Swedish Bullar – Cinnamon Rolls
I have been to Sweden a couple of times to visit my husband’s family, but I have not actually had a bullar, or I am told I have but was pregnant at the time and I really can’t remember so I am guessing that it was not as memorable experience as I hope eating these will be! I have made soooo many batches of these and I hope that finally I have a recipe that is near perfect. On comparing it with my mother in law’s Swedish cook book, it seems I have managed to achieve just about exactly what it recommends without looking at it!
You will see in the photograph that the less sweet and buttery bullar in the background are neat and pretty while the sweeter more buttery bullar in the front is squidgy and messy and, in my opinion, delicious. Tessa Kiros in her book, “Falling Cloudberries”, says that one of the reasons she loves a similar recipe for cinnamon and cardamon buns, is that they are not too sweet. My recipe is on the sweeter side. By all means, do reduce the butter and sugar as suggested in the less sweet bullar recipe below.
Making this in a hot kitchen may not be effective so be warned! Kitchen conditions can impact hugely on the end result. If you find that the dough is sloppy after you have added all the ingredients, add a tablespoon of flour. You need to have a dough that will come away from the sides of the bowl when being kneaded in a Kitchenaid mixer. Knead until it is not sticky.
300g plain flour
1 x 7g sachet
1/2 tsp salt
50g caster sugar
50g unsalted butter
1 tbsp egg
125g softened unsalted butter
2½ tsp ground cinnamon
100g caster sugar
You can find Pearl Sugar in Ikea. It is perfect for sprinkling on top of the bullar. If you do not have any, sprinkle with a teaspoon of demerara sugar after putting the egg wash on at the last minute before baking.
1. Put the milk on the heat. When it is warm add the butter and when almost fully melted (you do not want it to be too hot as heat kills yeast at this stage), add it to the dry ingredients and knead for 10 minutes or until glossy and springy.
2. Set aside in a warm place with a tea towel on top of it for two hours until it has increased in size.
3. Mash the filling ingredients together and roll out the dough into a rectangle shape.
4. Spread filling evenly over the rectangle. If you would like to add sultanas or raisins (chopped nuts, citrus peel, diced apple, plum, blackberries, stewed apple, the list goes on), this is the point at which to do so. Sprinkle them on top of the filling and roll it from the long side so you have a long swiss roll shape. I made some with and some without sultanas….
5. Slice 3 cm thick slices and place on a baking sheet. Leave to rise for an hour.
6. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
7. Before baking, egg wash with a beaten egg and then sprinkle pearl sugar or dememara on top. Do make sure you egg wash first as I stupidly did this in the wrong order which made it pretty impossible! I did not put egg on the last batch and they are just as good, or perhaps preferable to some.
8. Bake for 12 minutes and scrape melted mixture off the baking sheet and spoon it over the stop.
They freeze well. We have them for breakfast from time to time. They are extremely filling so if you have them for a tea break, you may not be hungry for the next culinary event…..