Swedish kaneelbullar - perfect afternoon delights

It has been a work intensive January. 8 fairs in 4 countries in 2 weeks. I’ve been back to London jobwise and took the opportunity to eat at Ottolenghis in Islington, something I wanted to do for ages. Unfortunately I did hot have time to check out this little conscious fish & chip place, but I intend to go back there soonish. London is the place, isn’t it?

From there straight to Stockholm. My first time since ages in Sweden and my first time in Stockholm.
What a lovely city. I mean how can you not love a city where sourdough bread is the standard and you even have a sourdough hotel where you can bring your starter when you leave the town!
We ate a lot of very interesting new nordic cooking but it’s the Swedish classics like the potato parsnip  patties with pickled cucumbers, sour cream and fish roe I fell in love with. Still trying to cook this simple dish at home but after a first massif success we can not reproduce them again. I’ll let you know once we get there. Oh and we had the best sauna experience ever, with a bath in a frozen lake.

The Swedish have the tradition of extended afternoon tea / coffee called "vika". Traditionally they eat Kaneelbullar for vika, a yeast pastry with cinnamon or even better cardamom. Cardamom is a brilliant spice I started to rediscover it last year. It goes well with sweet and savoury flavours. Try serving fresh goats cheese with cardamom. These sweets are really nice, I strongly recommend giving them a go.

You'll need:

For the starter:

  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 2 tbs instant yeast
  • 2 cups all purpose flour

For the dough:

  • All the starter
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 8 pods cardamom, freshly powered
  • 2 tbs lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 60 gr butter at room temperature

For the filling

  • 75 gr butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbs cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup coarsly ground almonds

For the Topping

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Pearl or hagel sugar

The starter: Mix the milk, yeast and 2 cups of flower in a large bowl. The dough will be very sticky. Place it in an oiled bowl and cover and refrigerate it.
Let it rest over night or at least for a few hours.

The dough: The next day, 30 minutes before you plan to bake, take the dough out of the cold and leave it at room temperature.
Tear the dough into large pieces. Now add the flour, cardamon and salt. Mix in the lemon zest and sugar and mix well (preferably in a food processor).
Now add the soft butter and knead well until you have a sooth and elastic dough. Add some milk if the dough feels to dry.

Roll the dough out into a rectangle (approximately the size 30x50cm) .

For the filling: Mix together the the soft butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Spread the filling over half of your dough (see image above). Sprinkle with the almonds.
You could make rolls instead, then you would have to spread the filling all over the dough.

Fold the dough in half and cut long stripes, this should give you approximately 15 stripes. Twist and shape them as you like and put on a baking paper, leaving enough room in between. Let rise for 10 more minutes, then brush with milk and sprinkle on some pearl sugar or similar.

Bake them at 200° for 10 to 15 minutes.

Best enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee sitting outside in the garden or balcony on one of the first spring days, covered with a blanket... Or maybe inside in front of a fireplace doing some knitting. Then again, I guess they are just as nice eaten in a hurry waiting for the bus to work ....

Related Entries:
Kaneelbullar on a winter afternoon
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