13 November 2006

Cinnamon buns

These are the well known Swedish "kanelbullar". A tea party is not a tea party without these. I've been wanting to make these for a long time and since today is my friend Simon's birthday, I thought it was the perfect opportunity for making some for him.

I didn't read the recipe very thoroughly and decided to make a double dose. This was not too big a problem, because since last Christmas I have an Electrolux Assistent (the link is a Google search, it seems that only the Swedish site of Electrolux has any info on this). This is an ingenious device and my Mum has had one for many years, being a passionate baker herself. If you don't have a machine to help you mix the dough, then do a smaller quantity. The following should yield about 32. I managed to get 32 nice looking ones and 3-4 ugly ones from the edges.

Ingredients for the dough

50 g fresh yeast or equivalent dry or quick yeast (I used the quick variety)
0.5 l full or semi-skimmed milk (I used semi)
100 g unsalted butter
1.5 dl granulated sugar (or caster sugar if you want a sweeter dough)
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 l strong white flour + 0.5 l strong white flour (this can vary)

Ingredients for the filling

100 g unsalted butter at room temperature
1.5 dl granulated sugar
2 tbsp ground cinnamon


1 egg, whisked lightly
perl or nib sugar


  1. If you are using fresh yeast, break it up and mix with a little of the milk to get it to dissolve. If you are using dry or quick yeast, mix it with 1 l of the flour.
  2. Melt the butter on very low heat, then add the milk and bring it to a lukewarm temperature - if you put your finger in it, it doesn't burn.
  3. Add all dough ingredients together, apart from the extra 0.5 l of flour. The dough should be fairly sticky at this point and not really possible to work with your hands. Keep adding flour until the dough stops sticking, a little at a time, so that you don't end up with a stiff dough that's too hard to work.
  4. Leave in the container where it was mixed, cover with a tea towel and leave for at least 40 minutes in a warmish place for it to rise to double it's size.
  5. In the mean time, mix all ingredients for the filling into a smooth brown paste.
  6. When the dough has risen, take it out of the container and knead it for a couple of minutes to get it ready for rolling.
  7. Divide in two equal parts, replace one in the container and cover with the tea towel.
  8. Roll the other part into a rectangle, of about 1 cm thickness, it would be approximately 50 x 30 cm.
  9. Now take half of the filling and spread it over the rectangle, taking care to spread out to the very edges of the dough.
  10. From one of the long sides, start rolling and make a roll.
  11. Cut off the edges, where the rolled out dough is uneven, then cut the remaining nice roll into 16 slices and place each into a paper cups (like the ones used for muffins).
  12. Place the buns on baking sheets and cover with tea towels and leave to proof (rise a second time) for about 30 minutes.
  13. After the first lot of buns has been proofing for 20 minutes, turn the oven on 220 degrees to pre-heat it.
  14. Once each lot of buns has proofed, brush with the whisked egg and sprinkle the perl sugar, then bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown.
  15. When ready, leave to cool. The buns can be frozen.
An alternative is to add 1 dl ground almonds to the filling mixture.

I baked two sheets at a time and had to swap them around half way through the baking. Also I managed to burn a couple, ah well, nevermind.

Update on 1st February 2009:
Since having been to a baking course at The Bertinet Kitchen, I've started using less flour when I bake. I made a very good lot today with 1.1 l flour. I left the machine knead it for maybe 10 minutes while I was preparing the fancy curry for tomorrow. I also used fresh yeast, I think it does make a difference.

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