It’s Secret Recipe Club time again already, it’s September and school starts for us tomorrow! I’d say it’s unbelievable, but it really isn’t. Seriously though, I remember that summertime was an eternity when I was a kid and now it’s just gone in the blink of an eye. We have had a great summer filled with lots of adventures, big and small, and could continue on a summer schedule all the time almost, if not for the fact that my boys are seriously itching to get back to school. They love it (thank goodness!) and I hope that feeling never changes.
Ewa at Delishhh was my blog assignment this month and it was a sheer pleasure to go through her recipe archives to find a recipe to make. Ewa is also a joy to know even a little, so this was an easy month for me to choose something to make. I actually planned to make three of her recipes, but time flies when you are having fun. The three I had bookmarked in honor of Ewa’s Swedish heritage were her recipe for Swedish Meatballs, Swedish Pancakes and, as I’m sure you already guessed, Swedish Cinnamon Buns or ‘Bullar’.
We have an avid love of cinnamon buns of all sorts here at the Hanks’ house. That is self evident with a trip through the archives since I’ve posted several versions of cinnamon, sticky or other filled sweet rolls here on the blog, including in the form of waffles, filled with Nutella and Cinnamon Brioche Cupcakes.
So, why would I post one more?
Simple, Ewa says that the Swedes are the originators of this type of sweet bread, and when I read the recipe it was different than all the others I’ve ever made. Reason enough in my book to give them a try.
The obvious differences right off the bat are that these aren’t frosted and there is a healthy portion of ground cardamom that goes in the dough (yep, into the dough – not the filling). She also suggested that these types of buns are regularly baked on a paper liner, which although I’ve done that in the past, I liked knowing that it was a good plan for these as well. It makes storing, baking and portioning all just that much easier, as well as the cleanup.
As you may already know, I’m never one for leaving well enough alone. So, I’m including my version of Ewa’s recipe below because I want to be true to the changes I made, which although not too many, were rather significant more in technique and measuring as well as a few ingredients. That said, I’m going to detail the differences below because, frankly, next time I may just make the recipe exactly as it was originally written and to heck with the consequences.
What consequences, you ask? Well, the catalyst to my adaptive journey through the original version started because Ewa tells us right off the bat that the recipe makes 48 cinnamon buns. That is a lot of cinnamon buns, even if they do keep well in the freezer. It wasn’t really even the idea of committing that many ingredients to the recipe so much as having that many cinnamon buns on hand. As it was, making 12 slightly larger than regular ones was dangerous enough for me. Cinnamon buns have a distinctly nasty habit of disappearing into my belly one after the other until I’ve made myself sick. This started out as portion control and self preservation.
The nice thing that happened along the way through starting out halving the recipe though was the fact that the reduced amount and extreme loveliness of the dough easily lent itself to being mixed by hand using only a couple of bowls. The original recipe appears to be mixed by hand as well, but this version is just a smaller batch and therefore a little easier to mix without caving and busting out the mixer.
Now, these changes are not to say that my version is better. Just a better, dangerous, every day version for us. That said, I could easily make similar changes or none at all to the original and stash the extras in the freezer to have on hand… that just crosses into dangerous territory, although, to be honest, this version is so fast and easy it really isn’t any hinderance to just whipping up a batch at a moments notice.
So, the verdict on why these buns are so stinking dangerous is because they are AWESOME. Yes, as in that overused word that, unfortunately is perfectly appropriate here. These were some of the easiest, best buns I’ve ever made and that we’ve ever eaten. Add to that the fact that they are cleaner to eat without the frosting and these babies deserve their own special adjective, perhaps like WHIZ-BANG!
Yes. That would do. WHIZ-BANG BUNS, and it’s fun to say and we love fun and silly names for stuff around here. Done deal. Just trust me and go make them, and if your self-control is better than mine, just use the original recipe portions and take the plunge. You won’t regret it.
Shoot. In fact, now I have to go make them again right now. There goes self control.
Easy Swedish Cinnamon Buns
Adapted from Ewa at Delishhh
For the dough:
1 tablespoon instant yeast
2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cup unbleached bread flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup milk, warmed to 115 degrees F.
1/4 cup cane sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the filling:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar (I used dark brown)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup cane sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Swedish Pearl Sugar for topping (optional, but recommended if you can find it)
In a large bowl whisk together 2 cups of the bread flour with the yeast and ground cardamom. In a separate, medium bowl whisk together the salt, melted butter, warm milk, sugar and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture and using a wooden spoon, stir well to create a soft smooth dough. Add enough of the remaining 3/4 cup flour to create a smooth dough that isn’t sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for 20 minutes or until almost doubled in bulk (depending on temperature of your kitchen). Meanwhile, make the filling.
In a small bowl, stir the filling ingredients together well until a smooth, spreadable paste is formed.
When the dough has risen, remove it from the bowl to a clean, lightly floured work surface. Pat and roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 14-inches x 18-inches and about 1/4-inch thick.
Spread the butter/sugar/cinnamon filling evenly over the dough rectangle. Working from the long side of the dough, roll the dough into a spiral log, keeping the dough rolled as tightly as possible. Pinch together the dough seam at the end of the roll, and cut into 12 equal pieces.
Place in 12 buttered muffin tin cups, on a buttered baking sheet, in a 9×13 pan or, as shown here, on a baking sheet in large cupcake liners. Sprinkle each bun with the pearl sugar and cover the rolls with a clean kitchen towel to rise for about 20 minutes while the oven preheats to 475 degrees F. Bake the buns for about 10 minutes until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.