2/6/12

Swedish Cardamom Buns

Many of you know that I have a crush on Sweden. It probably started with the Shout Out Louds. Then, there was the Poetry in Translation class I took with the Swedish poet Malena Mörling, whose book, Astoria, I recently read and highly recommend. Around this time, I discovered the music of Loney Dear, one of the most sincere live performers I’ve ever seen. Then there was Jens Lekman, girls with dragon tattoos, Robyn (of course), and most recently, this article, which delves into the question: “What makes the Swedes glow with health?”

Enter Lisa, who I met through my good friend Heather. Lisa’s mom grew up in Sweden, and, well, it didn’t take us too long to come to the necessary conclusion that we must meet up to make Swedish cardamom buns and drink Glögg.
However, by the time Lisa and I found a free afternoon to make these cardamom buns, she was in the middle of a cleanse. How Swedish is that? (Sweden’s a bastion of health and wellness, remember?) So, while Lisa couldn’t chow down on gluten-y, sugary foods and vodka-based beverages, Matt and I were very much available to partake in both. Of course, there is a difference between chowing down and fika, which Lisa explained, is Swedish for taking a break to drink coffee or tea and eat something sweet—usually a cardamom bun—with a friend. (Seriously, that four-letter word means all of that, and it can be used as a verb or a noun!) So, while the cleanse may have stopped her from sipping the aforementioned Glögg, it didn’t put a damper on the fika.
See, I think it’s important to note that these are not the kind of cinnamon buns you find at the food court. No, these buns are much more Swedish. They are subtly sweet. There is no extra glaze on top and no cream cheese filling. I also think it’s important to note that it’s 2pm in the afternoon and one is warming up in the toaster oven as I type this.
This version here is a combination of two Swedish recipes, one of which comes to us via Lisa’s brother’s girlfriend, Ebba, and the other from Lisa’s Aunt Veronica, which she translated into English for us, and which was titled “Mommy’s Buns.” So I must extend a big thank you to these ladies for all of the information!
Hear that? It’s the ding of the toaster oven. Excuse me while I go fika.
Cardamom Buns adapted from a few different Swedish recipes, with a lot of help from Lisa Fika!
Dough:
25 g of fresh yeast for sweet dough OR 1 1/2 packets of dry active yeast (.9 oz)
75 g butter (5.2 tablespoons)
2 ½ deciliters milk (1 cup)
½ deciliter granulated sugar (3.5 tablespoons)
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
about 7 deciliters flour (scant 3 cups)

Filling
:
50 g room-temperature butter (3.5 tablespoons)
½ deciliter granulated sugar (3.5 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

For topping
:
1 egg
pearl sugar or granulated sugar

Equipment: 25 cupcake/muffin wrappers

To do this: [I kind of love this detail from one of the recipes we used. Instead of the classic directions, to do this seems so much more deliberate.]

Start with the dough. Melt the butter in a sauce pan and add the milk. Warm the mixture until it is “finger warm," a.k.a. room temperature. Dissolve the yeast into this mixture. Let it sit a few minutes. (It should look a bit foamy.) Then, add the salt, sugar and cardamom. Stir.

Transfer mixture to an electric mixer or, if mixing by hand, a large mixing bowl. Add about 2/3 of the flour and mix until it becomes smooth and shiny. Add a little more flour, but save enough for kneading later. The dough is ready when it easily releases from the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with a thin towel, place it in a warm spot, and let it rise until it is twice the original size (about 30 minutes).

Remove the dough from the bowl, and using the rest of the flour, knead it lightly on a floured surface until smooth and shiny. Divide dough into two halves. Roll each half of dough into a thin, big rectangle.

Combine the filling ingredients and then spread evenly over one of the rectangles. Place the other dough rectangle right on top, making a sandwich! Then, roll the sandwich up, long side to long side, to form a long cylinder. Using a sharp knife, cut each cylinder into equal slices.

Place each slice into a paper cupcake holder and arrange on top of a rimmed baking sheet. Cover them with a towel and let rise until doubled in size (about 30-45 min). Preheat oven to 425 F. Once the buns have risen, brush the rolls with the beaten egg and sprinkle with pearl sugar.

Bake in center of oven at 425 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

Tip: It's fine to make a double batch (or more)! [This was taken verbatim from one of the recipes. Such a great tip!]

Shelf life: At room temperature, the buns quickly become dry out, so if you don’t intend on eating them soon, freeze them!
Print Friendly and PDF

42 comments:

Matthew said...

I love glogg. There, I said it.

Sara said...

Lovely! These are beautiful, and look so delicious! :)

Jessica said...

OMG Those look and sound soo amazing. I must try them! BTW I'm addicted to your blog and was terrified when I checked this morning and there wasn't a new post up. PHEW!

Anna @ The Littlest Anchovy said...

I love glogg too. Really love the photos of your shoes :)
Great recipe

jeana sohn said...

yay! featuring lisa!!
seems like you guys had fun together! love the photos.

