Did you know it was Swedish Cinnamon Bun day Kannelbullensdag on 4th October! When Swedes, and it seems the rest of the world indulge in even more of these moreish spiced buns than usual. A date I can easily remember because it’s also my niece’s birthday too!
If you follow my blog you’ll know that I have several recipes for flavoured Swedish buns on my site, (the Vanilla Buns are to die for) however I haven’t shared Cinnamon Buns with the tangzhong method before. These tempting, sweet, enriched, yeasted buns are flavoured with cardamom, filled with a sweet cinnamon butter and then delicately sprinkled with sugar nibs are now my default recipe because they are so fluffy and light. Adding in this simple step to the process is well worth doing, trust me.
The tangzhong method originates in Japan. A yeasted bread technique that involves cooking a portion of flour and liquid in the recipe into a thick paste prior to adding the remaining ingredients, resulting in soft, fluffy bread, that stays fresh a little longer. How does this technique affect yeasted bread dough? What it does is it pre-gelatinises the starches in the flour, meaning they can absorb more water. In reality, flour will absorb twice as much hot water or milk as it does the lukewarm water or milk you’d usually use in yeasted doughs.
For the best results in this recipe, use organic flour if you can, I like Shipton Mill. When it comes to spices please, I urge you to use freshly ground cardamom in the dough. You can buy the seeds online and grind them yourself in a pestle and mortar, pre-ground cardamom really doesn’t have the same flavour.
My preference is to use fresh yeast but I know it’s not readily available. (You could try asking artisan bakeries to sell you some). Fast action yeast would be my second choice. I also highly recommend you prove the dough in the fridge overnight. This gives the dough plenty of time to rest and it is much easier to work with from cold. Just remember to leave the cinnamon butter at room temperature for easy spreading. If you have chilled the dough overnight you can speed proving time up by placing the buns in the oven, SWITCHED OFF with a bowl of freshly boiled water, don’t cover them.
If you would like a few tips on how to shape these buns, here is a video. Happy baking!
Fluffy Swedish Cinnamon Buns
- Rolling pin, pizza wheel
Basic Enriched Dough
- 17 g organic strong white bread flour
- 85 g whole milk
- cooled tangzhong
- 300 g organic strong white bread flour
- 135 g whole milk I always weigh liquid in grams
- 65 g unsalted butter diced & at room temperature
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 35 g caster sugar
- 15 g fresh yeast or 5g fast action yeast
- 1 ½ tsp freshly ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 100 g unsalted butter room temperature
- 45 g golden caster sugar
- 1 ½ tbls cinnamon
- 1 tsp plain flour
- Beaten egg with the addition of some milk and sugar nibs
- Place the flour and milk in a small saucepan. Whisk together with a balloon whisk, on a medium heat until it thickens and bubbles. Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl and cover. Once it’s cooled to room temperature, it’s ready to use.
- Pour the milk into a small saucepan and heat to 38°C, (if you are proving the dough in the fridge overnight there is no need to heat the milk) remove from the heat and add the fresh yeast, whisk to incorporate (if using fast action yeast add it to the flour). Place the flour, tangzhong, cardamom, sugar and salt in the bowl of a free standing mixer with the dough hook attached. Add the milk mixture and 3/4 of the egg (save the rest for glazing) with the motor running. Mix until a dough forms on a slow speed. Once the dough has come together add the butter, increase the pace to medium/high and work the dough for another 5-8 minutes or until it feels shiny and smooth. If it feels really sticky, add no more than 1 tablespoon of flour then scoop it all up into a bowl with a dough scraper.
- Cover and place in the fridge to prove for up to 14 hours or prove at room for 30-45 minutes or until it's doubled in size.
- Combine all of the filling ingredients and set to one side.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C fan. The dough: on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out into 75x30cm, dust with more flour if you need to. Spread the cinnamon butter on approximately half of the surface. Fold the dough in half, then roll again gently to make an approximate rectangle measuring 40x23cm.
- Cut the dough into roughly 2cm wide strips, I find a pizza wheel good for this job. Twist each strip several times, wrap around your 2 fingers then tuck the ends underneath. Continue with the rest of the strips.
- Arrange the buns on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (if they’re too crowded, use 2 sheets), keeping as much space between them as possible. Cover and prove for 30–45 minutes or until approximately doubled in size.
- Brush the buns with beaten egg and a little milk and shower with sugar nibs. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
- Best eaten on the day of baking however they freeze incredibly well, just warm them in the oven after defrosting.