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I think it’s both safe and honest to say that out of all the desserts, cakes, pastries, and sweets I’ve tried to make sugar-free, cinnamon buns are my absolute favourite. If I make these things in the morning, it’s a fair estimate to say I’ll have eaten 15-20 of them by the end of the day. After I got my Kenwood complete with a dough hook back in 2014, my cinnamon buns reached a whole new level – the hook makes the dough incredibly uniform and smooth, which means the buns turn out amazing. There really is nothing else that brings me back to my childhood as much as sitting down with freshly baked cinnamon buns – the smell, the texture and the taste compliment each other in some sort of magical formula that brings me back in an instant.
Ingredients (for approximately 20-25 large cinnamon buns)
50 grams/1.8 oz. of fresh yeast or 25 grams/0.9 oz. of active dry yeast
150 grams or 5.3 oz. of butter (salted)
5 dl or 2.1 cups of milk
90 grams or 3.2 oz. of Tagatesse (or equivalent sugar-free alternative)
2 teaspoons of honey
½ teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of whole cardamom seeds
½ teaspoon of ground cardamom
approx. 750 grams or 1.65 lb of wheat flour
90 grams or 3.15 oz. of FiberFin
1 egg yolk + milk for glazing
In the oven: 200° Celsius/425° Fahrenheit/Gas 7
Grind the cardamom seeds using either a mortar and pestle, or by placing the seeds inside a bit of baking paper and rolling over them with a rolling pin. Make sure that the seeds are only slightly ground; you want these to serve as little taste bursts in the finished buns. You can also choose not to grind them at all.
Crumble the fresh yeast into the bowl you’ll be baking in. I recommend using a kitchen machine with a dough hook for this recipe – it results in an incredibly smooth dough. If you don’t have a kitchen machine, be sure to knead the dough thoroughly.
Melt the butter in a saucepan, then add the milk. Now, this is important. For the yeast to start nibbling sugars and leaven your dough for you, they need this butter and milk mixture at a specific temperature. The most important thing is that it’s not too hot; a little too cold won’t matter. The perfect temperature is when you drop a bit of the mixture onto your hand and you don’t feel it as warm or cold. That is, that the mixture holds the same temperature as your body.
Pour the mixture over the yeast and mix until the yeast is fully dissolved. Now add the cardamom seeds, Tagatesse, honey, salt, ground cardamom, flour and FiberFin. Mix until the dough is fully combined, and add in some extra flour if it feels too wet. The dough should be letting go of the mixing bowl, but still appear smooth and not crumbly. This means that the gluten has developed properly and is ready for rising.
Place a kitchen towel over the dough and set it in a warm room until it has expanded to twice its size. This generally takes anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Split the cardamom buns dough in two (it will deflate quite a bit when you do this – don’t worry, that’s completely normal) and work a tiny bit of flour gently in until the dough lets go of the bench. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a rectangular shape.
Now, using a generous amount of butter, butter the entire sheet of dough thoroughly using a spoon or palette knife. Sprinkle a good amount of Tagatesse and cinnamon over the butter, then roll the dough sheet together so that it becomes a thick sausage swirl.
Cut slices (however thick or thin you want them – I recommend thick) out of the sausage swirl and place them (swirl up) on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for another 20-30 minutes in a warm room or on a warm surface. You’ll see that they’re ready for baking once they’ve expanded and stretched like the dough did.
≈ Preheat your oven to 220° Celsius/425° Fahrenheit/Gas 7 now ≈
Whisk the egg yolk and a few tablespoons of milk together, then use a brush to give the cinnamon buns a thin layer of glazing. Be sure to glaze the entire bun, not just the tops. Place in the oven and bake for approximately 8 minutes. The cinnamon buns are done when a golden crust has formed.
Remove the cinnamon buns from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes on a baking grill. Then, enjoy the perfection of airy yeast dough and rich cinnamon filling 🙂 True childhood nostalgia!
TIP: If you’d like to make a cake tin cinnamon bun, you need to reduce the baking temperature to 200° Celsius/400° Fahrenheit/Gas mark 6 and bake it for about 25 minutes.