Makes 16 buns
These buns are inspired by the ubiquitous cardamom bun found all over Scandinavia, particularly in Sweden. They are less sweet than American-style cinnamon buns, with more tender dough than filling. This makes them the perfect morning accompaniment to a hot cup of coffee, though we like them any time of day! We used half cardamom and half cinnamon in the filling, but you can use a full amount of either one, if you prefer.
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 1/4 teaspoon (1 packet) instant dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk, room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 10 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cardamom
- 1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- Egg wash (1 egg, pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon water)
- Cardamom-sugar (2 teaspoons crushed cardamom seeds, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, mixed)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, salt, yeast, milk, eggs, and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Mix on medium speed until the ingredients are combined and a dough forms, about 3 minutes. Increase the speed to high and mix until the dough is smooth, about 3 more minutes.
- Add more 2 tablespoons of the butter and mix on medium speed to combine, about 1 minute. With the mixer on medium, add the brown sugar and remaining 6 tablespoons butter.
- Mix on medium-high for about 4 more minutes. At this point, the dough will be sticky, but you should be able to gently stretch a small piece to form a thin membrane. If the dough does not hold enough to make a “window,” continue mixing for 30 seconds at a time until it does. The window does not have to be perfect – you’re just checking to make sure the dough doesn’t break apart very easily.
- Remove the dough from the mixer and place in a lightly greased bowl, big enough for the dough to double in size. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to ferment until it is doubled in size, about 1 hour. Prepare the filling while the dough ferments and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- To prepare the filling: In a medium bowl, combine the ingredients and mix until a smooth mixture forms. Keep warm.
- On a floured surface, roll the dough to a rectangle that is 12- by 24-inches. Place the filling in pieces on one half of the dough (on the left side, as if it were a book), and use an offset spatula to gently spread the filling to the edges of that half of the dough.
- Fold the other half of the dough over the filling to enclose it, like a book. Turn the dough so that the closed seam is at the top of your work surface, and roll the dough into a 12- by 24-inch rectangle. Use a pastry cutter to trim the edges.
- Cut the dough into sixteen 1 1/2-inch strips, from top to bottom. Then, cut each strip in half lengthwise, from the bottom to the top, stopping about 1/2-inch from the top so that the two pieces are still attached by a tab of dough.
- To form the buns (see the video below), hold the tab between your thumb and forefinger so that the length of dough is falling away from you to the bottom of your hand. Wrap the dough up from behind your hand and back over your thumb two times to make a double loop, stretching the dough gently as needed. After the second loop, free your thumb and use it to hold the dough in place, and use your opposite hand to pull the tail of the dough to the left of the loop, wrapping it around the center of the loop like a belt. Tuck the end of the tail into the bottom of the bun and place it tail-side down on the prepared baking sheets.
- Loosely cover the buns with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and set aside to proof, about 1 hour. They will be about 1 1/2 times their size, and the dough should spring back about halfway when pressed gently.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Lightly brush each bun with egg wash and sprinkle all over with cardamom-sugar.
- Bake until the buns are golden brown all over, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, or serve hot.