Cinnamon & Cardamom Buns

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes about

    35

    Buns

Appears in

Falling Cloudberries

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2004

  • About

These gorgeous buns were always a part of my childhood. They are found everywhere in Finland — and probably all over Scandinavia — in tea rooms and houses. Everyone makes their own and they freeze beautifully so you can just pull out a few when a craving sets in. Don’t be put off when you see that the buns need to rise for a couple of hours. You can get the dough together really quickly and then leave it alone without even a glance. The rolling and cutting can be a little tricky the first time you do it, but the second time will be easy.

Ingredients

Bun Dough

  • 250 ml (1 cup) tepid milk
  • 100 g ( oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 25 g (1 oz) fresh yeast
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 125 g ( oz) butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 650 g ( cups) cake flour or plain (all-purpose) flour

Cinnamon Butter

  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • 50 g ( oz) caster (superfine) sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling
  • 80 g ( oz) Butter, softened
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten

Method

Put the milk and sugar in a bowl and crumble in the yeast. Leave for 10 minutes, or until the yeast begins to activate. Add the egg, butter, cardamom and salt and mix in. Add the flour, bit by bit, mixing it in with a wooden spoon until you need to use your hands, and then turn it out onto the work surface to knead. It may seem a little too sticky initially, but will become compact and beautifully soft after about 5 minutes. Put the dough back in the bowl, cover with a clean cloth and then a heavy towel or blanket, and leave in a warm place for about 2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.

To make the cinnamon butter, mix together the cinnamon and sugar. Divide the butter into four portions and keep on one side.

Put the dough on a floured work surface and divide it into four portions. Begin with one portion, covering the others with a cloth so they don’t dry out. Using a rolling pin, roll out a rectangle, roughly about 30 × 25 cm (12× 10 inches) and 2–3 mm ( inch) thick. Spread one portion of butter over the surface of the dough with a palette knife or blunt knife. Sprinkle with about 3 teaspoons of the cinnamon mix, covering the whole surface with quick shaking movements of your wrists. Roll up to make a long dough sausage. Set aside while you finish rolling out and buttering the rest of the dough, so that you can cut them all together.

Line two large baking trays with baking paper, or bake in two lots if you only have one tray. Line up the dough sausages in front of you and cut them slightly on the diagonal, alternating up and down, so that the slices are fat ‘v’ shapes, with the point of the ‘v’ about 2 cm (¾ inch) and the base about 5 cm (2 inches). Turn them so they are all the right way up, sitting on their fatter bases. Press down on the top of each one with two fingers until you think you will almost go through to your work surface. Along the sides you will see the cinnamon stripes oozing outwards. Put the buns on the baking tray, leaving space for them to puff and rise while they bake. Brush lightly with beaten egg and sprinkle a little sugar over the top.

Leave the buns to rise for half an hour and preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Bake them for about 20 minutes, or until they are golden. Check that they are lightly golden underneath as well before you take them out of the oven. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature and, when they are cool, keep them in an airtight container so they don’t harden.