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Scandinavian cardamom buns

The story behind this mouth-watering staple Danish pastry dates back to the time I was running overnight experiments during my PhD studies. Oh, what a treat that was! :D

Back then, I was doing surgery on mice and had to monitor them by taking blood samples every other hour to measure their blood sugar levels as I was treating them with insulin. These nights were dreadful and exciting at the same time: there was no sleep for me, but I got to see how the data points connected after every experimental timepoint. I remember there was a huge beanbag and an IKEA blanket I borrowed from the neighbouring office so I could rest while I was not in running around in the animal facility. The automatic lights shut off, I got to watch Netflix and relax for 30 minutes at a time.


The first technicians arrived to the lab around 5:30 AM, and by that time I was so tired that I honestly didn't care how my data looked like, I was just happy to be productive and looking forward to my well-deserved breakfast (consisting of a quadruple espresso and a cardamom bun) at the company café. The café in the company I was working at was owned by Meyers, a catering company founded by Claus Meyer. Among many exceptional achievements, Claus has co-founded and co-owned several Michelin star restaurants (such as Noma and Studio), and has continuously shaped the landscape of Danish cuisine by

"fighting misery and promoting the opportunities and qualities of Denmark’s culinary heritage".

Read more about Meyers here.


My PhD mentor, Thomas, was a long-haired, tall, skinny, metal-head dude (but don't let the looks fool you he is a super smart family guy with 3 daughters). :D Anyway, the funniest part of these miserable, experiment-full, 24-hour shifts was that Thomas liked to go down to the company gym and do a little weightlifting here, a little crossfit there, but what he LOVED to do was to stroll down to the café after each workout session and basically nullify his exercise with one of Meyer's crispy-bottom, cushion-top, spicy cardamom buns. His technicians and I loved to tease him for this. And of course I was there with him stuffing my mouth. And we both deserved it.


Below is my attempt at recreating those bittersweet memories. The buns tasted just like the real deal. :)


 

Ingredients


For the dough

1 kg wheat flour

150 g sugar

150 g cold butter, cut into small cubes

50 g yeast

15 g crushed cardamom

10 g salt

500 ml cold full fat milk

1 egg


For the filling (remonce)

200 g soft butter

200 g sugar

20 g cinnamon


Other

1 egg, beaten

1 tbsp sugar (optional)



Instructions


To make the dough

Crumble the yeast into the cold milk and mix together until it is almost homogeneous in a bowl. Add egg, sugar, salt, cardamom and mix well. Add flour and knead using an electric mixer on the lowest setting until the dough is smooth and separates from the bowl (approx. 7-8 min). Add butter cubes and continue kneading until the dough is shiny and smooth (another 7-8 min). Cover the dough with a cloth and let it rest for about 1½ hour on the counter top (1st proofing).


Knead the dough well using your hands forming a perfect ball, and pack it into plastic wrap. Place the wrapped dough ball into the fridge and let it rest for at least 1 hour (2nd proofing). While the dough rests, make the filling.


To make the filling

Mix butter, sugar, and cinnamon together using an electric whisk just until combined. Do not overbeat! Leave it covered on the counter top until the dough is ready.


To assemble the buns

Knead and roll the dough on a well-floured surface into a 30 x 60 cm rectangle. Spread the filling evenly over the dough using a dough/cream scraper.


Fold in 1/3 of the dough towards the middle and fold the other 1/3 on top, so that you have 3 layers of dough. Now roll out the dough again to approx. 30 x 30 cm, and cut it into 12 strips that are 30 cm long and approx. 2.5 cm wide (a pizza slicer works well for this).


Twist each strip 6-7 times lengthwise. Do not push too hard as that will squeeze out the filling. Pick up the twisted strip of dough with one hand, and twist it 2x around the index and middle fingers of your other hand. Place the remaining dough snippet over the two twists, tuck it in from the side almost making a knot so that the ends of the strips are hidden in the middle of the bun.


Place the cardamom buns baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Let the buns rise on the counter top to double their size. Brush buns with egg wash, sprinkle with a bit of sugar, and bake them at 200°C for approx. 12-14 minutes (a few minutes longer in fan oven) until golden brown. Cool buns on a rack before serving.


Enjoy! :)


Tip: If the buns turn dry the next day, try reheating them briefly in the microwave and enjoy them with a cup of tea/coffee.


 

Disclaimer: This recipe was developed by Meyers, I have only created a translation and adapted the recipe to my taste. Find the original recipe (in Danish) by Meyers here.

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37544547_1946121908807941_23702562787242

Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I'm Julia, a recent PhD graduate in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology who now works as a Medical Writer in Scientific Communication. I was born in Subotica (SRB) and am currently based in Copenhagen (DK). 

I'm passionate about experimenting in my kitchen and all about turning family recipes into stories.

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