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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Kardemummabullar: Swedish Cardamom Rolls

Cardamom is my very favorite spice, and the thought of it infusing sweet, buttery dough practically sends me into spasms.  I've had a recipe for cardamom rolls copied for some time, but the impetus (and recipe) for these came from another source.  This was the Bread of the Month July 2015 baking challenge for the Artisan Bread Bakers Facebook group.

The recipe provided by the group was adapted from the blog FixFeastFlair.  This was adapted from another recipe, Kokblog's Kanelbullar, which in turn was adapted from Mia Örn’s recipe for Kardemummabullar, which must be authentic because it's entirely in Swedish.  Of course I had to follow them back to see what the differences were.

The challenge recipe is nearly identical to FixFeastFlair's recipe (yield 15-20 rolls) but uses considerably less cardamom in the dough, filling, and topping, and doubles the salt in the dough to compensate for the unsalted butter specified. FixFeastFlair's recipe is nearly exactly half of the one on Kokblog (yield 30-40 rolls.)  FixFeastFlair uses a little less flour in the dough and twice the sugar in the filling.  It also uses 1/2 teaspoon less cardamom in the filling, but adds it to the spiced sugar topping mixture, which Kokblog doesn't use at all.  (Kokblog uses an egg wash with either pearl sugar or sliced almonds.)  The Swedish recipe (yield 25 rolls) is identical to Kokblog's except uses 1/2 teaspoon more cardamom in the filling PLUS 2 teaspoons in the spiced sugar topping, making it the cardamom champion.  (This topping, used in the Swedish recipe and FixFeastFlair's, consists of a sugar glaze---vanilla added to FixFeastFlair's---that's then sprinkled with cardamom sugar.)  Kokblog also shapes the buns differently from the others.

Since the recipes were so similar, particularly in the basics, it was easy to cobble together my own.  I used the most cardamom and the least sugar, and included the fancy sugared topping but without vanilla.  Then I reduced the quantities to produce a yield of about 5 rolls.  Here's what I used:

For the dough
3 2/5 ounces lukewarm milk half whole cream/half water
scant 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

2 tablespoons light brown granulated sugar
3¼ cups unbleached all purpose flour
2/5 teaspoon whole cardamom (1/2 tsp freshly ground cardamom)
1 2 heaping measuring spoon "pinches" (equal to 1/6 teaspoon) salt
2 tablespoons unsalted, European-style butter, room temperature

For the filling
1 3/5 tablespoons room temperature unsalted butter
3 1/5 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 scant teaspoon freshly ground cardamom 

For the glaze
2 teaspoons water
2 teaspoons sugar

For the topping
1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom (1/2 teaspoon whole seeds)

To make the dough, mix the milk, yeast, and sugar and set aside for about 5 minutes to prove.  In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cardamom, and salt.  Add the milk mixture and mix with a dough whisk or wooden spoon until the dough comes together.  Start kneading, adding the butter in stages until incorporated. Knead for 5-10 minutes until dough is smooth.  Form into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes. 

Mix together the filling ingredients and set aside.  Preheat the oven to 435 degrees F and grease a sheet pan.   Roll out the proofed dough into a strip 21 inches long and at least 5 inches wide. Spread the filling over the dough to cover the entire surface. Fold the dough lengthwise into thirds, like an envelope, to create an approximately 7"x5" rectangle.  Roll it out slightly with a rolling pin to a rough square.  Using a sharp knife or pizza wheel, cut the dough into 5 strips.

There are a number of ways to shape the rolls, as shown here.  For these, I twisted a strip a few times, then, holding it by one end, stretched it while wrapping it twice around the ends of my fingers.  I then pushed the end up through the middle, wrapped it over the edge of the roll, and tucked it underneath into the middle, thusly. (Slow to half speed for a better view.)  Place the shaped rolls onto the baking sheet, cover with oiled plastic wrap, and let rise for about 30 minutes. Bake the rolls for about 7-10 minutes until golden brown.  (Cover with a sheet of aluminum foil if they're getting too brown.)  After removing from the oven, immediately brush the baked rolls with the glaze and sprinkle with a little sugar and cardamom. Serve immediately or cool on a wire rack. 

Conclusion:  These were delicious, and very easy to make.  The wrapping is a little tricky, but fun once you get the hang of it.  There are lots of different shapes these rolls can be made into, some  easier than others.  One of these days I'll have to do a bakeoff with the other recipe that I had saved, or at least compare it to this.

Swedish Cardamom Rolls (Kardemummabullar) via FitFeastFlair (with helpful photos and gif)
Kanelbullar – Swedish Cinnamon Rolls via Kokblog
Kardemummabullar via MiaOhrn

The Swedish recipe quantities (and my 1/5 reductions) are translated here, for easy reference:
5 decilitres milk (17 oz) -- 3 2/5 oz 
More than 25 g yeast -- 5 g 
1.5 decilitres granulated sugar (2/3 cup)  -- 2 tablespoons 
840 g (14 decilitres) wheat flour (6.75 cups)  -- 1 cup + 5-6 T
2 tsp cardamom nystött  -- 2/5 tsp
0.5 tsp salt -- 0.1 tsp 
150g unsalted butter (2/3 cup / 1.3 sticks)  -- 2 tablespoons 
125g unsalted butter (1/2 cup) 
0.75 decilitres granulated sugar (1/3 cup) 
1.5 tablespoon cardamom nystött 
0.5 decilitres granulated sugar (1/5 cup)
0.5 decilitres of water (1/5 cup) 
Cardamom Sugar
2 tsp cardamom nystött 
1 tbsp caster sugar

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