Is there anything the Nordics don’t do better than the rest of us – healthcare, affordable furnishings, hit political dramas, beautiful children, and festive baking.. the list goes on. These buns are a sort-of take on St. Lucia buns, except I didn’t have any saffron, and I love love love the taste of wintery spices like cardamon. I used almost the exact recipe from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book, swapping out the saffron for cardamon.
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup heavy cream (I didn’t have any, and used 1/2 cup greek yoghurt – it seemed perfect)
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 tsp cardamon seeds (split the pod, and empty out the little black things)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Grated rind of 1/2 a clementine.
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, room temperature
4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Egg wash glaze
2 tablespoons milk
1. Pop the yeast in the bowl of a mixer with the warm water, and stir gently. Add 1 tablespoon of the sugar and stir again. Let the mixture stand until the yeast goes all foamy – this will take about 5 minutes.
2. Add the remaining sugar, the melted butter, the cream and milk, the spices, salt and finally the eggs. Beat the mixture well until combined.
3. Remove paddle attachment (normal cake-mixer cake) from mixer and fit with the dough hook. Add flour 1 cup at a time mixing well with each addition to keep the dough smooth and satiny. You may not need to use all of the flour.
4. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours, or up to 24 hours.
5. Preheat oven to 190C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
6. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cut into 26 even pieces. Roll each square into a long rope, and curl each end of a rope in opposite directions, creating an “S” swirly shape (for immaculately shaped St. Lucia buns, see sprinkle bakes)
7. For the glaze, beat the egg with the milk, and brush liberally on each bun.
7. Place sheets in a warm place for the second prove (rise) until doubled in size – this will take about 30-45 minutes.
8. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown and puffy, cool on a wire rack. They freeze well, and only stay fresh for about 24 hours – after that, pop them in the oven/microwave to heat. They are even more delish with lemon curd.