It is definitely about time to get festive, and nothing fills me with more Christmas spirit than some good old baking. This time, rather than taking out the Sardinian recipe book, I turned to the opposite side of Europe and got inspired by the Scandinavian islands. Mouthwatering memories of sinking my teeth on the most amazing cinnamon buns during a trip to Stockholm made me search through the several recipes available on line. I was even tempted to use my sourdough to make them when I saw this recipe by Chef In Disguise. But since these were my very first cinnamon buns, I opted for a simpler and quicker option, found in Nigella’s book How to Be a Domestic Goddess.
This recipe will make 20 buns and takes about 2 hours to make.
Ingredients for the dough:
½ tsp salt
21g (3 sachets) of easy-blend yeast or 45g fresh yeast
For the filling:
150g soft unsalted butter
1 ½ tsps cinnamon (but I will put 2tsps next time)
1 egg, beaten, to glaze
Step one: combine all the solid ingredients, flour, sugar yeast and salt, into a large bowl. Separately, melt the butter (I always prefer the bain-marie technique to the microwave, but it’s up to you) and whisk it with the eggs and the milk. Once the liquids are all uniform, add them to the solids, mixing, then kneading either with your hands or with the dough hooks of a mixer. I prefer kneading the dough with my hands, also because I like to be able to tell when the consistency is the one I need/want. There was too much liquid to start with, resulting in a wet and sticky dough, so added quite a bit of flour to get the smooth and springy consistency it should have. Once you get the consistency right, form a ball and place it into an oiled bowl to rise for 25 minutes.
Step two: Pre-heat the oven to 230°C and let the fun begin, especially if you have a small surface in your kitchen, like I do! Take one third of the dough and roll it or stretch it to fit your tin (previously lined with oven paper, bottom and sides) Then roll out the rest of the dough forming a rectangular shape measuring more or less 50×25 cm.
Step three: Mix the filling ingredients in a bowl and spread the creamy mixture all over your rectangle, trying to spread evenly without missing any corner of your dough. Then roll the dough up from the long side, forming a giant sausage (that’s what Nigella said). Cut the roll into 2cm slices, which should make more or less 20 rounds. Place them onto the dough in the tin and leave them to rise again for another 15 minutes.
Step four: Stick your buns in the hot oven for 20-25 minutes and youll have your puffy golden brown result. Remove them and put them on a rack to cool down. My oven was probably a bit too hot or maybe I left them too long, and they got quite brown in places, but the taste was absolutely scrumptious: let your friends tear them off while they are still warm and they’ll be a total success. They were for me!