It is a fact that there are many versions of cinnamon bread out there.
Why should I start with the Swedish version, you might ask.
Well, simply because. I think the Swedish breads and cakes I've seen
on internet are really good-looking. And I also think Sweden must be the
thrift store paradise. I bet I would find everything pretty if I visited that country.
Also, the recipe I chose promised to be light and not too sweet.
And it's true. To it!
Kanelbullar - Cinnamon bread
4 level tablespoons (50g) butter
1 cup milk
2 generous teaspoons dry yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (I ground 4 capsules while preparing the bread)
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
4 level tablespoons (50g) softened butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 generous teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pearl sugar* as needed
I heated the milk and butter in a small pan until lightly warm, and mixed it with the yeast and sugar in a bowl, letting it ferment for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, I ground the cardamom with my porcelain pestle. Actually, to get 1/2 teaspoon I think I should have used 2 more capsules, but I preferred to take it easy, since it's a bit of an unusual spice in here and it's got a strong taste. What if I bake the breads and people don't like it, huh?
Anyway, after grinding the cardamom I sifted it, so that no large pieces went into the dough.
I added it and the sal, and slowly added in the flour, stirring with a wooden spoon.
I reserved a little bit of the flour for later, to roll the dough out.
I kneaded the dough (which is really soft, but not sticky) in the bowl itself, and covered with plastic and tea towel, letting it rest in a warm spot (which in my cold kitchen means over a hot water bottle) for 30 or 40 minutes, until doubled in size.
I kneaded it again over the counter, and rolled out the dough until it reached about 20x40cm.
Next step: I mixed the filling ingredients in a small bowl and slathered it over the dough. Then I folded it in half, horizontally.
I cut slices approximately 3cm wide, vertically, using a sharp knife.
Then I made a cut in the middle of each slice, leaving approximately 1,5cm uncut.
Now, to shape the knots you need to take one slice at a time, twist each "leg" separately, then overlap their tips. With one hand you should take the tips together and pull them towards the uncut part of the dough slice.
It's quite complicated to explain all this in words, so there you have the step-by-step pictures.
If you click, the image will enlarge.
The original recipe says you should bake the knots at 250oC for 8-10 minutes. I recommend lowering the temperature and increasing the time, because my breads were a little burned on the bottom.
Except for that, wonderful. They were really soft and not too sweet at all.
This recipe yielded 11 knots.
*Judging by what I read in the comments of the post were I found this recipe, the pearl sugar only exists in Sweden and Belgium. It is used only for pastries, and won't melt in the oven leaving the pearls (large sugar crystals) intact to create punctual sweetness and decorative effect. Aaanyway. I used raw sugar instead and it went all right.