Orange Glazed Cardamom Buns

After being inspired by an old Great British Bake Off episode I wanted to make a cardamom flavoured bread and came across the existence of Swedish Cardamom Buns. Having never been to Sweden, or tasted one of these before I cannot attest for its authenticity – I can however vouch for its scrumptiousness: both comforting and exciting to eat. Don’t be put off by the multiple stages, I had plenty of time to go off and complete errands (play computer games) between each one!

This is where I found the original recipe – Dels Cooking Twist, however after converting it to metric, halving it and messing about with it in general including adding orange to the glaze it’s not very recognisable. These are a less sweet version of the more common cinnamon buns and go very well with a cup of coffee.

Ingredients

Pre-Dough
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 300g milk
  • 350g strong white flour (bread flour)
  • 1 x 7g sachet yeast
  • 20g caster sugar
Dough
  • 125g soft butter
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 10 cardamom pods
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 200g strong white flour (bread flour)
Filling
  • 10 cardamom pods
  • 60g soft light brown sugar
  • 60g soft butter
Glaze
  • Juice 1 orange
  • 20g caster sugar
  • 30ml water
  • drop vanilla paste

Method

Pre-Dough
  1. Bash the cardamom pods, put them in a saucepan with the milk – heat until warm / steaming then remove from the heat to cool.
  2. Mix the flour, sugar and yeast together in a bowl.
  3. Once the milk is cooled, strain to remove the cardamom, then mix it into the dry ingredients to form a dough.
  4. Knead on the worktop until a smooth dough is achieved (come to me if you want to learn this bit!).
  5. Place back in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel / oiled cling film. Leave to prove for around 30mins until it’s doubled in size. The length of time this takes is dependant on how warm the milk was, how warm the room is etc.
Dough
  1. Cream the butter and sugar together.
  2. Crush the cardamom pods and discard the husks. Crush the seeds to a fine powder in a pestle and mortar.
  3. Mix the egg with the cardamom, vanilla paste and salt.
  4. Gradually beat the egg into the creamed butter and sugar, followed by a few tablespoons of the flour to help incorporate in the fat.
  5. Knock back the poved pre-dough and add in this creamed butter mix. This will be messy and slimy – enjoy it! Eventually you should be able to mix it to a sloppy dough. Now start adding the rest of the flour – I worked it on the worktop again at this point, adding the flour in gradually until I got a soft dough.
  6. Knead the dough again until it’s elastic and smooth.
  7. Place the dough back in the lightly oiled bowl – cover with a tea towel / oiled cling film. Leave to prove for another 30 mins until doubled in size again.
  8. While the dough is proving prepare the filling
Filling
  1. Crush the cardamom pods and discard the husks. Crush the seeds to a fine powder in a pestle and mortar.
  2. Cream the butter, sugar and cardamom together.
  3. Once the dough is risen, knock it back again and shape to a rectangle on a floured worktop.
  4. Spread the filling over half of the dough. Fold the empty half over the filled half so you’ve sandwiched the filling in.
  5. Roll the dough back out to a rectangle. Cut into around 16 x 1cm strips, cut each 1cm strip in half up the length so you have 2 x 0.5cm strips which are connected at the top by 1cm. See photo for a less confusing description!
  6. Take each of these strips – twist the lengths to form a rope and roll the whole thing up tucking the end away underneath. Place in a muffin case. Repeat with the rest of the strips.
  7. Place on baking trays and cover with oiled cling film. Leave to prove for around 45 mins until they look full and they spring back when poked. (Resist poking them too hard or you’ll knock the air out!).
  8. Pre-heat the oven to 220°C.
Baking and Glaze
  1. Boil the orange juice, sugar, water, and vanilla in a saucepan to create an orange sugar syrup – it should be thick enough to paint on as a glaze.
  2. Once the buns are proved, place them in the oven, turn the oven down to 180° and set a timer for 15 mins. These are worth keeping an eye on – you may need to cover them with foil or take out sooner as the high sugar content will cause them to burn easily.
  3. They are ready when they are caramel brown on top and underneath, they should also sound hollow.
  4. Remove them from the oven and from their muffin cases. Brush the top of each with the glaze.
  5. Leave to cool on a wire rack (try to resist eating them when they’re sticky, straight from the oven!)