Kanelbullar – Swedish Cinnamon buns

Swedish Kanelbullar, my favourite recipe so far.
I went to work at a Swedish bakery to learn how to make these buns.
What do you need
The dough
  • 255 ml full fat milk
  • 1 tsp of ground cardamom (I like to grind my own)
  • 60 g unsalted soft butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 500 g plain white flour
  • 15 g dried yeast
  • 70 g raw cane sugar
  • 5 g salt
  • 150 g unsalted soft butter
  • 95 brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon (15g)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Fine pearl sugar
  • Sugar syrup (optional)
Place all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Warm up the milk with the cardamom so it can infuse and leave to cool slightly so it is only lukewarm.
Add the butter and half the milk and whisk with the dough hook on your machine, add the egg then gradually start adding the rest of the milk making sure all the cardamom goes in it as it tends to sink to the bottom.
Knead for 5 minutes on medium, the dough will appear quite wet but don’t be alarmed, don’t add flour, it will sort itself out while rising. Cover the bowl with the dough with cling film or a towel and leave to rest until doubled in size, usually one hour.
Make the filling by combining the soft butter with the sugar, cinnamon and salt. Whisk well, the better you whisk, the smoother the filling can be spread over the dough.
When your dough has rested, turn out gently on a lightly floured surface and press into a rectangle shape. Roll out to about 4 mm making sure the shape is as straight as possible as we need to fold the dough in 3.
Use a spatula to divide the filling over the dough and make sure you smear it all the way to the edges.
Fold one half of the dough to the middle and fold the other part over. Now use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut strips of about 2 cm wide.
See this video here to learn how to tie the knot, it’s in Swedish but you’ll get it. (the knotting starts at about 2:45min, I only wrap it around my fingers twice)
Place the knots on a baking tray covered in baking parchment leaving room in between them so they can expand. Cover with a towel and leave to rest for 30-45 minutes, they will not double in size but rise 1/3.
Meanwhile preheat your oven to 200°C.
When rested add a coating of egg wash to the buns and then drizzle with pearl sugar.
Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until nicely golden brown.
If you like your buns sticky you can make a sugar syrup by using equal amounts of sugar to water, I’d say two tablespoons of each should be plenty. Heat until the sugar is dissolved and use a brush to coat the hot buns. They will get a beautiful shimmer.
Eat all of them immediately of show character and eat one and leave the rest for your family or friends.
You can make about 14- 15 larger ones, depending on how large you like your buns.
Many Swedish bakers also make the filling out of almond paste, butter and cinnamon. Others use only cardamom instead of cinnamon in the filling. Either way the pastry gives a good base and you can start experiment!
Warm buns
If you made your buns in advance but want to serve them warm, preheat your oven to 160° and warm them for about 5 minutes or so. The buns will be as if they were freshly baked there and then.
Make it easy:
Freeze half or whole of your batch after the second rise by carefully bagging them. When you’re ready to bake, just take out of the freezer, coat with egg and the pearl sugar and you will have warm buns in just 20 minutes… What’s better than that?
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