Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Scandinavian Cinnamon Buns

There is nothing quite like the smell of cinnamon as it is being baked.  The aroma really whets the appetite. So I hunted around for some nice bunsrecipes and found one for a Scandinavian type bun in The Guardian .  The article actually goes into detail about several different recipes they tried, and then provides, what they say, is the perfect recipe.  

I found it easy to follow, though it doesn't say what to do with the egg wash and demerara sugar, or when.  

In the event, it is easy to decide.  Once I had placed the buns in the baking tin I simply gently brushed the egg wash onto them and sprinkled with the sugar.

The article does say you can make individual buns, or a bun-cake.  I opted for the bun-cake as I thought it looked nice and would be good to tear, when sharing.  

Although it is a cinnamon bun the dough does have cardamom in it.  That was slightly tricky, since in the UK the supermarkets only seem to sell cardomom pods, rather than ground.  But I bought some pods and ground them up as best I could.  The purpose is to infuse the milk and butter with the cardamom flavour, and then you strain it, so not having it ground fine is not a big problem. 

The buns seems to have turned out very well, if one can go by look, and smell, alone.  The proof will be in the tasting, which will happen later.
Scandinavian Cinnamon Buns
Ingredients:
for the dough:
  • 300ml whole milk
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom seeds (about 25 pods)
  • 50g butter
  • 425g plain flour
  • 7g fast action yeast
  • 60g caster sugar
  • ¼ tsp fine salt
  • 1 egg, beaten lightly
  • Oil, to grease
for the filling:
  • 75g butter, softened
  • 50g dark brown sugar
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
For the topping:
  • demerara sugar for sprinkling
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
Method:
  1. Put the milk in a small pan, add the cardamom seeds and bring to just below the boil. Take off the heat, stir in the butter and leave to infuse until it is just warm.
  2. Mix together all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. When the milk is warm rather than hot, make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the egg. Stir in, then strain in the milk and stir together to make a soft dough which comes away from the edge of the bowl.
  3. Tip on to a lightly oiled work surface (you don't want to add more flour to the mixture) and knead for five minutes – it will be very soft at first, but persevere. A dough scraper is useful here. Wipe out the bowl, oil it lightly, then return the dough to the bowl. Cover and leave somewhere draught-free and not too cold for 30 minutes. (A cold oven, with a bowl of hot water on the base, is a good place.)
  4. Meanwhile, make the filling by beating together all the ingredients until soft and easily spreadable. Grease a tall, 23cm cake tin.
  5. Heat the oven to 200c/400f/gas mark 6
  6. Roll the dough out on the lightly floured surface to a rectangle roughly 35 x 25cm. Smear the filling out across the dough (it's easiest to use your hands for this), then, starting from one of the long edges, roll the dough up tightly like a swiss roll. Position it on its seam, and cut into seven slices.
  7. Arrange these in the tin, evenly spaced out, with the smallest in the middle, cover, and leave to prove for about 30 minutes, until the dough springs back when prodded gently.
  8. Brush egg over the top and sprinkle with demerara sugar.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

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