I did a bit of baking today because every Thursday George works until 8PM and after all the clothes washing I didn’t fancy using the rest of the day to clean (yepp, I am slowly becoming a 60’s housewife). When we were preparing for Swedish Christmas I excitedly told him that we were going to make Saffron Buns and his reply was something along the lines of “cool, when are you going to start making cinnamon buns?”
Needless to say they’re a firm favourite of his and as they’re not a Christmas treat we didn’t make any and he was gutted. So as I am a trainee domestic goddess I decided to surprise him and make some today. He’s not home yet so I have some more free time alone and I thought it might be nice to blog the recipe & instructions incase someone might like to try them for themselves, I think they’re perfect with a cuppa. Good luck if you do try them & I would love to know what you thought & how you got on.
What You’ll need:
For the dough:
150 g – Butter
500 ml – Milk (I use semi-skimmed – 1.8% fat)
50 g – Fresh Yeast
1 tsp – Salt
100 g – Sugar
875 g – Plain White Flour
2 tsp Cardamon – shelled and ground (optional)
For the Filling:
100 g – Butter
100 g – Caster Sugar
2 – 4 tbs – Ground Cinnamon
For the Glaze:
1 Egg (beaten)
Pearl Sugar (also known as Nib Sugar)
Tools & Utensils:
Pestle & Mortar (If including cardamon)
Whisk with Bread Hooks (or wooden spoon if preferred)
Fork or Small Whisk for egg
Knife for buttering & slicing
Cupcake Cases (aprox 50)
Step by Step:
Remove cardamon from pods & grind to a fine powder.
Melt butter on a low heat, when all melted add milk, remove mixture from heat when it reaches 37 degrees Celsius & pour into a large mixing bowl.
Rub yeast between forefinger & thumb to break down into a fine crumb, add to mixing bowl.
Add rest of ingredients (save a small amount of the flower for later) & mix well until all ingredients are combined & dough becomes shiny.
Place a tea towel over the mixing bowl and allow to prove for 30 minutes.
While dough is proving remove butter from fridge to soften & arrange cases onto baking trays.
Sprinkle flour onto work surface & split dough in half & knead one section and roll into a rectangle shape (aprox 25X50 cm).
Spread half of the butter onto the dough (as your would a slice of bread) and sprinkle over half of the sugar & cinnamon.
Starting at the longer end roll into a cylinder.
Cut into roughly 24 cylinder shapes & place into cupcake cases – allow to prove for a further 30 minutes under a tea towel.
While proving turn oven on to 225 degrees Celsius & beat egg for glaze.
When proved: brush on egg and sprinkle over pearl sugar.
Place one baking sheet at a time on middle shelf of oven & allow to cook for 7-8 minutes until golden brown.
So the 12 days of Christmas are now in full swing and it’s about this time that I begin recovering from my food-hangover. I never really like to think that Christmas is done as soon as we all fall into bed in our new pj’s, I’m all for dragging out the Christmas spirit & I think the easiest way is with food.
In our family the preparing of Christmas food starts long before either of the main events: If I’m making a Christmas cake I will start that at least a month in advance, but even if I’m not we will most certainly be making gingerbread, and that will begin a fortnight before Christmas. We will then make saffron buns, start to pickle the herrings, cure the salmon, make the Christmas porridge, and eventually slow cook the Christmas ham. The final touch before the day is making our Christmas sweets: this year we made knack and ice chocolate. Then of corse there is the cooking that happens on the day itself.
Food is such a massive part of Christmas for us that most years it causes more excitement than the giving & receiving of gifts, this year was certainly one of those years. Despite the time and effort that goes into preparing the food it is always enjoyable, and rarely stressful: Cooking becomes a social event, and the food that we’re preparing is so unique to this time of year and is so traditional that it’s almost like falling back into a comfortable routine, there are few hidden surprises or stresses. There is also a real appreciation of the nostalgic flavours and ritual that goes with the food that help to bring back memories, and invoke a sense of certainty and calm in our other wise stressful and unpredictable lives.
The other great thing about Christmas food is that you always make too much, and that means there will be a day or two where you don’t need to cook at all – which considering I don’t generally enjoy cooking that much, is pretty awesome. And if like me you’ve eaten so much that even a grape would set you sweating: Left overs are perfect because you don’t feel guilty about only eating one mouthful per meal. I had one of my favourite Christmas’ to date, and the food certainly played a part. Here’s some photos of 2 of the 3 Christmas meals I some how managed to consume these past two days, I hope you had as merry a Christmas as we did. Love to you all.
It’s Christmas Eve!! For my family, and others in parts of Europe, it means that todays the big event. If we were in Sweden we would be opening our presents soon, but that feels like cheating when we’re in England.
We’ve already had Christmas breakfast which was: Christmas Porridge with cinnamon & sugar; crisp bread & Christmas ham; & Christmas bread & cheese. We’ve also had elevensies which was: Tea/Coffee with saffron buns and gingerbread biscuits.
Now we’re preparing our lunch which is going to be a buffet-type affair. The first “course” is pickled herring, gravad lax, christmas ham & an assortment of breads. Then the second “course” is potatoes, kale, meatballs & prince-sausages. Both kitten & puppy are being fed cuts of meat and fish while we’re preparing & dad is sneaking a few mouthfuls here and there as well.
After food we will probably play a board game or maybe watch a film. Usually we would go for a Christmas walk but the weather is not the best, so we’ll probably just sing a few Christmas songs and dance around the house after that. Most years we would be drinking vodka throughout the day but that’s not possible for me, and no-one else seems that fussed, so we’re sticking to beer and Julmust. Tonight mum has invited a few friends round for Mulled Wine & nibbles, then we’ll probably all pass out in a food coma, ready to do it all again tomorrow British-style.
I wanted to post some photos of our day, but as we’re only half way through and now was the only time I thought would be possible to blog, I will probably upload them at a later date. For now though, Merry Swedish Christmas to you & I hope you have an amazing day.