Mary Anne said...

fika fika! nice to meet ya! lisa!

lisa fika said...

xo!!!!!!

Just waiting for toast said...

The idea of visiting Sweden right now seems like heaven! The buns look delicious! xo

Kara said...

Haha, Mommy's Buns. Hahaha!

Carrie said...

These look amazing! I have to try this recipe asap.

Kelsey said...

Fika. Enough said. Love it.

HAILEY said...

I spy the 1997 towel from your pizza video...

And those lovely cupcake papers(!) Where did you find those?
Thanks for sharing, as always.

Luisa said...

Gorgeous buns. And I love that fika can be a verb, too! :)

Heather Taylor said...

YEAH! Cozy central with my wax and my cloz!!!

Grace said...

YUM. I need to make these, I'm a Swede you know ;-)

amelia said...

Hailey, guess where Lisa got those cupcake wrappers?? Sweden! (I know.)

Rebecca McTee said...

I've never had the guts to try glogg. This from a Scottish girl (albeit one who handles liquor like a 2-year old)...

So do you 'have a fika' or just 'fika' and can one have 'fikad' in the past or does it only apply to present tense. Curious minds want to know and not make fools of themselves in front of Swedes. But curious minds also want to adopt said word into curious lexicon because it's perfect.

This, by the way, makes me wonder about how much we're missing out on in English. You know, how Eskimos have numerous words for snow and we just have snow, and maybe sleet or blizzard. And how, even in British culture where the afternoon tea break is such an integral part of life that we all have an internal clock that starts buzzing at 3pm, there is no awesome word to describe it. Fika. Excellent.

Katherine @ eggton.com said...

This is one of my favorite posts of yours now. It's just so cheery and the photography is really creative. Love it. Enjoy those little buns, lady!

Susan Cooper said...

I just love your pictures. The Cardamom Buns sound amazing. Awesome post. :-), Susan Cooper

Matt said...

"To do this" - I love it! So authoritative and insidery, like you and the recipe are in on it together. Maybe it should say "let's do this."

la domestique said...

I love everything about this post- the photos, handwritten recipes, and fika!

Veronica said...

Looks great! More fika for the people!

Anonymous said...

Your blog always introduces me to the coolest stuff. I LOVE this FIKA, it is officially part of my everyday language. Also, more videos PLEASE.

Megan Taylor said...

Aww! two sweet girls making sweets! looks like fun :)

Tim said...

These photos are so rad! The colors!

amelia said...

awww, Tim, you just went and made Matt's day!!

lechow said...

my o my those look delicious! this is a must make!!!
that dough looks like heaven.

thanks!

Matthew said...

My day has been made, I can finally get out of bed! Thanks, Tim!!!

fauns and ferns said...

I fell in love with Cardamom Buns during my last visit to Sweden over the summer and have been searching for them in California ever since- now I can just make them! Thanks for a little taste of Sweden

Sandy said...

I love your conversion from the metric to the US system on your printed recipe because I have to convert from the US to the metric system. :) (Still not used to the American system.) Anyway, I love glogg too, and your Swedish buns look delicious.

Ashley said...

If making cardomom buns is one of the secrets to being healthy, I'M IN!

Amanda@Bigcitykitchen said...

I too have an obsession with all things Swedish - perhaps they glow because of all the fish they consume!

The buns look delicious - cardamom is such an under utilized spice...

joanna said...

DUDE. i wanna fika! these look and sound glorious!

Jenna said...

oh jaaa, så bra! glögi and cinnamon buns sound like a perfect fika time. this post makes me so happy, it's nice to see the scandilove being spread.

Amilia (justeverydayme) said...

I grew up in Sweden...this post made me smile :) These buns look delicious!

Karoline :) said...

It looks really good! Mmmm! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi! mind sharing where the cruet set is from?

amelia said...

Hi there, Anonymous! I think you must be referring to the salt and pepper set. IT's from Heath Ceramics--available here: http://www.heathceramics.com/go/heath/store/?ProdID=114

Anonymous said...

Thanks, toots!

Anonymous said...

Thanks! you have saved a chinese who is craving for swedish buns!

Anonymous said...

I want to take a minute to thank you for sharing this recipe. I have family from sweden, and I have to say that I have never really attempted to learn anything about the culture, foods, lifestyle etc until recently. I am a young woman, who after many years of not really being allowed to know much about Sweden and the heritage I am, am now learning to embrace a culture after many years. I picked your recipe to try for my first Swedish food after doing some extensive research. This one seemed to be the best way to go. I have always wondered about my lifelines, my family, and where I came from. With this recipe, I now feel like I have a bit a connection with who I am. I know it may sound funny that a recipe helps me feel like I am connected to my lifelines, but food is very important of any culture. Right? In any case. Thank you. Thank you for sharing this so that I may start to get to know who I am. It has helped me a lot. And I thank you for that.

Sincerely,
Getting to know her swedish self

Amelia Morris said...

you're so very welcome!! So glad you found it.