Swedish kardemummabullar, or cardamom buns, hit all the marks.
The twists and the folds of the dough create a visually exciting rose bud of a knot.
The egg washed golden crust, when pulled apart, gives way to a warm, pillowy interior interwoven with a sticky sweet buttery cardamom filling.
The aroma is a dreamy air of caramelized sugar spice.
The bite is most satisfying.
The process of making these is fun and straightforward. I adapted my recipe from TASTE, scaling down batch size and changing the ratios of butter:sugar:cardamom in the filling.
RECIPE: (makes 5 buns)
- 1/2 cup whole milk, warmed
- 1 1/8 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cup AP or bread flour
- 1/8 cup sugar
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 egg (I realize this sounds strange, but whisk 1 egg and save half of the mixture for the egg wash. Or just double this recipe)
- 2 1/2 Tbs butter, softened
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tbs ground cardamom
Combine warm milk with yeast. Let sit while you combine the other ingredients.
Combine flour, sugar, cardamom, and salt. Add egg and softened butter.
Add milk/ yeast mixture and combine ingredients until they come together. Using your hands, knead the dough for 10 minutes. the dough should be sticky but manageable, and as you knead, the dough should become more homogenous and easier to work with. I like to squeeze and stretch the dough around on itself while holding it in the air as opposed to kneading it on a counter. After the 10 minutes, the dough should feel stretchier that when you started, indicating sufficient gluten strand formation.
Let dough ball sit, covered, for 1 hour or until it doubles in size. You can also leave it overnight in the fridge.
Prepare the filling by combining ingredients into a paste.
When the dough is ready, roll it out into a thin rectangle on a lightly floured surface.
Cover with filling, and fold the rectangle on itself, letter style. Cut off jagged edges
Roll new rectangle out and cut into 1 1/4” strips. Cut each of these strips almost entirely in half, but leaving 3/4” at the top (so the strips look like a pair of pants).
Twist pant leg strips around each other, and then, holding one end with thumb and forefingers, fold the new, twisted strip around your fingers and thumb. When you get to the end of the strip, fold it over the coiled knot and tuck it underneath. (This is hard to explain in writing… go watch a youtube video tutorial on the technique). Repeat with all strips.
After shaping the buns, let them sit, covered, for 1 hour.
Coat with egg wash and a sprinkle of sugar.
Bake at 350º F for 25 min, or until golden brown. You may have to rotate tray 1/2 way through for even baking.