04 October, 2009

Kanelbullens Dag

It is October 4, 'officially' Kanelbullens Dag in Sweden, or Cinnamon Bun Day!

We arrived exactly 2 months ago in Stockholm, and today was my first experience ever baking the buns. I'm not sure that I shared my frustrations on the blog about baking cookies, but let's just say my endeavors all turned out very, very flat. I used a US recipe which called for baking soda, but all I could find was baking powder/bakpulver. I'm no chemist, but I thought they were fairly interchangeable. They were pretty tasty, but not the soft, cake-like molasses cookie deliciousness from the picture. I have since found bikarbonat, but it is sold in teeny, tiny packets, not like the giant yellow boxes of Arm & Hammer. And it still yielded very flat cookies.

So this morning I was determined to make the best buns ever. Stu said I woke up talking about baking. Actually, I even went to the store for ingredients BEFORE having coffee this morning, which is very, very unlike me. I cannot function without coffee.

I went to the ICA that has a fairly large baking section. Asked some nice Swede how to translate 'yeast' in Swedish. Jäst. Sounds about the same. But the store was out of the little packets that we are used to in the US. Instead, I found a slightly larger packet of jästmix for vetebröd, with a lovely picture of a pile of bullar on the front. So I bought it, attempted to translate it, and proceeded to make the worst kanelbullar known to man. I am a disgrace to my Swedish heritage. The mix was SO dense that Stu and I both have aching shoulders from trying to roll the dough out. They smell delicious, and they turned out to be the right shape, but they are pale & crumbly, and thicker & drier than scones. So, so wrong.

So Stu and I abandoned the endeavor and joined our friends at the NationalMuseum to see the Caspar David Friedrich show. And went to a lovely Frenchie-Swedishy cafe in our neighborhood that is known for having some of the best bullar in Stockholm, Cafe Saturnus. The place was packed, and the buns were as big as your head. They even had a take-away tent outside because there was a line out the door to find a seat. We bought 4 and ate them at home.

This behemoth was lunch and dinner. That is how you properly celebrate Kanelbullens dag...none of this amateur stuff! I don't know what I was thinking.

But I am now on a personal mission to perfect my technique...anyone have a good recipe, preferably in English? In fact, baking in Sweden has proved so tricky for me, I almost think I need a teacher. I'm going to search YouTube for some step-by-step bulle-baking tutorials...

Ah, with pictures!

Maybe a little complicated for my skill-set, but its in English: http://annesfood.blogspot.com/2007/10/swedish-cinnamon-buns.html

Gotta love Smilla the Cat, making it look too easy:

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