Approx cost: €4
Approx calories (each): 140
Approx preparation and cooking time: 140 mins
If you’re not a fan of cinnamon, or sugar, or delicious buttery goodness, then don’t read on. Cinnamon swirls are the most awesome non-chocolate snack I can possibly think of in the whole world. I probably make them a fair bit less healthily than the folks in Sweden (more butter omnomnom) but you should definitely give them a try. You don’t have to make them in the same shape – You can also make plaits and loaves and all sorts of things with the dough itself. The awesome thing with these is that if you want them hot you can heat them in a microwave for about 5 seconds any time, and they freeze amazingly. Separate them into bags or boxes and put in the freezer and one batch will last ages.
– 1kg plain white flour + a little extra for dusting on the dough
– Around 300g butter
– 0.5 litres milk
– 200g sugar
– 1 x 5g pack of dried yeast
– 1 egg
– Ground Cinnamon
– Pearl sugar
– Ground Cardamom
- Start by splitting the butter into two halves. Set aside 150g for later and place the other 150g into a pan on the stove to melt, agitating the pan occasionally so as not to let the butter burn. Once the butter has completely melted add in the milk. I’m a big fan of “adjusting quantities as you like”, but do not do this here. 0.5 litres is the magic number to make a perfect dough when combined with 1kg of flour. Heat the milk/butter mix, stirring occasionally, until you can dip your finger in and it feels warm, but not uncomfortably so and then remove from the heat.
- Empty the sachet of yeast into a small bowl, add in a couple tablespoons of the warm milk/butter mix and stir up the yeast until it makes a paste. Depending on the type of yeast you have it may just be a liquid with some clumps inside – this doesn’t matter. Meanwhile, add 80g of the sugar into the milk/butter mix and stir. You can also add in at this point ground cardamom. Some people hate the taste of this so if this is you, don’t worry. If you like it however, and want to give the dough a really nice background flavour then add in 2 or 3 teaspoons.
- Pour the yeast mix into the pan with the sugar/milk/butter etc and stir.
- Place 1kg of flour into a bowl and pour in the liquid (milk/butter/sugar etc) from the pan. Stir around until there is no liquid sloshing around and then get stuck in with your hands and knead until it’s a uniform colour and consistency. Form into a ball and place in the bottom of a mixing bowl, cover with a clean cloth and place in a warm place. If you don’t have a “warm” place available then you can create one by turning on the oven on a low heat for a few minutes, and then turning off the heat, but leave the oven light on.
- Meanwhile, mix the other 150g of butter (which should have softened up by now) with about 120g of sugar and 2 or 3 tablespoons of cinnamon (the amount of sugar, butter and cinnamon can be adjusted to taste – personally I like loads of cinnamon in mine) until you have a creamy paste.
- After about one hour the dough should have risen to about twice its original size.
- Remove from the bowl and knead for a few minutes. Divide into two equal pieces and then roll out on a floured surface. You’ll need to roll in different directions to make sure you get a decent rectangular shape and roll it out until it’s about 4-5mm thick. I like to trim the edges of the rectangle to make it neat and straight. The trimmings you can set aside, mash together, and make extra cinnamon swirls at the end, or plaits, or just make a giant ball and fill it with butter and sugar!
- Take your butter/sugar/cinnamon paste and spread all over the dough, being sure to spread right to the edge. Once this is done, roll the rectangle up along its longest edge, quite tightly until you have a big “sausage” of cinnamon swirl dough.
- Cut the sausage into slices, about 1.5 – 2 cms thick. and place each individual “swirl” into a paper case, if you have them available. Actual “cinnamon swirl cases” are hard to come by outside of Sweden (they’re shallower and wider than regular fairy cake paper cases) so if you don’t have cases, simply lay the swirls on a greased baking sheet.
- Cover with a cloth for 15 minutes and they’ll rise a bit more. Brush with beaten egg and, if you have it available, drop on a pinch of pearl sugar on each swirl.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at around 170 degrees Celsius for 10-15 minutes, until they’re nice and brown. Remove and let cool slightly before ploughing through the awesome “party in your mouth” that you’ve just made!