Cardamom Cinnamon Rolls (Bullar)
Soft, buttery rolls filled with fragrant spices and topped up with crunchy pearl sugar. Our favourite mix of spices - cardamom and cinnamon - locked in swirls of buttery bread. These nordic bullar are hard to resist.
This time we wanted a dough which will be soft, buttery, flavourful but also fairly easy to shape. The recipe below gives you just that. The dough is only slightly sweetened, yeast is proofed on mix of water and milk. There is less butter in the dough but to keep the texture soft it is worked into the dough in similar fashion to brioche dough - softened butter is kneaded in slowly. This time we are also using spiced filling with hints of caramel flavour brought by light brown sugar (you can use light brown, dark brown or demerara sugars). It’s worth to get pearl sugar as it gives a nice crunch to the texture. You can use it then in multiple bakes (cakes, breads, rolls, waffles).
We love sweet, buttery and fluffy rolls. Check out some of our recipes:
Cardamom Cinnamon Rolls (Bullar) Recipe
Yield: 12-14 rolls
Time: 20min prep + 1hr 30min rest + 15 min prep + 20 min rest + 12min baking
Tin: large baking tray or skillet or pie dish
For yeast proofing:
- 1/2 cup (125ml) water
- 1/2 cup (125ml) full-fat milk
- 3 Tablespoons (45g) sugar
- 1 Tablespoon (10g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons (6g) active dry yeast or 20g active bulk dry yeast
- 3 cups* (450g) all-purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom (or ground seeds from 5 cardamom pods)
- 1 egg yolk from large egg, room temperature
- 70g butter, soft and diced into 1 cm squares
- 80g butter, soft
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom (or ground seeds from 3 pods)
- 1 teaspoon dark Dutch Cocoa
- 1/2 cup (100g) light brown sugar
- 1 egg white (leftover)
- pearl sugar (1/4 cup)
*cup= 250ml cup
1. Proof the yeast: In a small pot mix milk, water, flour and sugar. Warm up the mixture to 38C making sure sugar is fully dissolved. Add yeast to the mixture and stir briefly. Cover with cling film or dry kitchen towel and move to a warm place. After 15 minutes you should see the mixture foaming/bubbling up. If you don’t, repeat the step.
2. Prepare the dough: Sift flour with cardamom. Add salt, egg yolk and proofed yeast (from Step 1). Start kneading. If you are kneading by hand - kneading here is simply patting the dough, remembering to rotate the bowl every so often to aerate the dough from every side (you can use pincer method at the beginning - using your fingers as a pincer and working through the dough to mix in all ingredients). If you knead using stand mixer - use dough hook attachment and knead on low speed for 5-7 minutes. After that time all ingredients should be well mixed in. The dough will look dense and that’s OK. Now, start adding soft butter in small portions (1cm squares), kneading still on low (gently patting the dough) until all butter is fully incorporated - this will take 4-6 minutes. You know the dough is ready when it’s shiny and easily pulls away from your hand. Once ready, transfer to bowl lightly brushed with butter or oil, cover tightly with cling film or dry kitchen towel and leave in a warm place for 1 hr 30 minutes. The dough should double in size. In a meantime prepare the filling: on medium speed mix soft butter with cinnamon, cardamom, cocoa and light brown sugar until well combined. Leave the filling at room temperature until ready to shape.
3. Shape rolls: When the dough doubles in size, knead gently for few seconds. Transfer the dough onto lightly floured work surface and roll out into 0.2-0.3cm thin rectangle. Spread the filling thinly and close the rectangle in half. Cut vertically into 1cm stripes. Each stripe will form the roll. To shape the roll use wrap&knot technique - twist the stripe 2 or 3 times around 3 fingers (index, middle and ring fingers) and use the remaining part to lock/knot the bun. Here are quick video 1 and video 2 showing how this twist looks like. Place max 9 rolls on large baking tray, leaving some 3-4cm space in-between. Cover buns with dry kitchen towel and let rest for 20-25 minutes. In that time preheat the oven to 200C.
4. Bake: Just before baking brush rolls with egg white and sprinkle pearl sugar on top. Bake at 200C for 8 minutes, then lower the temperature to 160C and bake for another 4-5 minutes, until golden in colour. Once baked, take out from the oven and leave rolls on the baking tray for 5 minutes, then transfer onto the cooling rack and cool for 30 minutes before serving.
1. Before baking these rolls you may find it helpful to read this post on Baking with Yeast.
2. Cardamom: if you can't find ground cardamom and you don't like crushed pieces in the dough - mill/grind cardamom seeds with small amount of flour into fine powder.
3. Kneading: if you knead using stand mixer we recommend short kneading by hand at first (you can use pincer method) to roughly combine ingredients (30seconds - 1 minute) before switching on the mixer. This will ensure no flour residue remains at the bottom of the bowl.
4. Shaping: folding rectangle in 2 is a quick fix and works well - you may also opt to spread filling on one half of rectangle before covering with the second half. Spread the filling thinly. If you want to achieve multiple layers of filling - spread the filling to cover the whole rectangle, fold it like a business letter in 3 - prepare the dough from 2 portions then (900g flour). If you are advanced in shaping you may opt to cut each stripe in 2 or 3 (leaving the top intact) and shape then (twirl or plate, then wrap and knot) - to get multiple thin layers.