Friday, 26 October 2012

Swedish goodie bag and bullar!

Last week my brother was here and we went to watch Cirque de Soleil's Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour. It was a great show, with a mixture of acrobatic tricks and dancing. It made me remember how amazing Michael Jackson was an artist. Realising my brother was about to come to London, I took the chance to order my favourite Swedish food/ingredients.

Bilar (foamy like sweets), mandelmassa (almond paste), pärlsocker, vanilla socker, marsan sås (custard), choklad pudding mix and a box of choklad tårta mix! Yum!
The week started on a foggy note and I went into Paul's to "admire" the cakes in order to comfort myself because it was so early in the morning. I was tempted to buy a Palmier but as I looked at it, it gave me an idea.....
It was a very misty morning indeed!
I have been meaning to make kanelbullar for a while now, partly because I have been craving some and also it's a good thing to keep in the freezer when you want a quick cake fix.
The recipe for Kanelbullar is pretty straight forward, the recipe has been on the back of the main Swedish flour (Kungsörnen Vetemjöl) pack for years and years. And this is where I got my recipe from;
150g butter
500ml milk
50g fresh yeast or 25g of dried ( big thanks to my local bakery for giving me the fresh yeast, x)
100ml sugar or 150ml depending on how sweet you like it
½ tsp salt
2 tsp ground cardamom (can be omitted but it's very Swedish to use)
850 g plain flour
1 egg (for the egg wash)
1. Melt the butter and milk, make sure it's no warmer than 37 degrees, so "finger warm"
2. If you are using fresh yeast, crumble it into a separate (very large bowl, you can tell by the amount of flour how big the bowl needs to be). Add a bit of the liquid to the yeast and after a couple of minutes pour it all in. I normally add the cardamom here as well.
3. Once the yeast has dissolved, add the sugar and salt and then fold the flour in (keep about 100g for the kneading)
4. I kneaded the dough by hand because it was far too much to put into the KitchenAid. It took be me 10 minutes of decent kneading to get a nice dough. 
5. Put the dough back into a bowl and let it rise for 30 minutes
6. Once the 30 minutes are over, cut the dough into half or keep it as one and roll out into rectangular shape/s.
For the filling, you have two options;
Cinnamon butter or Almond paste butter (then it's not really called cinnamon buns...)
With the cinnamon butter;
100g sugar ( I used golden caster sugar)
2 tbsp cinnamon
100g softened butter 
Mix it really well, you can even pulse it in a mixer but make sure it's spreadable.
Spread it generously on the rolled out dough and roll it up.
With almond paste butter;
100g the almond paste (mandelmassa)
100g softened butter
Mix it really well until spreadable
Spread it generously on the rolled out dough before rolling it up.
With both of these fillings you can adjust it to your taste, more or less butter, cinnamon, almond etc,
Once you have spread your filling, you would normally roll the dough up, very much like a roulade and then cut it up in whatever size buns you like.
After my encounter with the Palmiers I wanted to try something different and rolled two opposite sides up until they met in the middle. This created a heart shaped bun(!?) :0)
 7. You can proof the dough after you have filled them for another 40 minutes. I baked mine straight after (because I wanted to eat them sooner :0) and skipped the proofing. They turned out very nice anyway but do proof them if you have the patience.
8. Gently brush egg wash on them before going into the oven and spread some pärlsocker (very Swedish). If you aren't near any Swedish shops in order to purchase pärlsocker, you can use almond flakes which would go nicely with the almond paste version.
This recipe yields different amounts depending on what shapes you with. But if it's normal "bullar" (buns), it should make about 40 of them.
They looked a bit like owls to me....
These are what bullar normally look like!
Mine were the size of a small bun so they only took 8-10 minutes. I would test one and keep it in for longer if needed. Max 15 minutes, I would say depending on size.

The heart shaped once came out beautifully and the little ones in the cases as well but I didn't capture them on camera unfortunately.
We brought these up to my boyfriend's parents, to enjoy over the weekend....but first I had to test try one or two whilst hot with some milk.
 I much prefer these to any Chelsea, sticky or iced buns. It's the perfect fika bulle!
Ciao! x

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