Even though at this present time the cinnamon rolls that we’re familiar with are American products, yet the cinnamon rolls actually are Scandinavian. The Swedes claimed that they already had cinnamon rolls since 1920 and they even celebrate Kanelbullens dag (Cinnamon bun day) nationally every 4th of October. Cinnamon rolls are also popular as traditional dishes with various names in other Scandinavia countries; Danish’s cinnamon rolls are Kanelsnegle (Cinnamon snail), meanwhile in Norway cinnamon rolls are called Skillingsboller.
What these countries’ cinnamon rolls have in common is their use of ground cardamom as an additional spice to the dough, which also makes them special. It is also odd, knowing the fact that cardamom is not Northern Europe native. Long time ago, the Viking explorers brought back cardamom from Constantinople, and it somehow started their dependency on cardamom. And just like Indonesian being dependant on rice; although the needs only can be covered by importing commodities, the Scandinavian are still using cardamom for ages and for every basic bread dough.
Back to the Swedish cinnamon rolls. Besides their exotic taste, they are also less buttery and less sweet if we compare them with the American sticky sugar glazed cinnamon rolls that we often find, even though still can be considered sinful if we eat them too much. In place of syrup or cream glazing, this Swedish cinnamon rolls use egg and crystal sugar to top the bun.
As a big fan of spiced sweet food, having cinnamon spiced homemade bread in the cloudy morning with a mug of hot chocolate will be very pleasing. There were concerns for me to bake, though; the popular cinnamon rolls recipes contain very high sugar and butter, which then will be pricey and fatty, not the kind of breakfast that I am looking for. Being curious about the fact why some people in this world are taking those greasy daily, then I ended up tracing the cinnamon rolls origins and decided to follow the recipe from Sweden official website! That recipe was using bread mixer and some methods are not explained clearly, so hereby I wrote the without mixer version in detail, also with some modification. Have fun baking!
Swedish Cinnamon Rolls (Kanelbullar)
Adapted from: Sweden official website
Yield: 25 buns
Prep time: 30 m
Cooking time: 120 m
Total time: 150 m
Total time: 150 m
- 750 gr all purpose flour (6 cups)
- 100 gr sugar (7 tbsp)
- 3 ½ tsp instant yeast
- 1 tbsp ground cardamom
- 1 tsp salt
- 300 ml milk (1 1/3 cup), I used low fat
- 1 egg
- ½ cup butter
- 4 tbsp butter
- 4 tbsp sugar
- 4 tbsp cinnamon powder
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 egg
- Pearl sugar (read how to have it homemade here)
- Combine 4 cups of flour, sugar, yeast, cardamom, and salt in mixing bowl until homogeneous
- Combine all wet ingredients, mix until no dry ingredients remains
- Knead for 10-15 minutes, while adding all the remaining 2 cups of flour. Stop kneading when you feel the dough is already not sticky and elastic. After kneading, there might be dry ingredients remain on the bottom of the bowl, but it’s fine.
- Cover the bowl with clean damp cloth, let it rise for 30-45 minutes. You need not to coat the dough with vegetable oil as the mixture will not stick after rising.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven at 220 deg C, and line baking pan with baking sheet that has been greased and dusted.
- After the dough rise, divide it into two same size dough.
- Roll out the first dough until it reaches about 3 mm thick and 40 cm in width.
- Spread two tablespoons of butter, sprinkle sugar and cinnamon. Roll the dough the long way.
- Cut the roll into 12 slices Place on the prepared baking pan, covered with clean damp cloth, and let it rise for 30-45 minutes until the rolls doubled in size.
- Whisk together egg and water, brush the mixture on the top of the rolls. Sprinkle pearl sugar on top.
- Bake for 6-7 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Let it cool before peeling the baking sheet.