I finally, FINALLY, got around to making those Swedish cinnamon rolls ("kanelbullar") that I have been so obsessed with lately.
It was totally worth the effort. I used this recipe from the Scandinavian Kitchen which is a shop over in London because a) the recipe is in English, and b) the measurements are metric. Also partly because the recipe called for fresh yeast which I prefer for no other reason than that I love the texture.
If you have trouble with the measurements, try the converter at Food.com but also keep in mind that most kitchen scales have an option to measure in grams and most measuring cups have milliliter (ml) marks on the opposite side of the cup marks. Lastly, the recipe tells you to bake them at 220 degrees - this is not the Fahrenheit number. You want to cook them at 425F and in my oven it took about 12 - 15 minutes to get them to the lovely golden color.
As for using fresh yeast, well I love it. I was introduced to it years and years ago when I worked at Flour Bakery and have preferred it to dry ever since. It can sometimes be hard to find, but if the supermarket is going to carry it, it will be in the Dairy department, usually by the fake butters and string cheese.
If you can't find it and you are in Boston, send me a message and I will tell you my secret source.
The recipe makes about 30 rolls, a little more if you cut them thinner. Apparently once they are fully baked, you can freeze them. Just defrost and warm them up a little. A freezer packed with kanelbullar ready to go? Why yes, please!
A few observations after making these:
These are not too sweet. I say that because a typical American cinnamon roll is very ooey-gooey sugary sweet and usually the dough is unflavored. These rolls are strongly flavored with cardamom and the filling is a little bit of sugar and lot of cinnamon. If you don't like those flavors then this is probably not the roll for you.
It is totally worth it to use the pearl sugar. I got a giant bag from The King Arthur Flour store because I also plan on using it for other things, like decorating sugar cookies. There are plenty of other places to get it though - Amazon probably carries it, and if you are in the Boston area you can probably get it at Cardullo's or at Whole Foods. The pearl sugar makes for a sweet little crunch that is perfect for these not so sweet rolls.
Also, how adorable are those red stripey muffin papers? Those are from King Arthur also, a total impulse purchase that I wish I'd gotten more of, but then again I am partial to stripes.
If you are feeling a little more ambitious (but not much more) you should check out the rolls at Chez Larsson: Kanelbullar Knots. And while you are there you should check out the rest of her blog because it is terrific. She has a really cool site full of great organizing tips and lovely design ideas. I spent a good chunk of time on it just getting inspired!
Here's to Sweden, and to delicious kanelbullar!