Annabel Crabb’s tasty recipe for warm Scandinavian Cinnamon Buns.
ScandinavianMakes about 12
1 teaspoon active dried yeast
45 g (1½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar
70 ml (2¼ fl oz) lukewarm water
200 g (7 oz/1⅓ cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
pinch of salt
1½ teaspoons ground cardamom
40 g (1½ oz) butter, plus extra melted butter for glazing
1 egg, lightly beaten
1½ tablespoons ground cinnamon, plus a little extra for dusting
175 g (6 oz/1 cup) raisins
icing (confectioners’) sugar, for dusting
1 The day before, mix the yeast, 1 tablespoon of the sugar and the water in a medium bowl and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Stir in half the flour, then leave to stand for about an hour, or until roughly doubled in size. (This first step is not strictly necessary. You can just let the yeast activate with the water and sugar for 5–10 minutes; however, in my experience, you end up with a fluffier bun if you make this pre-dough beforehand.)
2 Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining flour with the salt and cardamom. When the pre-dough is ready, add it to the flour, along with the egg. Mix until you have a dough.
3 Put the butter between two sheets of baking paper and bash it with a rolling pin to soften it. Fold the butter into the dough and knead until fully incorporated, then cover and rest for 10 minutes.
4 Knead the dough again, then cover and rest for another 10 minutes. Repeat once or twice more, until you have a firm, smooth ball of dough. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight. (I realise all this may seem time-consuming, but it is easily incorporated into a quiet evening of box sets, podcasts or late-night radio.)
5 Next day, knock back the dough and turn out onto a lightly floured bench. Flatten the dough into a rectangle about 25 x 10 cm (10 x 4 in). Brush with the beaten egg, then sprinkle over the remaining sugar, followed by the cinnamon and raisins.
6 Roll up the dough into a long sausage, like a Swiss roll, then cut into slices about 2 cm (¾ in) thick – you should get about 12. Nestle the slices into a greased 23 cm (9 in) baking dish or tin, cover with a tea towel and leave until roughly doubled in size, about 1–1½ hours.
7 Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and sit a heatproof bowl or roasting tin on the lowest shelf. Put the buns in the oven, pour a cup of water into the bowl or tin; quickly close the door afterwards and reduce the temperature to 180°C (350°F). Bake the buns for 10–15 minutes until golden, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
8 While still warm, brush with melted butter, then dust with icing sugar and a little more cinnamon.
Although best eaten warm, these cinnamon buns are good for a few hours after baking. Carry in a basket (so the warm buns don’t steam and become soggy) and cover with a clean tea towel to keep fresh en route.
Recipes and Images from Special Delivery by Annabel Crabb and Wendy Sharpe, published by Murdoch Books