Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Cardamom and cinnamon twists

...a variation on last week's theme.

The cinnamon buns were such a success that I thought I'd try doing a version with a Scandinavian slant, adding ground cardamom to the dough for a bit of extra spicy oomph.

Alongside a pot of coffee and the Guardian crossword, these make the perfect cosy breakfast in bed. Trust me, I've been honing...

Makes 18

~for the dough:
240ml warm milk and 50ml warm water
1 tsp vanilla extract
120g butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
½ tsp salt
210g golden caster sugar
3½ tsp instant active dry yeast
2 tsp ground cardamom
700g bread flour

~for the cinnamon filling:
200g very soft butter
300g dark brown sugar
5 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cardamom

1 beaten egg, to glaze

1) Whisk the milk, water, vanilla, butter and eggs in a large bowl and then stir in the yeast and sugar. Leave for 15 minutes, then stir in the flour, salt and cardamom. You should have a slightly sticky dough. Now knead the dough on a lightly oiled or floured surface for ten minutes, until smooth and bouncy. Leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size in a large bowl, covered with cling film.

2) Once the dough has risen, punch it down and roll out into a 45cm x 60cm rectangle - this is quite large so plan your space beforehand! Stir the dark brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and butter together and spread evenly over the dough, then fold the two ends of the rectangle into the centre, as you would fold a letter to go into an envelope.  You should now have a 45 x 20cm three-layer rectangle.

3) Cut the dough into 18 equal slices along the 45cm long side - each strip will be an approximately 2½cm wide ribbon, with three layers of dough separated by the spiced butter mixture.  Twist each ribbon a few times so it has a rope-like appearance, then tie the twist into a loose knot. 

4) You can now freeze these on a tray for later use, or bake them straight away. If baking immediately, place as many as you want to cook onto a baking tray, leaving 5cm space between each twist for them to rise.  Leave in a warm place to double in size, overnight if you like.

5) Brush the twists with the egg wash and bake on a low shelf at 350f/180c/gas mark 4 for 18-20 minutes, until golden and risen. 

(If you want to keep some of the buns for later baking, place them on a greaseproof paper covered tray to freeze before transferring into a plastic bag.  When you want to cook them, simply remove from the freezer the night before and leave to rise overnight).


  1. Hi - I've been using your recipe to adapt it to a tahini twist. But I'm struggling with the bake! Should they sound hollow when I tap the bottom? (that is what isn't happening!)

    1. Hi, they have a semi-hollow sound, I think the cinnamon filling makes it less hollow than a pure white loaf, but it does change as they bake! Good luck with the tahini buns, they sound delicious!


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