Swedish Cinnamon Buns
The Swedish Cinnamon Bun is probably the most iconic of Swedish pastries. It's eaten often, every day for many Swedes, at the fika break with a cup of strong coffee, fruit cordial, or a glass of cold milk. On the 4th of October every year Sweden celebrates Cinnamon Bun Day and on this day more than 7 million cinnamon buns are sold, and it's estimated that around another 7 million are baked at home. That's a LOT of cinnamon buns!
At TotallySwedish we stock the vital ingredients you need to bake your own cinnamon buns: fresh yeast, pearl sugar, strong white flour, and of course, ground cinnamon and vanilla sugar!
The recipe below was created by Jan Hedh, who is one of Sweden's most famous pastry chefs and cookbook authors. We stock a range of biscuits from Hedh-Escalante, all of which are not only delicious, but also beautiful to look at.
makes approx. 24 buns
Top tip 1!
Making a pre-dough gives the buns a better taste, as you don't need to use too much yeast. The breads will get better volume and becomes more finely pored, airy and delicious.
350 g wheat flour
15 g caster sugar
250 g milk
90 g caster sugar
10 g sea salt
1/2 a small egg (whisk one egg, and use half)
125 g butter
- Place flour and sugar in a bowl.
- Stir the yeast into the milk. Pour the mixture over the flour mix.
- Knead the dough in a food processor on a low speed for approx. 5-6 minutes.
- Leave to rise in a warm place, covered with a kitchen towel, until the dough has doubled in size, approx. 30-45 minutes.
- Pour flour, sugar, salt, cardamom and egg over the pre-dough in the dough bowl.
- Work the dough in the food processor on a low speed for approx. 5-6 minutes.
- Add the butter in small pieces, increase the speed and work the dough until it's elastic, approx. 10 more minutes.
Top tip 2!
Never melt the butter for a wheat dough - it absorbs too much flour and makes the dough heavy and compact. The butter should be room temperature when added. This way it helps to add air to the dough which makes it light and airy. Using egg in the dough aids the fat to be distributed better which helps the dough to be bigger in volume and makes it airy.
Always make sure to let the dough rise properly and always brush the breads twice with egg wash - to give the breads a beautiful shine. But, don't egg brush the dough straight after the dough has risen - this would results in the breads reducing in size.
1 wheat dough (above)
250 g brown sugar
250 g butter
Pearl sugar (for the topping)
Shaved almonds (for the topping), optional
Egg-mix: Whisk together 2 eggs, 1 egg yolk and a pinch of salt.
Make the filling:
- Mix butter (room temperature) with brown sugar until fluffy.
- Add flour and cinnamon.
- Roll out the dough until approx. 4 mm thickness and approx. 28 cm wide.
- Spread the filling on top.
- Roll the dough into a tight roll.
- Cut the roll into 8 pieces, and cut each of those pieces in to 3 buns.
- Place the buns on a baking tray, and tuck the other end under the bun (to avoid it opening when the dough is rising.)
- Brush with the egg-mix.
- Sprinkle with pearl sugar and almond flakes.
- Leave to rise to double size in a warm place, approx. 45 minutes.
- Set the over to 230 C (gas mark 8.)
- Bake the buns until golden brown, approx. 8-10 minutes.
Leave to cool on a cooling rack.
The buns are suitable for freezing.
Top tip 3!
The secret to make the cinnamon buns as juicy as possible, is to be generous with the filling and make dough roll tight so that the filling doesn't escape. The oven needs to be hot so that the buns bake fast and not too long.
Jan Hedh's Swedish Cinnamon Buns recipe was translated into English, from the cookbook 'Go'fika' (Norsteds.) Photo: Tine Guth Linse.