Not without reason, I think cinnamon rolls are one of the most loved baked goods in the world. While they’re topped with icing in North America, here in Scandinavia, we sprinkle pearl sugar on top (and lots of it) and use a cardamom-spiced yeasted dough. These cinnamon rolls can be found in every cafe, where they’re eaten alongside a big cup of coffee. In Finland, cinnamon rolls are called korvapuusti. The dough and filling is the same as Swedish kanelbullar, but the shape is unique to Finland. Next time you make cinnamon rolls, why not try this Nordic variety?
- 500 ml (2 cups) lukewarm full-cream milk
- 16 g dried yeast
- 180 g white sugar
- 1½ tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tbsp ground cardamom (preferably freshly ground)
- 2 eggs
- 1 kg (6⅔ cups) strong (bread) flour
- 170 g unsalted butter, chopped, softened
- pearl sugar, to sprinkle
- 150 g unsalted butter, softened
- 85 g white sugar
- 1¼ tbsp ground cinnamon
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Proving time 1 hour 30 minutes
To make the dough, in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the milk, yeast and 1 tsp sugar and set aside for 10 minutes or until frothy. Add the salt, cardamom, 1 egg and remaining 175 g sugar, and mix until combined. Gradually add two-thirds of the flour and knead until combined. Add the butter and knead until well combined. Continue to knead and gradually add just enough of the remaining flour so the dough comes cleanly off the sides of the bowl and doesn’t stick to your hand. (Don’t overwork the dough or you’ll end up with hard rolls, not soft as we want them to be.) Shape the dough into a ball, place in an oiled bowl and cover with a clean tea towel. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, to make the filling, combine the butter, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.
Line 4 baking trays with baking paper. Punch down the dough and divide into two equal portions. Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour. Roll out the first portion of dough into a 60 cm x 40 cm rectangle. Spread half of the filling evenly over the top. Beginning with a long side, roll the dough into a tight tube and finish seam-side down. Cut into fifteen 4 cm slices - cut each slice on a diagonal so they look more like fat triangles. With your index finger, press each piece in the centre, so that the dough spirals out (see My Blue&White Kitchen's step-by-step on how to shape the rolls).
Place the cinnamon rolls, about 5 cm apart, on the baking trays. Cover with a clean tea towel and let rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Repeat with the second batch. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 225°C. Lightly whisk the remaining egg, then brush over the rolls and sprinkle generously with pearl sugar. Working with one tray at a time, bake the rolls on the middle rack for 10-15 minutes or until golden to dark brown in colour. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.
The cinnamon rolls are best eaten while still slightly warm or on the same day. However, you can freeze them once baked and warm when ready to serve.
Recipe from My Blue&White Kitchen by Sini Ellen, with photography by Sini Ellen.