I’ve been craving a cardamom bun for weeks. I found a gorgeous Swedish cafe on the harbour arm in Margate and on a very rare week day off I decided to celebrate with a bike ride, iced coffee and cardamom bun (with a book of course), safe in the knowledge that the cafe served them. Sadly though, not that day. Since then I have been looking in every bakery and cafe window for cardamom buns but it seems I am in the wrong country (or city, the best cardamom roll I’ve had in my life was from Fabrique bakery , London but I have yet to venture to any Scandinavian countries (since I was a small child)). This story actually goes way back through to my work buddy Edd, and his very lovely Swedish girlfriend; on one of his many visits to Sweden I asked him to find me a Swedish baking book, given the country’s affinity with baked goods and ‘fika’.
I’ve had the book for far too long now but was inspired to reach for it when I excitedly realised it would probably have a cardamom bun recipe. Not only did it, but it was the very first recipe! The book it lovely, with gorgeous drawings throughout and it is called simply, ‘Fika’.
This weekend was one of those much needed breaks (if by break I mean non-stop chores but not necessarily in a bad way), we’ve been very busy with travelling from one end of the country to the other, watching dear friends get married, starting new jobs and my gosh did I need sleep. Sleep, I did, but I also had weeks of chores and gardening to do. You’ll be pleased to know that most things have been repotted into appropriately sized pots. I also cooked, a lot, I made these (for the soul), beetroot brownies, lunch prep (an Ottolenghi inspired salad – I can’t wait) and shakshuka. The weekend has whizzed by but I feel more centred and myself and ready to take on the world, one cardamom bun and iced coffee at a time.
Ingredients (makes 16):
For the dough:
- 100 g of butter
- 360 ml of milk
- 2 tsp of active, dry yeast
- 640 g of all-purpose flour (I used bread flour because I’d run out of plain, which worked fine)
- 50 g of sugar
- 1.5 tsp of whole cardamom seeds (not pods!), crushed (you can use ground cardamom if in a rush)
- 0.25 tsp of salt
For the filling:
- 100 g of butter
- 100 g of sugar
- 4 tsp of crushed cardamom seeds
- 1 egg, beaten
- crushed cardamom seeds
- Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the milk, heat until about 43°C.
- Place 2-3 tbsp of the warm mixture into a bowl and add the yeast. Leave it to sit for a few minutes, until it begins to bubble.
- In a large mixing bowl (or mixer with dough hook), place the flour, sugar, cardamom and salt. Pour in the milk/butter mixture and the yeast.
- Work the mix until you can make a ball of dough (either by hand of with the mixer).
- Knead or ‘mix’ the dough until smooth and elastic. The dough shouldn’t be too sticky. Cut through a small chunk, if there are small air bubbles all the way through, it is ready.
- Leave the dough covered, in a bowl for a hour (until it has doubled in size).
- Line two baking trays with baking paper.
- Make the filling by mixing the ingredients with a fork until a spreadable paste is formed.
- Cut the dough into two
- Roll one half into a rectangle ~30 x 40 cm, with the long side closest to you.
- Spread half of the filling on to the dough, all the way to the edges.
- Fold the dough in half towards you and then cut into 8 ‘short’ strips.
- Repeat for the other half of the dough.
- Take a strip and cut it in half except for an inch at the fold, the take each branch and twist it outwards (i.e. the left hand side to the left and the right had side to the right.
- Place one twisted branch over the other, twice, the press the ends into the fold and place on a baking tray.
- Repeat for the other 15 buns.
- Cover the buns with a clean tea towel and leave to prove for about 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 225°C.
- Glaze each bun with egg and then sprinkle with sugar and cardamom.
- Bake each tray (one tray at a time) for 8-10 minutes in the centre of the oven.
- Leave to cool, if you can wait that long – they are delicious warm, and enjoy!