Many years ago, my lovely Minnesotan sister-in-law introduced me to the joys of Danish kanelsnegle. I like to think I have finally mastered her recipe, which was no mean feat, considering it involved deciphering the translation from Danish (they write recipes in the passive tense which is surprisingly disconcerting).
Sticky, fragrant, buttery, chewy and slightly caramelised, they are truly worth the effort.
Even though I am not the greatest sweet tooth, these buns are longingly anticipated in our house. I love making them for Easter as their golden-brown hue hints at the promise of autumn around the corner. They certainly give hot cross buns a run for their money!
For the buns:
• 250g butter
• 350g white sugar
• 500ml milk, sightly warm
• 50g fresh yeast (or 2 teaspoons dried instant yeast)
• 800g plain flour
• 2 tsp ground cardamom
• 2 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1 egg, beaten
For the glaze:
• 100g icing sugar
1. Melt the butter.
2. Take 150g of the melted butter and combine with the cinnamon and 200g of the sugar. Set aside to cool.
3. Place the other 100g of melted butter in a large mixing bowl along with the warm milk.
4. Add the sugar and yeast to the mixing bowl, stirring until dissolved. Stir in cardamom and flour.
5. Knead dough, cover, allow to rise for 40 minutes.
6. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper and lightly grease.
7. Roll the dough into a large rectangle about A3 size.
8. With the long edge closest to you, spread the cinnamon/sugar/butter mixture onto the top half of the dough. Fold the bottom half up so you have a rectangle around 15cm x 40cm.
9. Cutting from top to bottom, carefully slice the dough into strips about 1 inch (3.5cm) wide. This should make about 16 strips.
10. Take the bottom edge of a strip and twist it several times as you bring it to meet the other end, while twisting into a ring shape.
11. Arrange the twisted dough rings onto the two trays so that they are just lightly touching.
12. Preheat the oven to 225 C and leave the dough to rise for 40 minutes.
13. Meanwhile, make the glaze by mixing the icing sugar with just enough water to make a paste.
14. When the dough is ready, brush with the beaten egg and bake for 6-8 minutes.
15. Allow to cool for 15 minutes, drizzle with glaze.
Words: Olivia Mackay, www.scoffandquaff.wordpress.com