It is about time that I did a post on this delightful childhood memory. Bullar, or cinnamon buns, are delicious (and normally addictive) Swedish pastries. I used to eat these a lot when I was younger and growing up, I learnt how to make them myself at home so that I could enjoy them whenever I wanted to.
These are the ones I made during Christmas but they are nice to make any time of year. To make a batch of 50 Bullar you are going to need;
For the dough
150 grams Margarine
300 ml Milk
200 ml Water
1/2 tspn Salt
150 ml Golden Syrup (or 150 ml sugar)
1 1/2 tspn Ground Cardamom
1.3 litre Strong White Bread Flour
50 grams Fresh Yeast ( or three satchels of dried yeast if you can't get fresh)
For the filling
100 grams Margarine
100 grams Sugar
2 tbsp Cinnamon
2 tbsp Ground Almonds (Optional)
I know the measurement may seem strange but that's because of the way in which we measure things in Sweden. To get around this, use a measuring jug or the little cup measurers.
1. Put the oven on 180 degrees centigrades and prepare three trays to start with, placing some baking sheets on top of each.
2. Measure the milk, margarine and water together in a pan (or microwavable bowl) and warm until slightly warm. A test is to put your small finger into the mixture and feel a slight tingling but it shouldn't be burning hot, be very careful not to stick your finger in if it the mixture started to bubble at any point.
3. Using an all in one method, start by measuring three quarters of the flour into a separate bowl (I use a mixer by the way because these is quite a bit of kneading involved).
4. Dig a little ditch in the flour using your baking spatula (or spoon) and crumble in the yeast. Cover the yeast with flour so that nothing else can touch it.
5. In the same bowl, pour in the golden syrup (or sugar), salt and cardamom on the opposite side to where you put the yeast.
6. Using the mixer, begin at a moderate speed and pour in the milk and margarine mixture, which should still be warm, at a slow and steady rate. Sometimes, depending on the type of flour that you use, you might not need all the liquid, so go slowly and don't pour it all in, in case you don't need it. The dough should look slightly sticky but not what I call 'porridge-wet' after you have poured in the mixture. Continue to knead it for ten minutes. The dough should be smooth, soft and bouncy to touch.
7. Dust the finished dough lightly with flour and cover with a layer of cling film and three layers of kitchen towel or even your apron (I should mention at this point that if the bowl you used to knead in is quite small, transfer to a much larger bowl now, because the dough needs room to expand[butter the bowl first though] ). The warmer the better. Place in a warm place in your house, like next to a radiator if like me, you don't have one of those lovely warming cupboards, and let it sit for two hours.
8. In the meantime, mix together the butter, sugar and cinnamon into a thick smooth spread and leave until later.
9. Once it has doubled in size, punch it back down into the bowl and knead it out slightly to get any air bubbles out. Split the dough in two and cover the potion you are not using yet. With your remaining half, begin to roll it out into a rectangular shape that is about 1 cm thick.
10. Spread a generous amount of the cinnamon mix onto the rolled out dough using your baking spatula or butter knife until covered then beginning from the top most part of the dough furthest from you, start rolling the dough together. It's a bit like rolling a Swiss roll, but easier!
11. Using a knife, slice the dough into 2 cm wide disks and place onto the baking trays. Cover with cling film and kitchen towel again, to prove for 30 mins. Repeat process for second half of the dough.
12. Using a brush, lightly spread a mixture of 1 beaten egg and some milk (omit the egg if you are allergic) and place in the oven for 20-30 mins until golden brown and leave to cool on a cooling wrack.
And that's it, fresh yummy bullar for everyone to enjoy. You will notice I didn't say anything about the sugar crystals I place onto the buns. This is because they are not sold here in Britain [I've looked all over for 10 years] and the only place to buy them is in specialist Swedish shops. But a variation in sweden is to top these with flaked almonds which tastes just as wonderful, especially with a cup of coffee or strawberry juice.