As the nights draw in and the days get colder and damper, we can look to Scandinavia for inspiration. The Danish concept of hygge is on trend if you have a ready supply of candles, log fire, cosy blankets and cushions, but really all you need is the Swedish practice of fika: making time for a relaxing coffee and cake with a loved one. And nothing could be more Swedish than the cardamom bun. Wait for a dismal rainy day when you can relax and enjoy creating these delicious treats.
This recipe makes about 15 buns. You don’t have to eat them all at once, as they freeze really well and can be defrosted in time for fika.
For the Buns
800g strong bread flour plus more for dusting
1 small sachet instant yeast
450ml lukewarm whole milk
140g softened salted butter
1 egg beaten
80g caster sugar
2 tsp ground cardamom (preferably shelled and ground from green cardamom pods)
For the Filling
180g softened salted butter
140g caster sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
- For the buns, in a large bowl mix the flour, yeast, sugar and cardamom. Mix in the softened butter, milk and egg and then knead well on a floured surface. Put the dough back in the bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for about 2 hours until doubled in size.
- Make the filling by mixing together the butter, sugar and cinnamon.
- Divide the dough in half and roll each piece out on a floured surface to make a rectangle measuring about 40 x 30 cm. Spread half the filling over each piece (see photo).
- With the short side of the dough facing you fold over the dough to meet in the middle (see photo). Cut the dough into thin strips about 2.5cm wide.
- And now the tricky part: twist each strip into a spiral, form a circle and push one end through the middle to form the finished bun shape (see video). Believe me it does get easier with practice.
- Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper, place the buns so that they are not touching. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 160 centigrade/gas mark 4 and bake for about 25-30 mins until browned.