Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tessa Kiros' Finnish Cinnamon and Cardamom Buns


Last week at I Heart Cooking Clubs we said goodbye to Jamie Oliver.  This week we are welcoming in a new chef,  lady chef Tessa Kiros!  I couldn't be more excited to cook Tessa's recipes. 
I've owned my Tessa Kiros cookbooks for a long time and I'm so excited to have a reason to open them up and start cooking.  Tessa's cookbooks are so beautiful and her writing style is very personal, with many family stories and memories sprinkled throughout.  Tessa has a multi-cultural background and has traveled many places, therefore her recipes range from Finnish to Greek to Italian and even South African.  It is going to be a very exciting six months!
*photo credit Brenda Benoit

This week we are welcoming Tessa to I Heart Cooking Clubs and in my mind there is nothing more welcoming than the aroma of fresh baked bread and cinnamon. Throw in some cardamom and I'm completely in love! These are the perfect hand-held treat to enjoy first thing in the morning or for a leisurely afternoon break with a cup of tea or coffee. 
The dough is rolled out into a rectangle and spread with softened butter and cinnamon/sugar.

 Tessa says: "These gorgeous buns were always a part of my childhood.  They are found everywhere in Finland - and probably all over Scandinavia - in tearooms and houses.  Everyone makes their own and they freeze beautifully so you can just pull out a few when a craving sets in.  Don't be put off when you see that the buns needs to rise for a couple of hours.  You can get the dough together really quickly and then leave it alone without even a glance.  The rolling and cutting can be a little tricky the first time you do it, but the second time will be easy."
The dough is rolled into a log and cut on the diagonal

 Cinnamon & Cardamom Buns
Adapted from Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros
Makes about 35 buns

For Dough:
1 cup lukewarm milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 (1-ounce) cake fresh yeast
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 pound plus 1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon salt
5-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

For Cinnamon Butter:
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for sprinkling
5-1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
 1 egg, lightly beaten

Put the milk and sugar in a bowl and crumble in the yeast.  Let stand for 10 minutes, or until the yeast begins to activate.  Add the egg, butter, cardamom, and salt, and mix in.  Add the flour, bit by bit, mixing it in with a wooden spoon until you need to use your hands, and then turn it out onto the work surface to knead.  It may seem a little too sticky initially, but will become compact and beautifully soft after about 5 minutes. Put the dough back in the bowl, cover with a clean cloth and then a heavy towel or blanket, and leave in a warm place for about 2 hours, or until it has doubled in size. 

To make the cinnamon butter, mix together the cinnamon and sugar.  Divide the butter into four portions and set aside. 

Put the dough on a floured work surface and divide it into four portions.  Begin with one portion, covering the others with a cloth so they don't dry out.  Using a rolling pin, roll out a rectangle, roughly about 12 by 10 inches and 1/8 inch thick.  Spread one portion of butter over the surface of the dough with a spatula or blunt knife.  Sprinkle with about 3 teaspoons of the cinnamon mixture, covering the whole surface with quick shaking movements of your wrists.  Roll up to make a long dough sausage.  Set aside while you finish rolling out and buttering the rest of the dough, so tha tyou can cut them all together.

Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper, or bake in two batches if you only have on sheet. Line up the dough sausages in front of you and cut them slightly on the diagonal, alternating up and down, so that the slices are fat V shapes, with the point of the V about 3/4 inch and the base about 2 inches.  Turn them so they are all the right way up, sitting on their fatter bases.  Press down on the top of each one with two fingers, until you think you will almost go through to your work surface.  Along the sides you will see the cinnamon stripes oozing outward.  Put the buns on the baking sheet, leaving space for them to puff and rise while they bake.  Brush lightly with beaten egg and sprinkle a little sugar over top.

Let the buns rise for half an hour and preheat your oven to 350F.  Bake them for about 20 minutes or until they are golden.  Check that they are lightly golden underneath as well before you take them out of the oven.  Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature and, when they are cool, keep them in an airtight container so they don't harden.
Notes: This dough comes together like a dream and is so easy to work with.  This would be a good recipe for a beginner/novice bread baker.  We loved these rolls, but next time I would add a bit more butter and cinnamon/sugar mixture to the inside of the dough before rolling.  We found that we wanted a little more cinnamon flavor.  Other than that, they were really fun and just the right size for popping in your mouth!

Theme: Welcome Tessa!


  1. These look wonderful. I've never heard of Tessa Kiros. Will have to google her.

  2. Those look SO amazing! I haven't heard of her either, but she obviously knows good stuff :)

  3. I must live under a rock cause I never heard of Tessa before! The cinnamon buns look outrageously good - love the cardamom.

  4. Bestow my heart, you found my weakness: butter,sugar and cinnamon! I will be trying this recipe this weekend! Tonya @

  5. I JUST bought this cookbook and can't wait to start cooking and baking from it! It's just so gorgeous...can't wait to get these other ones too. I definitely noticed these rolls almost as soon as I opened the book...they look great!

  6. I agree, what is more welcoming than cinnamon buns? And flavoured with cardamom - divine!

  7. I almost picked these and decided to save them until a bread theme came up, but definitely going to make these as they look wonderful. Yours are lovely, just lovely. My books arrived two days ago and I finally decided on a recipe to make today, so hopefully by tonight I will have it posted. Hopefully. So excited for this round of recipes.

  8. I am also a big Tessa Kiros fan. Lately I've been obsessed with this type of pastry. There is a place in london that makes some real beauties called Nordic Bakery. I cant wait till i can have another.
    *kisses* HH

  9. My step-son loves all things cinnamon - I have bookmarked these for when he comes into town next. Yum!

  10. Gorgeous pictures Kim--you cinnamon buns look perfect and are perfectly welcoming too. Great pick! This will be a fun 6 months. ;-)

  11. I had never heard of her either and I am struggling to find her recipes (her books are expensive!) I've dug up a couple I want to try, but I don't know how I'm going to fill up six months. I'm willing to try tho, because these little lovelies look fantastic!

  12. I just recently had an opportunity to really smell cardamom...OMG! It was beautiful. These buns are going to be delightful, no doubt.

    Looking forward to discovering this new chef along with you.

    Have a great weekend.


  13. I'm new to Tessa, so I'm really going to enjoy your posts. This one sound fantastic.

  14. She's a new one to me so I look forward to learning about her through your posts.

  15. this looks perfect for me, i need simplicity when i bake. they look just gorgeous, and perfect for a cold afternoon like the one we're having now, love it!

  16. Oh Kim, your buns look perfect. I have this recipe bookmarked to try sometime soon. I'm thinking maybe some chopped walnuts would be a nice addition to the filling as well.
    Sue xo

  17. Cardamom has become a favorite spice of mine,it's fabulous in fig jam! :) The cinnamon/cardamom rolls looks very welcoming,add in a hot cup of coffee and I'm right at home.

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