Swedish classics – Cinnamon buns

It was only a matter of time before I’d make a post like this because what would a Swedish baking blogger be worth if she haven’t written anything about cinnamon buns? Cinnamon buns are to Sweden what scones are to Britain and what croissants are to France; absolutely necessary. They even have a day on their own, the 4:th of October; Kanelbullens dag.

My mum was never one of those stereotypical mums that bake bread every day, make your lunch (that might be because the school lunches are free in Sweden) or clean your room for you. I don’t blame her for that, in fact I think it was a good thing that she didn’t, it made us children a bit more independent. However, there was one thing that she did for us, that I really appreciated: we would almost never buy mass produced cinnamon buns that are so dry that they taste like cardboard because she’d bake them herself instead. Thanks to this, I have fond memories of “helping” her bake them in the kitchen; brushing the buns with egg wash and putting nib sugar on top of them and of course “trying” the dough and the finished buns just to make sure they were safe to eat. And later on the obligatory stomach pain from eating too much dough.

There is a few things you should know about making cinnamon buns: the dough should be rolled thinner than you think, don’t be stingy with the filling (if it looks dry then it needs more!), when you roll the dough and the filling make sure you roll it quite tight and don’t be tempted to add too much flour. And as always when it comes to baking with fresh yeast: don’t melt the butter and use cold liquids. It takes longer but the result is much better. You might end up with too much filling but it’s always better to end up with too much than too little; buns without an adequate amount of filling aren’t very nice. Put liberal amounts of filling on the dough!

Cinnamon buns

100 g/4 oz water
160 g/5.7 oz milk
300 g/10.6 oz strong white flour
25 g/0.9 oz fresh yeast

The rest
210 g/7.4 oz strong white flour
6 g/0.2 oz ground cardamom
100 g/4 oz unsalted butter
50 g/1.8 oz sugar
60 g/2.1 oz honey

5 g/0.2 oz salt

200 g/7.1 oz butter, cubed at room temperature
150 g/5.3 oz sugar
25 g/0.9 oz cinnamon

Nib sugar or slivered almonds for decoration.

Sugar solution
65 g/2.3 oz sugar
100 g/3.5 oz water

For the preferment you mix the yeast with the liquid until the yeast is dissolved. Add the flour and mix until it’s a smooth dough. Let it rise slightly in it’s bowl covered with cling film or a clean towel for 45 minutes to an hour, longer or shorter depending on how warm it is in the kitchen. Cube the butter and let it get to room temperature. Add the rest of the flour, cardamom, butter, sugar and honey to the preferment and mix on a slow speed in a kitchen machine for 5 minutes. Add the salt and mix on a medium speed for 3-4 minutes. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes to an hour again depending on the temperature, it should feel soft to the touch and increased in size. Make the filling by combining room tempered butter with the sugar and the cinnamon. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, spread the filling on the dough making sure to reach the corners and the sides and roll into a roll. Cut into slightly thicker than 1 cm pieces, just under half an inch. Put the oven on 240 degrees C/465 degrees F (215 degrees C/419 degrees F if you’re using a convection oven). Sprinkle nib sugar or slivered almonds on the buns. Make the sugar solution by putting sugar and water in a saucepan and bringing to the boil and then taking it off the stove. Let the buns rise until they have increased in size by quite a lot and feel light and fluffy when you poke them. Bake for a few minutes until they look nicely baked and brush with the sugar solution.


One thought on “Swedish classics – Cinnamon buns

  1. Pingback: A comforting treat – Cassia ice cream with oat biscuits and raisins | Seven types of biscuits

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