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Friday, November 1, 2013

Cinnamon-Cardamom Buns

Cinnamon-Cardamom Buns {#twelveloaves} |
We eat our fair share of freshly baked bread in this house (as you well know if you hang out here at all).  Everybody has their favorites, the ones that are requested on a regular basis.  My oldest prefers pretzels, potato bread, and crusty white bread; my middle child adores cinnamon rolls of any variety; my youngest is forever asking me to make pull-apart bread of the cinnamon-sugar variety or a long loaf of Italian bread.  The hubster?  Well, he's happy with anything, as long as it's not pumpernickel or something equally dark that doesn't taste like chocolate.  He firmly believes that if bread is dark brown, it should be sweet.

Me, myself?  I have a hard time choosing.  It seems that whichever bread, roll, bun, or twist that is warm and fragrant and cooling on my counter is the one I prefer.  Most recently, these Cardamom-Cinnamon Buns.

Cinnamon-Cardamom Buns {#twelveloaves} |
They are soft, lightly sweet, and redolent with the floral, balsam taste of cardamom blanketed in every twist.  Two with your morning coffee or two make a beautiful start to your day, but at the same time, a warm batch recently pulled from the oven are irresistible to hungry little after-school bodies.

And while it really is the end result that I can't resist, the actual process of making them is pretty fun, too.  This is the first time that I've ever shaped buns in this fashion, but it's not going to be my last.

Cinnamon-Cardamom Buns
Soft, lightly sweet buns redolent with the floral, balsam taste of cardamom blanketed in every twist.
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Cinnamon-Cardamom Buns {#twelveloaves} |
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Keywords: bread breakfast spices yeast bake vegetarian nut-free soy-free

Ingredients (yield: 32 buns)
    for the dough:
    • 1 cup lukewarm milk
    • 114 grams (1/2 cup / 4 ounces) sugar
    • 1 egg, at room temperature
    • 126 grams (4.5 ounces / 9 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
    • 660 grams (23.6 ounces / ~5 cups) all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • 7 grams (2-1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
    for the filling:
    • 84 grams (3 ounces / 6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
    • 46.2 grams (1.65 ounces / 1/4 cup) brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • pinch sea salt
    to finish:
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • sugar

    If at all possible, I like to let my bread machine to the mixing, kneading, and first rise of the dough; I've written out this recipe with that in mind. You can also do the same thing in a mixer using a dough hook, or with a little elbow grease by hand.

    Place all dough ingredients into the bread machine in the order listed (or the order suggested by the manufacturer, if it differs). Press dough cycle and let it do its work. It's possible that you may need to let this dough rise for an extra hour beyond that in your machine; just allow it to almost double.

    If using a mixer (or by hand), once dough has been kneaded for 5 minutes (10 by hand) and is soft and pliable, form it into a ball and place it into a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, ~2 hours.

    In the meantime beat the butter, sugar, and cinnamon together until well combined. Cover and set aside at room temperature. Line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.

    Turn the risen dough out onto your work surface (you shouldn't need to flour it); divide into four portions. Set three aside and drape some plastic wrap over them while you're working with one. Use a rolling pin to roll a portion of dough out into a rectangle that measures roughly 12" x 10", and is 1/4" thick. Spread 1/4 of the butter mixture over the dough using a rubber spatula (it will be a thin layer - don't worry, it's enough). Starting with a long end, roll the dough up into a thinnish sausage. Set aside, and repeat with remaining dough portions.

    Cut each dough sausage into 8 fat, V-shaped sections; the "point" of the V should measure about 3/4" and the larger base should measure about 2".
    Cinnamon-Cardamom Buns {#twelveloaves} |
    Press down on the top of each one with your finger, until you think it will almost go through to the work surface. The cinnamon butter should ooze out the sides a bit. Place them on the prepared baking sheets, leaving enough room for them to rise a bit. If you don't have room on two sheets, save the rest to bake after the first batch comes out of the oven.
    Cinnamon-Cardamom Buns {#twelveloaves} |
    Brush them lightly with the beaten egg, and sprinkle with a good smattering of sugar. Set aside and allow them to rise, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
    Cinnamon-Cardamom Buns {#twelveloaves} |
    Slide the trays into the preheated oven and bake for ~20 minutes, or until golden all around. Serve them hot, warm, or at room temperature Once cooled completely, they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
    -adapated from Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros

    Cinnamon-Cardamom Buns {#twelveloaves} |
    Our #TwelveLoaves theme for November is SPICE!  With temperatures dropping, we think that it's the perfect time to explore breads (both yeast and quick) with that added warmth of spice.  Let's get baking, we'd love it if you'd share yours with us this month!