Grandmother’s Cardamom Buns
Recipe By Fredrika Stjärne
- 2 oz. fresh yeast, or substitute 2/3 oz. dry active yeast
- 5 1/4 oz. unsalted butter
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 oz. unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground cardamom
- 1/3 cup grated almond paste, preferably Odense brand
- 1 egg, whisked
- Pearl sugar
Crumble the yeast into a large bowl.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter and add the milk, heating just until lukewarm. Add a little of this mixture to the yeast, stirring gently to dissolve. Add the remaining milk/butter, salt, sugar, cardamom and most of the flour, setting aside a little less than half a cup for rolling out the dough.
Work in the flour until the dough is smooth and releases from the sides of the bowl. Don’t add too much flour or it will become dry and dense; the dough should be a little sticky. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise in a warm, draft-free area of your kitchen for 45 minutes.
Place the dough on a floured surface and knead with floured hands just until smooth. Divide in two and roll one part into a large rectangle. Spread half the softened butter over the surface and distribute half the sugar, cardamom and grated almond paste on top. Repeat with remaining dough and toppings.
Fold the rectangles in half lengthwise and slice them into 1-inch strips. Twist each strip into a freeform knot shape to make the buns. Place on a parchment-covered baking sheet, cover with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 450ºF.
Before baking, gently brush the buns with the whisked egg and sprinkle pearl sugar on top. Bake on the middle rack for about 9 minutes, until deep golden brown. Cool on a rack, covered with a kitchen towel.
Tightly wrap and freeze any buns that aren’t eaten the same day. When ready to eat, leave them in the sun to defrost (inside the bag), then heat them up for a few minutes in a warm oven and they will taste freshly baked.