Thursday, February 05, 2009

Swedish Cardamom Rolls

I first tasted Swedish Cardamon Rolls when I was in Cary, North Carolina. My good friend Rebecca made them for me. It was about 4-5 years ago. They were so good that I dreamt of making them all the time. Why dreamt? Being a total bread baking beginner with no electric mixer, I was intimidated by the labour + skill required. Come on, I tried baking brioche with my hands. It was such a big failure that they were hard like rocks. I made inedible plain rolls that were rock hard and stinked the whole apartment with that intoxicating yeast smell. Then came the focaccia with not enough rising. One disappointment followed by another.

Finally, the focaccia and pita recipes are the only ones that I can manage to produce pretty good end results.

Yesterday, with my new sidekick, the Kenwood Chef Titanium, I successfully baked one batch of Swedish Cardamon Rolls. With the mixer, I still spent 3 hours making them and it was labour intensive. The sweat was worth it, I could say.

Swedish Cardamom Rolls

  • 5cup bread flour
  • 1 1/4 warm water
  • 2 packages of bakers yeast
  • 100g butter melted
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cardamon
  • 3 eggs, beaten lightly
  • 2 tablespoon of milk powder

  • 70g butter melted
  • 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
  • 3 teaspoon of cinnamon or less.
  • 5 tablespoon of sugar

Egg wash
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoon of water
  • a pinch of salt

Sprinkle yeast over warm water and stir to dissolve

Mix flour, milk powder, cardamon, salt and sugar in a bowl. Make a well in the center. Add to the well, melted butter, followed by yeast-water mixture and beaten egg. Using a electric mixer, beat for 1 min on minimum speed and beat for 7-9 min on the next speed (1 for the kenwood chef) until the dough is elastic and smooth.

Shape the dough into a smooth ball and leave it in a greased bowl and roll the dough around the bowl to coat with oil. Cover the dough with cling wrap and cover the bowl with a kitchen towel.

Heat a cup of water in a microwave oven for 1 min. After it is done, place the bowl inside with the door close. This is a good tip for winter bread baking.

Let the dough rise for 1 hour or until it doubles its volume.

Punch the dough down. And divide the dough into 2. Roll the 2 dough using a rolling pin into 2 rectangles roughly about 30cm x20cm each on a floured surface.

Spread melted butter all over the flattened dough.

Mix sugar, cinnamon, cardamon together and sprinkle it all over the dough.

Fold the dough 2 times: Top 1/3 to the bottom 2/3 of the rectangle. It looks almost like a flatted Swiss roll 30cmx7cm. Cut the dough into strips of 2 cm x7cm. Holding both ends with each hand, twist and stretch each strip until it's long enough to make a knot.

Place the rolls directly on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Let them rise in a warm place for another 20mins until they double their volume.

Preheat the oven to 190 deg Celsius
Mix egg with 2 tablespoon of water and a pinch of salt. Apply this eggwash, with a pastry brush, to the top of the rolls. Bake the roll at 190 deg Celsius for 15 -18 min.

This recipe makes roughly about 24 rolls. Leftover rolls can be frozen in Ziploc.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Latest gadget in my Kitchen.

A Kenwood Chef Titanium Mixer. In France, they call it a robot. Don't ask me why. It is stationed on my Ikea counter top, barely fits that tiny space between my Nespresso machine and fruit bowl. I could say it looks very Pro, with the titanium coating. It comes with5 attachments - a dough hook, Glass Liquidiser, a k-beather, a flexible 'Double K' and a whisk. And I flipped through the brochure, there were like 20 other options I could get: Sausage maker, pasta maker, potato peeler, Meat slicers, shredder, mincer, icecream maker. The possibilities are endless, or rather excessive.

For the past 2 weeks, I have been gathering ingredients for my baking projects. Swedish cardamom rolls and Alsacian Kugelogf. It seems to take forever to shop for ingredients. I will either forget this or that. And there we go again, back to the supermarket. The key actor for the Kugelogf is still missing: the kugelogf mould.

All ingredients for swedish cardamom rolls are checked in. I shall bake them tomorrow. All set.