Apparently it was Cinnamon Bun Day in Sweden last week on October 4 and I’ve been craving for cinnamon buns for some time now. I remember after returning from Bergen and was delighted to run into the Nordic Bakery in Soho. Coffee wasn’t great but the cinnamon bun (Finnish style) and karelian pie (potato mash filling in rye crust, with egg butter spread) were good. And so were wooden furniture against the dark blue walls.

I’ve adapted Lotta Jansdotter’s recipe for the kannelbullar (cinnamon buns) for this. I couldn’t get cardamom in time so I’ve substituted it with ground nutmeg instead and I used normal granulated sugar as a pearl sugar substitute. I’ve also added lemon juice into the glaze.

Makes about 26 buns
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm (40˚C-46˚C) whole milk
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
½ cup/125g unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon neutral-tasting oil

½ cup/125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
2-3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1 egg beaten
½ lemon, juiced
Brown sugar for sprinkling

  1. In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk. Add a pinch of sugar. Stir to dissolve the yeast, and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the remaining sugar, egg, melted butter, salt and cardamom. Stir until smooth. Transfer to an electric mixer and gradually add in the flour, ½ cup at a time to make a smooth dough. When dough is smooth and elastic, stop kneading. Pour the teaspoon of neutral-tasting oil onto the dough and turn to coat evenly. Place a damp kitchen towel over the bowl. Let the dough rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. On a floured board, divide the dough in half and form each half into a ball. One at a time, roll each ball out into a rectangle 12”/30cm long and ½”/12mm thick.

For the filling:

  1. Mix the butter with sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Spread half of the mixture evenly over one rectangle of the dough.
  2. Roll the dough up lengthwise and cut the roll about 1 inch thick. Place the slices, cut-side up, on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or in muffin cups lined with paper liners. Repeat with the remaining triangle of the dough and filing.
  3. Cover each tray with a dry towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

For the glaze:

  1. Beat the lemon juice with the egg to make an egg wash. After the cut rolls have risen, brush the buns with the egg wash.
  2. Sprinkle with the sugar

Preheat the oven to 205˚C. Bake the buns until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Serve warm.

If you would like the buns to be of an equal height, simply place a parchment paper over the tray of cut rolls and place the other baking tray on top of it and press down lightly. As you’ve seen here, I got a little carried away with compressing. But it tasted so good nonetheless. Better with a cup of freshly brewed coffee, of course.

This was Bergen in spring, at 9PM. Yes, 9PM. Enjoy your fika!


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