Swedish cinnamon rolls & berry braid recipes
I like themes! It makes my brain happy, so naturally the most logical thing to do after posting the Stockholm guide is to get into the essence of my favorite Swedish habit - fika.
Just like the British have their tea time and scones, we Swedes have our fika ritual. Fika means having a break or a date with coffee and sweet pastries. It's more flexible than tea time and can be done anytime in the day, so great, hurray! We swedes are good with hearty conversations over coffee and kanelbullar (Swedish for cinnamon rolls). Everybody knows that a good cinnamon roll opens up the heart for cosy conversation.
And the time is right for comforting pastries. The summer is leaving us and it would be more sad if the early fall wasn't so beautiful. There's plenty of autumn inspiration and golden brown cinnamon bread is one of my fall favorites besides soups and blankets.
Swedish Cinnamon rolls, is getting popular way beyond the Swedish borders, and if you like to bake these delicious buns, I've penned a basic recipe in this post, you'll notice the super powers attached to these pastries as you'll be able to draw friends or family in the house into the kitchen, eagerly waiting by the table, eyes nailed on the oven as the scent of freshly baked rolls emerges.
Every swede knows how to bake cinnamon buns and the classic recipe consists of common offenders such as refined sugar, white wheat flour, cows milk and butter. My easy recipe is adjusted to win over the taste buds of health conscious foodies like you and me (and we are a fast growing global tribe, you know) :) I've made my buns like this for years and never looked back, they're just as rustic and charming as the traditional version. Let's get those ovens warm.
Cinnamon rolls and braids
Makes 20 rolls
or 10 rolls and a braid,
or 2 braids.
Basic pastry dough
380 gr spelt flour(use wheat if you prefer)
14 gram dry yeast
¼ cups palm sugar (coconut sugar)
a pinch of fine salt
1 cup almond milk
⅓ cup olive oil for baking
(classic Cinnamon roll)
4 tbsp olive oil for baking
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
⅕ cup palm sugar
a wee pinch of salt
optional: a pinch of cardamom
(delicious in a braid)
a handful of smashed blueberries or blackberries
⅕ cup palm sugar
a sprinkle cinnamon
4 tbsp olive oil for baking
vegan option: 2 tbsp agave syrup
traditional: one whipped egg
Add your dry dough ingredients to a big bowl, mix well. Heat the almond milk to finger warm temperature, add slowly to the bowl, add olive oil and work the dough with your hands to mix all ingredients into a silky firm dough. Adjust with a little extra flour if its to wet or a wee bit of almond milk if it feels to dry. Preheat your oven to 230 ℃. Leave the the dough to rest for half an hour, covered, in room temperature, (not too cold). On a clean surface, dust a little flour and knead your dough good (with love), until it's supple.
Split the dough in two, and bake each of the parts into a rectangle shape. About 50 to 75 mm thick. Now its time to apply the yummy filling.
Brush a coating of olive oil on top of the dough, sprinkle the palm sugar and cinnamon so that it layers the whole surface. Finish with a tiny pinch of fine salt. If you like you can add a pinch of cardamom too. Make a snug roll, like a long sausage. With a knife cut the roll into 2 cm long pieces. Dress a baking tray with paper and add the pieces of rolls with the swirl facing upwards. Leave a few cm room between each as they will swell in size. Leave to rest covered for 30 minutes. Brush on glaze, on top of the rolls. Bake in the oven for 6 - 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the buns, ovens work differently. Bake them extra minutes if the color is not there.
In a bowl smash black or blueberries with coconut sugar. Brush the dough with a coat of olive oil then layer with the berry mix using a spoon or brush. Roll or braid the dough.
Making a braid:
Lay your flat dough rectangle on a papered baking tray. Think of the dough shape as three long lengths. The middle part is the spine. Leave the spine untouched. With a knife, cut fringes ca 1.5 - 2 cm wide slightly angled pointing downwards on each part siding "the spine. Add chosen filling to layer on the spine, and begin with folding in each fringe, one side at the time, over each other, almost like folding in the sliev of a shirt before folding. Systematically work your way down. Fold in the bottom and top part. Leave to rest, covered, for 30 minutes. Brush on the glaze and bake in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Watch the oven, add a few minutes baking time if needed.
Let the fika bread, cool down a little, covered for a few minutes. Then enjoy, with coffee, a glass of almond milk, tea, lemonade or what else you fancy. There's nothing wrong with enjoying a fika solo if that's your situation. Chances are if you have people around, the cinnamon rolls will be gone in a flash!