Cinnamon Rolls

“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”― Friedrich Nietzsche

This could be the motto of Kurt Wallander, the best seller Swedish detective created by Henning Mankel in the early ’90 and soon became a world best seller. In each of the twelve novels Mankel published in the Wallander series, he tried to enlighten the contradictions inside men and between men and society. I am a real fan of Kurt Wallander, he helped me to understand the contradictions of a society that is apparently perfect like the Swedish one (to be honest, living there I came to understand that Swedish society may not be perfect but it is nearly there). Wallander is not a gourmet as other detectives like my Montalbano, he is easy to please, very often we find him in Fridolfs Konditori to buy Swedish Cinnamon rolls. Fridolfs Konditori actually is in Ystad city center and I can assure that they prepare not only lovely cinnamon buns but also wonderful smorgasbord, the Swedish sandwiches.

So thinking of Kurt Wallander I prepared cinnamon buns but I rolled them in the way Cardamom buns (another Swedish specialty) are usually rolled.

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Courtesy for http://mapio.net/pic/p-57785562/

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Ingredients

10 gr. dry yeast
100 gr. sugar
250 ml milk
1 egg
100 gr. butter
1 tsp salt
1 tbs ground cardemom
700 gr. flour

Filling:
100 gr. butter
50 gr. brown sugar
2 tbs cinnamon

Glaze:
1 egg

Directions

Stir the yeast in a few tablespoons of milk.

Melt the butter put in the bowl of a stand mixer and pour the milk on it. Add the rest of the ingredients and knead the dough for 10–15 minutes.

Let the dough rise while covered at room temperature until it double.

Divide in small part of about 50 gr. each and let it rise again for half an hour.

Roll out each piece of dough so it is about 3 mm.

Prepare a mixture with cinnamon, butter and sugar and spread each rolled piece with it. Roll the dough the long way and cut the roll in the middle and then roll around itself (follow the slide show). Place them with the cut edge upward in paper molds. Place on a baking sheet and let rise under a towel for about 60 minutes or until the buns have doubled in size.

Beat the egg, brush the mixture carefully on the buns. Bake in the oven (200°C) for 20 minutes. Allow to cool on a rack.

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cinnamon rolls
Coffee and cinnamon rolls: the perfect “pika” (coffee break in Swedish)
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Semlor, a sweet treat for Nils Holgerson

“TWO days later, another strange thing happened. A flock of wild geese came flying one morning, and lit on a meadow down in Eastern Skåne not very far from Vittskövle manor. In the flock were thirteen wild geese, of the usual gray variety, and one white goosey-gander, who carried on his back a tiny lad dressed in yellow leather breeches, green vest, and a white woolen toboggan hood.” The Wonderful Adventures of Nils Holgerson by Selma Lagerlöf 

Did you know that this child novel is actually a geography school book?

Nils is a mean child which is turned very small by an Elf. He took off with a flock of wild geese that fly over Sweden, he finally learn the geography of his country but also how to be kind.

Selma Lagerlöf is one of my favored author especially the novel “The prince of Portugalia”Today’s recipe I learned when I was living in Lund, in the beautiful Skane, and I decided to prepare it today because is a seasonal treat, the Lent bun.

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INGREDIENTS

100g butter

300 whole milk
100 gr caster sugar
500g, strong floor
10 gr tsp fast action yeast
¼ tsp ground cardamom
a good pinch salt
1 egg

FOR THE FILLING
100g  marzipan, grated
¼ tsp ground cardamom
200ml (7 fl oz) whipping cream
3-4 tbsp icing sugar
lingonberry jam

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DIRECTIONS

  1. Place the butter and milk in pan and heat until the butter has melted, let it cool until 35 c.
  2. Place 1 tbs of caster sugar, 1 tbs of flour, 1tbs of honey and the yeast, along with the milk and butter in the bowl of a free-standing mixer and an mix it for a minut.
  3. Let the mixture rest for an hour.
  4. Add the rest of the sugar, the rest of the flour, the egg and the cardamom. Use the dough hook on the mixer to, then knead over a medium-to-low speed for 15-10 minutes
  5. Place the dough in a clean bowl covered with a damp tea towel.. Let it rest for 3 hours or until doubled in size, in a warm place.
  6. Dust your surface with flour, knock the dough back and roll into a sausage shape. Divide into 14 same-sized buns of about 8g  (I weight any piece of dough to make them as regular as possible.)
  7. Place on a large baking tray, spaced evenly apart and lightly cover with cling film. Leave to raise or about 30 minutes in a warm place.
  8. Once the buns are ready, brush the tops of the buns with milk. Bake the buns for 25-30 minutes in a 200 C. oven.
  9. When the buns are cooled cut the tops off and use a teaspoon to scoop out some of the crumb inside the bun to make space for a for a teaspoon of lingonberry jam and some crumble of marzipan.
  10. . Whip the cream and pipe over the top of the marzipan and to the edges. Place the hat back on the top of the buns and dust with icing sugar.

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