Cinnamon buns are a must in Sweden. They are generally eaten in the afternoon, with coffee and milk (here called “latte”, an abbreviation of the Italian caffe-latte) and they are usually yeast-based.
Being a strong believer of the many health benefits of sourdough fermentation (plus I do love the deep flavor it gives to bread) I tried my hands at a yeast-free version.
When looking at available recipes in Swedish and English, the process looked always quite complicated. A 24-h version is very popular here in Sweden.
Being always struggling with time, I realized such a long process would not have worked for me. So I made up my own version, with a shorter rising time of 8 hours. Enough for a healthy fermentation and actually doable.
One thing though to take into account… room temperature (especially for the final proofing) was quite high. Comprised between 24 and 28 degrees. If you don’t have a room which can get that warm I recommend using your oven. Turned off and with the light on.
SURDEGS KANELBULLAR/SOURDOUGH CINNAMON BUNS
160 g active liquid starter
800 g all-purpose flour
390 g milk
50 g water
90 g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoon ground cardamon
150 g butter
150 g butter (room temperature)
90 g sugar
2 tablespoon cinnamon
250 Brown sugar
Pearl sugar (optional)
1. Add all the ingredients but the butter and knead until you have a smooth dough.
2. Now add the butter at room temperature, little by little, always kneading. Keep kneading until butter is fully incorporated and your dough doesn’t break easily when stretched.
3. Transfer the dough in a plastic container or a large bowl, stretch and fold a few times in the bowl and the n let rest, covered, in a warm spot for about 4 hours.
4. Always check on the dough. When you see that volume has increased at least 1 and 1/2 times since the start, then you are ready to roll the dough on a heavily floured surface into a long rectangle about 1 cm thick. If you do not have much kneading space, divide the dough in two and make two shorter rectangles).
5. Prepare the filling by combining the ingredients in a little bowl.
6. Spread the filling on 2/3 of the dough, lenghtwise, and then fold the dough on itself, making three folds, lenghtwise, starting from the part without filling.
7. Cut 1 1/2 cm wide stripes from the folded dough.
8. Roll one end of each stripe around your finger and roll the rest all around it, removing the knot from your finger in the end and closing the free edge under. It is fun! Here you can see a video of the traditional Swedish way.
9. Place the buns on parchment paper and over baking trays and let rest somewhere warm (your oven with the light on, for instance) for about 4 hours.
10. Make a syrup with the brown sugar and the water and let it cool.
11. Brush the buns with some water or milk and eventually add pearled sugar if you can find it. Otherwise leave them as they are.
12. Bake at 230 C for 10 minutes than lower the temperature to 190 and bake until golden brown also on the bottom of the buns.
13. While the buns are cooling down, brush them with the syrup.
CONSIDERATIONS: I was very satisfied with the dough, it rose wonderfully well, hope it works for you too. As for the shaping, I think perfection is still to achieve, but this was surely a good start -my daughter’s Swedish friends said they tasted like store bought and coming from a kid that is a compliment, I am sure.