Not your traditional American Cinnamon rolls. The bun is soft and moist, even the next day.
Life without fika is unimaginable. You might be wondering what on earth is fika (pronounced"fee-kah"), well it's something almost everyone does at least once a day, like eating breakfast. It is the moment that you take a break, often with a cup of coffee or alternatively tea and is very common in Sweden. At its core, fika means "to drink coffee" but the meaning goes much deeper. Fika is indicative of a love of coffee as it is of a belief in maintaining tradition. To truly fika requires a commitment to making time for a break in your day and enjoy the food around you.
A popular baked good eaten during fika is vetebullar, a cinnamon and cardamom bun. Buns are perhaps the quintessential component to a Swedish coffee break and these are typically baked and served in paper liners. They're absolutely easy to make and the recipe is straightforward to follow. Your kitchens will be filled with an incredible smell when you bake these.
The bun is usually shaped by twisting and wrapping the dough around itself, which sounds complex. I went for the easier route that still looked pretty once baked (see below). Once you've mastered the dough, you can add any filling to it: no matter the variation the buns are always best fresh out of the oven.
Makes: 16 buns | Prep time: 15 minutes + 1hr 45 proving time | Baking time: 8-10 minutes
100g unsalted butter
2 teaspoons fast/active dry yeast*
640g plain flour
50g caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon crushed cardamom seeds
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
100g unsalted butter, room temperature
150g caster sugar
5 teaspoons of cinnamon
3 teaspoons of crushed cardamom
Chopped almonds or sugar pearls
1 egg, beaten
Prepare the dough: melt the butter in a saucepan then stir in the milk. Heat until warm to the touch. In a small bowl, add the yeast and mix 2 to 3 tablespoons of warm water and let it sit for a few minutes until it's bubbly on the surface.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cardamom, and salt. Add in the yeast mixture along with the melted butter and milk. Work together with your hands until you can make the dough into a ball. Put the dough ball on a flat surface and knead for 3-5 minutes. You can also just use a stand mixer with a dough hook instead. Place the dough in a large clean bowl and cover for 1 hour.
Make the filling: Cream together the butter, sugar, and other spices until you get a paste. Set this aside until ready to spread on your dough.
When the dough has finished rising, take half of the dough and place it on a flat surface. Make sure your surface is dusted with flour to avoid sticking. Roll out the dough into a rectangle shape (23cm by 43cm). Place the rectangle on the surface so that the long sides are closest to you.
Spread half of your filling onto your dough evenly. Fold the long side of the dough closest to you to meet the middle, then fold over the other side on top to overlap. Cut off the edges to neaten the log, then cut into equal size pieces. To shape the buns, cut two slits in one piece but keeping the top intact. You will then plait the three strands and once done, roll the dough into a ball - see pictures above. Place them on a baking tray with parchment paper and cover for 45 minutes for the second prove.
Preheat your oven to 225°C/435°F. When the buns have risen, carefully brush them with beaten egg and sprinkle each with the chopped almonds. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer the buns from the baking tray to the counter and cover with a tea towel to cool.
*If you have fast active dry yeast, just add this into your large bowl with the dry ingredients and mix.