The Finnish take their cinnamon buns very seriously – there’s even a National Cinnamon Roll Day. Although the recipe is similar in several Scandinavian countries, the shape of Korvapuusti (literally ‘slapped ear’) is unique to Finland. Sprinkling generously with pearl sugar before baking is essential.
FOR THE DOUGH:
1 lb (450g) strong white bread flour
2 tsp salt
2.5 oz (70g) sugar
1 x 7g sachet instant dried yeast
2 tsp ground cardamom (preferably freshly ground)
5 fl oz (150ml) milk
5 fl oz (150ml) water
2 oz (55g) butter
FOR THE FILLING:
4 oz (115g) soft butter
6 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
Pearl (nibbed) sugar
Place the flour into a large bowl, then stir in the salt, sugar, dried yeast and cardamom.
In a small saucepan, warm the milk, water and butter over a low heat until the butter has just melted, then turn off the heat and allow to cool to room temperature.
Pour most of the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir with a knife until it forms a light, sticky dough. Reserve any leftover liquid for brushing over the buns before baking.
Knead the dough in a food mixer or by hand for about 7 to 10 minutes until springy and soft. Leave in a warm place for about an hour or until it has doubled in size.
Punch the dough down and roll out into a large rectangle shape. Mix the filling ingredients and spread across the dough, then roll tightly into a long cylinder. Cut the cylinder into slices around 2 inches (5cm) wide.
Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). To create the shape, push down firmly through the centre of each roll with an extended, flat index finger, pressing it down towards the base.
Brush the rolls with the remaining milk mixture and sprinkle generously with pearl sugar. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.