Today, I just didn’t want to work on school. Sorry, I needed a break. I spend these days worrying over my thesis project, worrying over it already being distributed not by me, but by other people finding it in its baby stage and tweeting it out, and worrying about if anyone is going to care once I get it perfect. I worry so much I can’t work well, so I am taking a day off. And making a mess!
All that to say: I got my Swedish
chef baker on! My criteria for this kitchen experiment:
- Uses stuff I already have on hand
- Makes a lot
- Tastes good/is unhealthy
I pulled out my fantastic going away gift from my former coworkers in DC, Swedish Cakes & Cookies. I looked for something with chocolate, but didn’t have cocoa powder on hand. Then I saw on the back of my flour packet a recipe for kanelbullar – a Swedish bun, like a cinnamon bun, but made with cardamom instead and no frosting. Score! I love these things and have to stop myself from buying the frozen bags of them at ICA Maxi. They go so well with coffee. Dangerous.
Once I figured out the correct packet of yeast to use (the one for sweets, genius) I got to work. The recipe called for 25 g. The packet says something about 50 g on the front, then 12 g on the back, and when I weigh one packet, it’s 13 g. First language barrier. Plus, I’ve never baked with yeast, I usually stick to choc. chip cookies, so this could’ve gone really bad. After getting 7 words into the recipe instructions, I realize I’m an idiot and can’t really follow Swedish instructions, yet. So, I dig up the kanelbullar (Cardamom bun) recipe in the Swedish Cakes & Cookies book. Ah, English. Much better. Only, now they call for 50 g of yeast. I decided the front of the yeast packet says both of these sections contain 50 g all together, and just went with it. Spoiler alert: it worked out well, but I still don’t know if I was right or wrong.
While I was wondering if the amount of yeast really was right, because it wasn’t dissolving, I tried using different mixing utensils. Making more mess.
Along the same lines of don’t bake stuff with a recipe in a language you don’t know and using ingredients you don’t know, maybe baking without an electric mixing device of any kind is also sort of dumb.
Anyway, the yeast finally dissolved and everything else got mixed in, and guess what? I made dough! Like a pro.
At this point, you feel fabulous because you made something correctly. Then you get to knead it! The book so kindly tells you to use an electric mixer because it makes things easier/faster. Whatever, I kneaded this puppy by hand because I like to work for my sweets. And feel like a real woman in the process. By my own hands I made this!
Moving on. Once you get it all kneaded, which I did during one interview on Ellen (it was with Jenny Garth – I can’t believe she was with Peter Facinelli for 17 years?! Remember him in ‘Can’t Hardly Wait’?! Love that movie) then you split the dough in 2, and roll it out into a rectangle. Which I did with my hands because who moves to Sweden with a rolling pin? amiright?!
Then you gotta get the filling together. It called for almond paste, which I didn’t have, but I just used HACKED almonds instead. Big Husband would probably like that more anyway.
I guess I didn’t photograph the innards being spread over the lumpy rectangle, but that’s what you do. Go figure. Then you roll. I rolled lengthwise because it made sense, but the recipe didn’t actually specify. Then you slice that puppy up!
Just when you think you’re almost there, ready to bake, you have to stuff 45 raw buns into muffin cups, then let ’em all rise again. Gosh.
My first experience with pearl sugar was good. Truly. Except when I accidentally poured out too much on a few buns and then dropped a bunch on the floor. That stuff scatters fast…
The oven in this place works overtime, so some came out a little crispy in the first batch. Don’t worry! They still taste amazing/will be consumed
Since I worked so hard making these, I took a fika.
We shall count today as a success! Except…I can’t send these to work with Matt tomorrow because it’s a Swedish holiday…this is dangerous for my hips (and health or whatever).
Anyone wanna come help eat these?