in gradually. Knead it until it is firm but still light, and then let it rest in its bowl under a kitchen towel for 40 minutes.