Fika. Probably the term most people associate with Sweden (after meatballs, of course). Fika is almost an institution in Sweden - it's a state of mind and an important part of Swedish culture. Cinnamon rolls or kanelbullar feature prominently in fika, a period of time spent socialising with colleagues and friends over a cup of coffee and cake.
It was started by Kaeth Gardestedt and the Home Baking Council on October 4 in 1999. They wanted to celebrate the tradition of baking at home. At that time, October 4th was also International Children's Day. Their idea was that Kanelbullens Dag could also be a day of caring for the community and has been celebrated by the Swedes (and Finns) every year since then.
Celebrate Kanelbullens Dag with us this year and enjoy a cup of coffee and homemade cinnamon rolls on October 4th with your loved ones.
Here's a traditional recipe that's sure to please young and old alike:
Recipe for about 40 pieces of Kanelbullar
Ingredients for the dough:
1 cube fresh yeast
150 g butter
500 ml milk
800 g wheat flour
1 tsp salt
90 g granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons cardamom seeds freshly crushed in a mortar (This has a more intense taste. You can also use store-bought powdered cardamom)
Ingredients for the filling:
150 g butter
68 g granulated sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
Ingredients for the garnish:
1 beaten egg
Pearl or granulated sugar
Method of preparation:
1. Melt butter, add milk and heat to 37°C. 2. Crumble the fresh yeast into a large bowl and pour the wwarm milk mixture over it. Stir until the yeast is completely dissolved. 3. Add salt, sugar, cardamom and most of the flour. Knead the dough until it is smooth. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and let the dough rise for 30 minutes. 4. Preheat the oven to 225°C. Make the filling by mixing together the ingredients for the filling. 5. Knead the rested dough briefly on a lightly floured surface, then divide into two equal pieces. Roll out each piece into rectangles measuring about 30x45 cm. Spread the filling evenly over the rectangles of dough with a spatula. 6. Fold the dough along the long sides. Cut into 2 cm wide strips. Holding down one end of a strip, twist it and create a roll. Tuck the ends in under the roll to prevent it from unravelling while baking in the oven. 7. Place buns on baking sheets lined with baking paper. Be sure to leave lots of space in between - they will expand! 8. Let the rolls rest on the tray for about 30 minutes, brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with pearl or granulated sugar. 9. Place the baking sheet on the centre rack of oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack under a clean tea towel.
Here are a few variations you might want to try:
Mix 100 g finely chopped almonds into the filling. Or replace the ground cinnamon with ground cardamom - this will give you wonderfully aromatic cardamom buns. Or try swapping cinnamon with vanilla-flavoured sugar.