I had such fun last week with Kuku Sabzi and all those herbs, one of which was cardamom. Before making my kuku (vegan persian frittata), I had never used this potently fragrant spice. Now, I’m obsessed. And really proud of how this adventure turned out: 16 glorious little knots of dough that looked as good as they tasted. Actually better…the aroma of combining the yeast with the flavorful cardamon transported us to a little cafe in “the city between bridges,” Stockholm, and sharing a *‘fika’ coffee break with a friend, (Rick). That’s how good. And get this- it’s vegan!
There are a lot of cardamom bun recipes, but I ended up using www.fixfeastflair.com because I could use non-dairy milk and her recipe didn’t call for a lot of sugar. Don’t be put off or daunted by the list of ingredients or the three different steps. This is worth all the effort. Just pretend you’re in a ceramics class with a bunch of beautiful Swedes. I mean, what else do you have to do on a cold January day…
Kardemummabullar Swedish Cardamom Buns Ingredients
Makes: 15-20 Buns
Prep time: 2 ½ hours
Bake: 435 °F
- 1 cup + 1 tbsp milk heated to 110 °F
- 1 envelope dry active yeast
- ⅓ cup light brown sugar
- 3 ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- ¼ tsp salt
- 5.3 tbsp Earth Balance Original Buttery Spread (at room temp)
- Oil/cooking spray (to grease bowl)
- 4.5 tbsp Earth Balance Original Buttery Spread
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 ½ tsp ground cardamom
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- ½ tsp ground cardamom
Cardamon Dough Recipe
- Heat non-dairy milk to 110°F, let cool some
- Pre-grease/oil a large bowl and set aside.
- In another bowl, add yeast to the lukewarm milk with 1 tsp light brown sugar and stir until yeast is dissolved. Let activate for 10 minutes.
- Fit a whisk attachment to your mixer, mix together flour, light brown sugar, cardamon and salt.
- Change the attachment to the dough hook attachment.
- After yeast has been activated, add yeast/milk to the flour mixture and mix on low until dough begins to come together. Increase speed to medium-low and add cub vegan buttery spread in handfuls. Once all the vegan butter has been added, increase speed to med-high and knead for 5 minutes.You want this dough to be a fairly loose dough, whatever you do, don’t over knead.
- Scape dough out onto lightly floured surface and shape into a large bun, tucking the edges toward the center.
- Place into a greased bowl, seam side down and cover with clean kitchen cloth.
- Put the bowl in a warm place and let it rise for at least 40 minutes.
Cardamon Filling Recipe
- In a bowl with your mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine vegan butter, dark sugar, ground cardamom and mix together until creamy and smooth.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Roll dough into an approx. 13”x21” rectangle on a lightly floured surface.
- Spread filling onto the rolled out dough rectangle with silicone spatula so that it covers the entire area from edge to edge.
- Mark 7” sections on the 21” side with the back of a knife so that you have three equal sections. Fold like a business letter, by folding left side to the middle then fold the right side over the left. (see pics) 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 pizza cutter, cut 2 cm strands. You should have 15-20 strands.
- Starting at the end, wrap a strand around the tips of your thumb and four fingers 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.
- Place buns on a baking sheet, cover with kitchen towel and let rise for about 30 minutes.
- While proofing, preheat the oven 435°F at least 30 minutes before baking.
Cardamom Glaze Recipe
- While rolls are proofing, heat water, light brown sugar, and vanilla in a small saucepan on high until sugar has dissolved completely. Set syrup aside.
- Combine ground cardamon and granulated sugar in a small bowl.
- Bake proofed rolls for 7-8 minutes or until tops are golden brown.
- Immediately brush tops with syrup and sprinkle with cardamom-sugar.
- Serve and enjoy!
Fika?? Hygge? What can we learn from our northern cousins? “Fika is often translated as “a coffee and cake break”, which is kind of correct, but really it is much more than that. Fika is a concept, a state of mind, an attitude and an important part of Swedish culture. Many Swedes consider that it is almost essential to take time for fika every day. It means making time for friends and colleagues to share a cup of coffee or tea and a little something to eat. Fika cannot be experienced at your desk by yourself. Fika is a ritual.
Even the mighty Volvo plant stops for fika. All Swedes consider it important to make time to stop and socialise: to take a pause. It refreshes the brain and strengthens relationships. And it makes good business sense: firms have better teams and are more productive where fika is institutionalised.
Often fika is enjoyed by candlelight, even if it’s in an office or in a corner of a factory. It’s about slowing down and finding time for each other, whilst you sip a drink and enjoy something small to eat.” SwedishFood.com
And how about, The Oxford Dictionaries’ 2016 “word of the year,” “hygge’” a Danish term defined as a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” Pronounced, “hoo-guh”
We’ve all seen the pictures of thick hand knitted socks, feet cozied up to a lit fireplace, candle light reflecting off of a cup of mulled cider or mulled wine, natural wood, simple furnishings and warm blankets within easy grasp. That’s, hygge.
“The hard-earned lesson of frigid Scandinavian winters is that there’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothes——that’s all you need to get through difficult times is shelter and sustenance, kith and kin.” –newyorker.com
I’m choosing to shelter in my kitchen and ‘fika’ via facetime and zoom with my kith and kin. If I’ve learned anything this last year, I’ve learned that love can be stirred into a soup. Hug kneaded dough and prayers whispered over steamy teas somehow someway soothe…welcome 2021 🙂
Ciao for now!