A family friend is from Sweden and I think that my first memories of having cardamom come from eating her Cardamom Cake when I was a child. I love cardamom, even more that I love cinnamon. These are a variation on a cinnamon roll, so I thought it would make a nice addition to the celebratory weekend breakfasts. I’m not Swedish, so I can’t really tell you how authentic these are, but I can tell you that they are very yummy and that is what counts in my book.
for the dough
1 cup milk, heated to 110F
1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) dry active yeast
1/3 cup light brown sugar
3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature, cut to small pats
for the filling
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
for the glaze/topping
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon course granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
In the work bowl of your stand mixer, add one cup of the flour. Make a well in the middle and then add yeast to the lukewarm milk with 1 tablespoon of the light brown sugar. Let activate for 10-15 minutes. It should be foamy as the yeast becomes active. Add the remaining sugar, flour, cardamom and salt. With the dough hook attachment, start combining. As the dough comes together, while the machine is still running, add in pats of butter, one at a time until each is incorporated. Once all the butter has been added, increase speed to medium/medium-high and knead for about 5 minutes. You want this to be a fairly loose dough, so whatever you do, don’t over knead.
Scrape dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape it into a bun, tucking the edges toward the center. Place in a greased bowl, seam side down and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Place bowl in a warm place and let it rise for at least 40 minutes, and up to 75, until dough has doubled in size.
In the meantime, make the filling. In the work bowl of your stand mixer, fitter with paddle attachment this time, combine butter, dark brown sugar, and ground cardamom. Mix together on medium-low until creamy and smooth.
Once the dough has completed it’s first rise, you are ready to form the rolls. Line baking sheets with parchment or silpat mats and set aside.
Roll out dough into a 13 inch x 21 inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Spread filling onto the rolled out dough rectangle with an offset spatula or knife so that it covers the entire area from edge to edge. Mark 7 inch sections on the 21″ side with the back of a knife so that you have three equal sections. Fold left side to the middle, than fold the right side over the left side. Turn the dough so that the openings are on the left and right sides and roll out the dough slightly. Using your ruler and sharp knife or pastry wheel, cut 1/2 inch strands. You should have 15-20 strands.
Starting from the end, wrap one strand around the tips of your thumb and four fingers (three if you have big hands) twice, twisting slightly as you wrap, then slip your thumb out of the roll, loop the strand around one last time then tuck the end and your thumb loop into the bottom. Repeat with all strands. Yeah, easier said than done. Essentially you are tying big knots. They don’t have to be perfect.
Place buns on your prepared baking sheets, (giving enough room for dough to rise and spread during proofing and baking), cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for about another 30-45 minutes. While proofing, preheat oven to 425F.
Finally, while rolls are proofing, heat water, light brown sugar, and vanilla extract in a small saucepan on high until sugar has dissolved completely. Set syrup aside. Combine ground cardamom and coarse granulated sugar in a small bowl.
Bake proofed rolls for 10-12 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Take out of the oven to a cooling rack and immediately brush tops with syrup and sprinkle with cardamom-sugar. Ready to eat!