Monday, October 19, 2009

Finnish Cardamom and Cinnamon Buns


I was feeling very domesticated on the weekend and decided to whip up a batch of Tessa Kiros' Finnish Cardamom and Cinnamon Buns, from Falling Cloudberries. I like Tessa Kiros a lot, but rarely cook from her books, which in my experience, tend to be more pretty than practical. (See my review of Venezia at The Gastronomer's Bookshelf). Falling Cloudberries is the exception - I love the wide variety of recipes from Kiros' international upbringing; more like a personal recipe journal than a cookbook. I've made a few recipes from Falling Cloudberries, and so far they've all been winners.

But back to the buns. I've wanted to make these for ages, and nearly got distracted by Saint Cinnamon style mega-buns or Nigella's gooey, sticky Schnecken. I even considered making the saffron cinnamon buns from Snowflakes and Schnapps, but the boring flat spiral shape just didn't do it for me. I loved the idea of these curled Finnish buns; their curves oozing out in a spirally fashion like a headily perfumed concertina.

I started these buns at about midday on Saturday (having to walk to the shop when I realised that we'd run out of yeast!), and by 4 in the arvo we were tucking into hot buns (haha... I said "buns") .

So, you start by mixing yeast, sugar and milk and waiting until it "activates", (i.e. the mixture froths up and gets bubbly).


Then you mix all the other ingredients in and let it prove for 2 hours (the recipe suggests kneading by hand - I graciously let the dough hook on the KitchenAid do all the work for me).

Whilst this was proving, I actually whipped up a batch of petits sablés shortbread biscuits. Because that's the kind of person I am. They will come up in a later post!

The dough actually only needed 1.5 hours to prove. I kept it in a very warm part of the kitchen to help it along.

Then you roll the dough out into a large rectangle, spread it with softened butter and sprinkle a mixture of cinnamon and sugar on top. The next step is to roll it up.


You then cut the dough sausage on a diagonal (see below)...

...before flipping each piece over onto its larger base and squishing down. This is what gives the finished Finnish buns (ooh!) their distinctive shape. After being brushed with beaten egg and sprinkled with sugar, the assembled buns need another 30 minutes proving.


Bake them for a mere 20 minutes, and they are done!


I was so pleased with how the recipe turned out - the buns rose impressively in the oven and smelled beautiful. The cardamom flavour was present but not overpowering (thank goodness!), and had just the right level of sweetness for my taste. They were crusty on the outside, and soft and fluffy on the inside.


We had a couple of friends over for afternoon tea, and these buns (and the petits sablés) were wolfed down with a strong cup of tea. There were some leftovers - I ate a couple for breakfast the next day (still good!), and have stashed the rest in the freezer for future cravings.

Hopefully these buns will keep for over a week - because as of today I am officially on detox! This means no caffeine/alcohol/white flour/white bread/white rice/meat/dairy or eggs for a whole week. (EEEEEK!) I managed to get through a Monday at work with no coffee, so I think I'm off to a good start.

10 comments:

Essjayeats said...

They look brilliant. I have that book and haven't read it of tried any recipes ... I shall remedy that soon!

mica said...

the buns look so delicious! the idea of detoxing is good, but when it involves abstaining from coffee, it's super cruel! i cant imagine a day without coffee...

solid wood furniture said...

Wow! The buns are so cute and they really look so delicious! Yummy!

Cherry Blossom Cupcakes said...

These look fab, I am a total sucker for cardamom in anything. As for the detox, I tried for about 20 minutes but I couldn't really see the point to the deprivation!

Iron Chef Shellie said...

O...M....G.... I WANT!!!!
they look amazing babe! Hope detox is going well!
x

Alibongo said...

wow. they look fantastic!!

Dottie said...

Bet the smell that came from these was just divine! They look just gorgeous!

ChristyG said...

Gorgeous! I tried made these today - love that touch of yummy cardamom!

Elna Haris said...

I have been making these Finnish Buns, Pulla, "Box on the Ear" buns for around 35 years. I used to watch my mum make them :) I bake a large batch at a time using 3 lb plain flour and freeze them. They take seconds to heat in the microwave from frozen and always taste just as good as freshly baked and the smell is wonderful.

Everyone who tastes these buns loves them :):):)

Laura said...

i am from Finland and have lived in Melbourne now for 6 years. Whenever my mom comes to visit, I always make her bake some pulla for me. My aunt came with her last time and made some of these buns.. well, they are called korvapuusti in Finnish. They are so good with tea. Yummy!
You should try get to the Finland house christmas bazaar some year and buy some baked goods there, too. Super yummy.. at least for all of us Finns :). But the main reason i go there is to get Finnish sausage! in Finland it is pretty much considered the best thing in the world. You can eat it as is, make a soup, grill it, fry some with eggs etc. I so wish I still had some left.