I have a wonderful treat for you today. Annika Perry, who is a wonderfully reflective writer, has shared with us her story and her recipe for Cinnamon Buns.
I chose to post this today because today is Shrove or Fat Tuesday. It is a day that it is traditional to enjoy sweets before the long fast of Lent begins. Annika’s Cinnamon Buns certainly fit the bill for a wonderful sweet treat.
SWEDISH CINNAMON BUNS
There are three women gathered in the kitchen as the ingredients are placed on the counter. My mother and I as well as the presence of my departed Mormor (maternal grandmother). After all it’s her recipe and as the master baker she wouldn’t miss out on the event. It is not a light spiritual awareness of her being rather a profound sensation of her conversation, laughter and no doubt frustration at our slower preparation!
The warmest place in my grandparents’ house was one of the cellar rooms. Eradicate all the images the word creates in your mind of a damp, dark and dusty confine rather my Mormor’s baking cellar room sparkled with light and delicious fragrances dancing on the sun beams. The positive and cheerful energy pulsated through the cracks of the doors. One entered with quiet cautious steps; knowing one was always welcome but not wanting to disturb a critical moment. After all, I didn’t want to miss out on a cake or slice of freshly homemade bread!
With awe I watched as Mormor threw the ingredients into the large bowl! No need for scales or measuring jug as from years of experience her hands and eyes knew exactly what to add. As one large cinnamon bun dough was left to prove she’d quickly knead the already risen dough for bread, her hands working in perfect synchronicity with one ball under each palm, both gently pummeled to shape. A shape recognised today as the well-known round flatbread she helped to create and a popular and top-seller in shops along the West Coast of Sweden. With smugness I was privy to the tastiest Hönökaka bread around, always fresh from the oven!
Retrieving the dough for the cinnamon buns it would be time to join in the fun! Standing on a tiny footstool I’d work my smaller piece of dough, feeling its heat radiating, dipping my head slightly to inhale the scent. With my little red-handled wooden rolling pin I’d roll vigorously enjoying the squeak of my utensil. Looking to my right, I’d follow my Mormor’s unspoken directions. A tad bit more flour on the board, a forty-five degree turn of the dough. More rolling, checking and at last the desired thinness was achieved.
Once we’d sprinkled the filling liberally and my Mormor rolled this up she’d quickly cut them to shape and place them on a tray. A tray that vanished as if by magic into the furthest recess of the wall, the puff of heat of the wood-fired oven stroking my cheeks, the glimpse of the fiery interior awe-inspiring!
I am blessed that my memories of those precious moments together are rekindled every time I bake; I hope the love and soul my Mormor put into her baking are replicated in my culinary creations and will be for you too!
CINNAMON BUNS / KANELBULLAR
Ingredients (for approx. 50 buns)
• 125 g butter
• 1250 g plain flour
• 750 millilitre milk and water; 400 litre milk, 350 millilitres water
• 300 g sugar
• 75 g fresh yeast
• 100 g butter, softened for spreading
• Raisins, strewn over
• Cinnamon, sprinkled evenly over
For top & sides:
• Glaze with one egg and some milk, whisked
• Preheat the oven to 180˚C / 350˚F
• Pour the liquid in a pan and add the butter. Gently heat.
• Add some of this fluid to the yeast. Stir until smooth.
• Mix flour and sugar in a bowl then slowly add the heated mixture.
• Add the yeast.
Leave in warm space to prove for thirty minutes
• Knead the dough then split into two.
• Roll dough until evenly thin large square/rectangle.
• Spread on the melted butter, sprinkle liberally with cinnamon and raisins.
• Roll up neatly then cut into smaller chunks.
• Place these end up on a greased baking tray and glaze all over
• Bake in oven 15-18 minutes until golden.
It has been my pleasure to introduce you to Annika and I hope you have enjoyed meeting her. You can learn more about Annika and her writing at http://annikaperry.com.