Swedish Kanelbullar is the less gooey-sweet cousin to our cinnamon roll. Ropes of fluffy pastry are laced with fresh cardamom and cinnamon, twisted into pretty swirls and topped with a sprinkling of rocky pearl sugar. They are the perfect companion to coffee or tea. When we were Stockholm last year, we often spotted piles of these adorning the countertops of cafes and bakeries. Per Kurt's request, I made a big batch of them for the holidays this year, and I think they've become a new household favorite.
Makes 40 cinnamon rolls
2 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups melted butter, plus 1/3 cup melted butter for filling
1 cup sugar for dough, plus 2/3 cup sugar for filling
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cardamom
2 packages of active dry yeast (4 1/2 tsp)
8-9 cups bread flour
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 egg plus 2 tbsp water, lightly beaten into an egg wash
Swedish pearl sugar
1. In a small pan, bring milk to a slow simmer. Turn off heat when milk reaches a scalding point (small bubbles rise to the top). Pour milk into the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir in melted butter, sugar, salt and ground cinnamon.
2. Let mixture cool so until "finger-warm", or just cool enough to touch. Stir in yeast and let sit for 10 minutes. The yeast will begin to foam slightly or, as they say, "bloom."
3. Using the paddle attachment, turn the stand mixer on low and add flour 1/2 cup at a time. After you have added half of the flour, swap the paddle attachment for the dough hook. Turn the mixer's speed up to medium and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic and pulls away from the bowl, about 5 minutes.
4. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and allow it to rise in a draft-free place for about an hour, until doubled in size.
5. On a floured surface, punch down the dough and knead lightly until smooth and shiny. Divide dough into two halves. Roll each half into a 12" x 18" rectangle.
6. Brush each rectangle with melted butter. Combine 2/3 cup sugar with 2 tbsp cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over the rectangles. Roll each rectangle of dough crosswise, like a jelly roll, to form a long cylinder. Using a sharp knife, cut each cylinder into 20 equal slices. Place each slice in a paper cupcake wrapper and place on a baking sheet.
7. Cover rolls with tea towel and allow to double in size again, about 45 minutes.
8. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brush the tops of the rolls with egg wash and sprinkle on pearl sugar. Bake for 7 minutes, until lightly browned.