Cinnamon buns bring coziness to autumn
October 4 is the treat’s official day in Sweden
Taste of Norway Editor
When autumn rolls around, I look forward to the spicy scents of cinnamon and cardamom and the sweet warmth from cakes and cookies pouring out of the oven. This is a time for coziness, and that’s where these cinnamon rolls come in.
Variations of these buns are popular in Scandinavia and rightfully so. There are the kanelsnurrer, or Norwegian cinnamon twists, and also kanelbullar, or Swedish cinnamon buns. (October 4 is the treat’s official day in Sweden.) Sometimes they’re called knots.
I’m planning ways to make this the coziest autumn yet. With these cinnamon buns releasing their spiced fragrance throughout the house, I don’t think it’s going to be too hard.
Scandinavian Cinnamon Buns
For the dough:
5 tbsps. butter (salted)
1 cup whole milk
1 tbsp. active dry yeast
3 cups flour, plus more if necessary
3 tbsps. sugar
2 tsps. freshly-ground cardamom
1 large egg, room temperature, lightly beaten
For the filling:
6 tbsps. butter (salted), room temperature
3 tbsps. packed brown sugar
3 tsps. cinnamon
2 tsps. freshly ground cardamom
Scandinavian pearl sugar
To make the dough: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter then pour in the milk and let it scald. Remove from heat and cool until it’s warm to the touch. Pour into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast over the milk. Give it a quick stir, then let it sit until it starts to bubble.
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and cardamom. When the yeast has started to bubble, gradually stir in the flour mixture and then the beaten egg. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for five minutes or so, until the dough comes together and you can see little pockets of air if you cut into it. The dough should be somewhat sticky, and a bench scraper can help if it sticks to the counter, but add more flour as needed. Transfer to a large bowl, cover with a damp tea towel, and let rise until doubled, about one hour.
Meanwhile, make the filling by mixing the butter, sugar, and spices either with a mixer or with a fork until combined and smooth.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it’s a rectangle roughly 16 by 20 inches. Spread the filling over it, reaching all the way to the ends, then fold the dough toward you, lengthwise, making a long, skinny rectangle about 8 by 20 inches. Cut the dough into 16 strips. Form each into knots by twisting the ends in opposite directions a couple of times, then rolling them around your finger a couple of times and tucking in the ends. Place on baking trays that are either greased or lined with parchment paper. Cover with damp tea towels and let rise another 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sprinkle the tops with pearl sugar, then bake for 10-12 minutes. For an extra special treat, enjoy while they’re still warm and release their spiced aroma when you bite in.
Daytona Strong is The Norwegian American’s Taste of Norway editor. She writes about her family’s Norwegian heritage through the lens of food at her Scandinavian food blog, www.outside-oslo.com. Find her on Facebook www.facebook.com/OutsideOslo; Twitter @daytonastrong; Pinterest @daytonastrong; and Instagram @daytonastrong.
This article originally appeared in the Sept. 23, 2016, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.