Last weekend, on October 4th, was National Cinnamon Bun Day here in Sweden. Yup, we have a day solely dedicaded to those beloved little pastries. “Coffee and cinnamon bun” is not only popular. It’s a concept. An institution. Coffee shops compete in who can sell ’em the cheapest. IKEA wins in settling on the ridiculous price of 5 sek for a cup of coffee and a bun. That’s 0.7 USD. Seriously. It’s practically for free! That’s how holy the cinnamon bun is in Sweden. Everybody should be able to get one.
So naturally I couldn’t be more bored with cinnamon buns. I fled the city and spent two days at my family’s country house, dividing the time between kitchen and forest. I decided to try making a whole grain version of the cinnamon bun’s half forgotten, but equally delicious, cousin instead – the cardamom bun! Same concept, slightly different filling, and with the lovely crispness of the granulated sugar coating. Well, coconut sugar in this case. I switched the all purpose flour for whole grain & light spelt flour, increased the amount of butter (because butter!), and used freshly crushed cardamom seeds for extra fragrant buns. It would be interesting to try the recipe using plant milk and coconut oil instead of milk and butter. I’m sure that would work wonderfully! Although I’m too biased and stuck in tradition to try such a crazy thing on the holy buns! But please let me know if you try it ; )
This recipe is adapted from a standard cinnamon bun recipe. I halved it (cause even if I looove cardamom buns, 40 of them was perhaps a bit over the top).
Swedish Cardamom Buns
makes about 20 buns
for the dough:
75 g normal salted butter
2,5 dl / 1 cup milk
25 g fresh yeast
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 dl / 1/3 cup (slightly more) coconut sugar
3/4 tsp cardamom seeds, crushed
5 dl / 2 cups light spelt flour
3 dl / 1 1/4 cup whole grain spelt flour
for the filling:
100 g normal salted butter (room tempered)
1 heaping dl / 1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
pinch of pure vanilla powder
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
for the coating:
2 tbsp coconut sugar
pinch of pure vanilla powder
pinch of ground cardamom
Prepare by crumble yeast into a bowl. Set aside. Crush cardamom seeds in a mortar.
Carefully heat butter in a sauce pan. Add milk & the crushed cardamom seeds. Heat to 37’C / 98’F. Pour the mixture into the yeast bowl and stir until yeast crumbs has dissolved. Work the flour into the mixture adding little by little until you have a smooth and elastic dough. Cover with a clean towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 45 min.
Combine the ingredients for the filling (the butter should be room tempered). On a floured surface, knead the dough adding more flour if too sticky. Roll out into a thin rectangle using a floured roller. Smear it with filling. Fold the long sides towards the middle, creating a three layered rectangular package. Flatten it out a bit with a roller. Cut it along the short side into stripes about one inch thick. Twist each stripe and form loose knots. Place on two baking trays covered in parchment paper.
Set oven to 225’C / 437’F. Cover buns with a clean towel and leave to rise for an additional 30 min.
When the 30 mins have passed, glaze with egg, lightly beatened. Combine coconut sugar, ground cardamom and vanilla and sprinkle on top.
Bake each tray for 7-9 minutes. Watch ’em closely! They quickly burn. Set aside to cool, but make sure to eat a piping hot one with a glass of milk first!
In case you’ve missed it, I also created a little Steller Story out of this recipe. Head over and check it out if you haven’t! Besides this one, you’ll also find a pizza story, a nordic photo essay and a snow-themed story.
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