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Recipe: Steffi Knowles-Dellner’s Kanel and Kardemummabullar

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If you’ve not baked with cardamom before, believe us you’re in for a treat. The first thing you’ll notice, even before you taste these buns, is the smell. And what a smell.

Steffi says: “Here is the basic recipe for all of the buns in this book. The dough should initially be fairly sticky, but rest assured that it will come together with kneading. This makes a fluffier, more bread-like bun, which is best frozen straight after cooling if you are not planning to eat all the buns immediately. If you want to glaze them with a sugar syrup, bring 75g (6 tbsp) granulated sugar to a simmer with 100ml (7 tbsp) water. Let the sugar dissolve and continue to simmer for a few minutes. Allow to cool slightly before brushing over the buns as soon as they come out of the oven.”

Lagom: The Swedish Art of Eating Harmoniously by Steffi Knowles-Dellner (Quadrille, £20) Photography © Yuki Sugiura.

 Kanel and Kardemummabullar Recipe:

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WRITTEN By:
Maria Bell

Maria Bell is a photographer and editor from the Isle of Wight. Talk to her about food and/or photography and she'll always be listening.

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ingredients

For the dough:
150g [²⁄³ cup] butter
500ml [generous 2 cups] whole milk
50g [1¾oz] fresh yeast
125g [scant ¾ cup] caster [superfine] sugar
2 tsp ground cardamom or 1½ tsp cardamom pods, split open and seeds bashed
about 800g [5¾ cups] strong white bread flour
1 egg, beaten

For the filling:
50g [3½ Tbsp] very soft butter
3 tbsp caster [superfine] sugar
2 tsp ground cardamom or 1½ tsp cardamom pods, split open and seeds bashed OR 1 tbsp ground cinnamon (or half of each)

1.

For the dough, melt the butter in a pan, pour in the milk and heat until “finger warm” (just warm to touch).

2.

Crumble the yeast into your largest bowl with a little of the buttery milk. Stir until the yeast has dissolved, then add the remaining liquid.

3.

Add the sugar, cardamom and ½ tsp salt, then about 700g [5 cups] of the flour. Mix until you have a wet dough, then tip onto a lightly floured surface and knead to come together. It will be a bit difficult to handle, but moving it vigorously around or slapping and folding it will have an impact. Add a bit more flour if absolutely necessary.

4.

Return to a clean bowl and sprinkle with flour. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise in a warmish place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. It should now be smooth “like a baby’s bottom”, as my mormor used to say, with a fond pat.

5.

Knock the dough back a bit while still in the bowl, then tip onto a floured surface. Knead for a few minutes, adding more flour if the dough seems very wet. It is ready when it releases from the surface easily and, if you slash into the dough with a very sharp knife, there are evenly distributed small air bubbles.

6.

Cut the dough in half and roll each half out to form a rectangle, roughly 30 x 40cm [12 x 16in] and 5mm [¼in] thick, with the longest side facing you. Spread with the softened butter, then sprinkle over the sugar and cardamom or cinnamon (or a combination of both).

7.

Preheat the oven to 225°C/450°F and line several baking sheets with parchment. Roll up each rectangle tightly and slice into even pieces, about 2.5cm [1in] thick. Pinch or tuck in the ends and place, generously spaced, on the prepared sheets. Cover with tea towels and prove for about 40 minutes, until doubled in size.

8.

Brush with the beaten egg and bake for 8–10 minutes until golden. Allow to cool at least a little on a wire rack, or as long as you can wait.

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