This is the first recipe that I made out of my new cookbook: The Great Scandinavian Baking Book and it did not disappoint.
In the past I worked on finding the recipe for the perfect cinnamon bun.
I made Peter Reinhart’s Cinnamon Buns which I like in texture and flavour, and which were well received by everyone who tried them. They’re good (I’ve made them multiple times) but not The Best.
I made Finnish Cinnamon Buns or Korvapuustit (yes, I do have an obsession with Scandinavian baking, thankyouverymuch). I liked these a lot because of their small, cute shape, and that they weren’t super sweet but the dough wasn’t quite tender enough for my liking. And they didn’t get the same reception as Peter Reinhart’s.
Then I made Brioche Cinnamon Buns (and sticky buns) and thought that they were the most perfect and delicious thing in the world. Everyone loved them, especially me.
…and then I never made them again.
Because they are so rich and sweet and decadent they’re something that I can’t have around the house very often. Deliciously impractical, squarely dessert territory, and not at all appropriate for breakfast.
Enter the Swedish Tea Ring.
I think this recipe solved all my problems.
It makes a wreath of cinnamon buns that are not too sweet or too large or too decadent. They’re soft and chewy, spiked with cardamom for that Scandinavian flair, and heavily drizzled with almond flavoured glaze.
They’re a breakfast, they’re a coffee snack, they’re dessert. They’re perfect.
My sister said to me, with a mouth full of cinnamon deliciousness, “These might be the best things you’ve ever baked.”
If that’s not reason enough to try them, I don’t know what is.
Swedish Tea Ring (Vetekrans)
from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book
2 pkg active dry yeast
1 c. warm water (105*F-115*F)
1/2 c. melted butter
1/2 c. sugar
3 slightly beaten eggs
1 t. salt
1 t. ground cardamom (optional) <–this shouldn’t be optional
4 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. softened butter
1/2 c. sugar
1 T. ground cinnamon
1 c. blanched almonds, finely chopped (optional) <–I opted out of this
1 c. powdered sugar
2 T. hot coffee or milk
1/2 t. almond extract <– it’s a game changer
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining dough ingredients until the dough is smooth and refrigerate 2 to 24 hours.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and roll it into a 20 to 24 inch square. Spread with a thin layer of softened butter right to the edge. Mix the 1/2 cup of sugar and the cinnamon and sprinkle over the butter. Sprinkle the almonds (if using) over the cinnamon sugar. Roll up as for a jelly roll.
Grease a baking sheet and place the roll on the sheet, shaping it into a ring. Pinch the ends together to close the circle. With scissors, cut almost through the ring at 1/2″ intervals. Turn each piece so that the cut side is exposed.
Let rise until almost doubled. (Umm…. I just noticed this step as I was copying the recipe from the cookbook. It goes without saying that I skipped it. I might have to have a recipe redo, just to perfect it even more . . . and to eat more cinnamon buns).
Preheat the oven to 375*F. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until just golden. While the ring bakes, mix the glaze ingredients. Brush while hot with the glaze.
This recipe was submitted to Yeastspotting