In Sweden, cinnamon buns are often sprinkled with some pearl sugar before being baked, and in Norway and Denmark they are often decorated with icing – white or chocolate – after they have cooled down. I think it is really important to bake these buns in little individual paper cases, otherwise the filling has a tendency to leak out onto the baking sheet and burn, instead of soaking into the bun itself.
For the buns
150 g butter
50 g fresh yeast
1 teaspoon salt
90 g sugar
2 teaspoons finely ground cardamom seeds
800 g strong wheat flour
For the filling
200 g very soft butter
2 tablespoons ground cassia cinnamon
White icing or chocolate icing (optional)
Melt the butter in a pan, add the milk and heat to body temperature (37°C/98.6°F). Dissolve the yeast in the milk and butter mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the salt, sugar, cardamom, and then the flour, little by little, while you knead the dough with the dough hook. Set aside a little of the flour for dusting later. Keep kneading for about 10 minutes, or until it comes clean off the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and leave to rise for 30–40 minutes, or until doubled in size.
After the dough has been left to rise, roll it out on a lightly floured work counter to 60 x 40 cm/ 24 x 16 inches.
Use an offset spatula to spread on an even layer of the very soft butter. Leave a 4 cm/11/2 inch clear border along the long edge that is furthest away from you. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar all over the butter. Roll the dough up into a tight log, starting at the long edge closest to you and working away. Finish so that the unbuttered edge is underneath.
With a very sharp knife, cut the log into 20 slices. Lift each slice into a paper case and transfer to baking sheets. Cover the buns with a clean dish towel and leave to rise for about 25 minutes, or until they are doubled in size.
Brush the buns very lightly with the egg was. Bake them for 10–12 minutes, or until golden, then remove from the oven and cool on wire racks. (Sneak a bun just for yourself, as soon as they are cool enough to handle.) Once the buns are completely cold, decorate with icing, if using.
This originally appeared on House & Garden UK.