Sweet Buns

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!

don’t show the husband

All that to say: I got my Swedish chef baker on! My criteria for this kitchen experiment:

  1. Swedish
  2. Uses stuff I already have on hand
  3. Makes a lot
  4. 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.

great expectations

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.

using yeast for the first time isn’t wise in a different language

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.

how much stuff can i dirty in 10 minutes?

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.

dough properly mixed
layer of flour to keep it moist whilst rising
wait for it rise. and clean up a little in the meantime.
she is risen! if this was smellovision it would smell heavenly right now.

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!

kneading prep
arm workout o’ the day

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?!

who needs a rolling pin anyway

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.

no chopped nuts here, in sweden they hack ’em
the innards: butter + cardamom + hacked almonds (or, almond paste if you get all traditional)

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!

taking shape
swedes – feel free to tell me if this doesn’t look right so far. too thick? maybe.

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.

set up
patience child. let them rise.
wait as long as you can, then brush with egg and dust with pearl sugar

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…


i do apologize you can’t smell this because it smells ahhhmazing
katie crockersson in the hus!

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 tonight.

Since I worked so hard making these, I took a fika.

sweet nectar of the gods
don’t be jealous

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?

one recipe down, 1 miljoner to go!


1 Comment

  1. Hi, about the yeast. The package says that one bag corresponds to one package of 50g fresh yeast. That is yeast that isn’t dried like this one. So if it says 50g i the recipe then you use one bag. The weight differ because the yeast doesn’t weigh so much when it is dried. =)

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