These tradionally shaped Finnish Cinnamon Rolls, or "korvapuusti" as we call them, are one of the most loved Nordic baked goods. Unlike their North American counterparts, they're topped with a generous sprinkle of pearl sugar.
A few notes on the recipe: for the best result, make sure that all your ingredients are at room temperature. I recommend using bread flour, but this recipe will work with all-purpose flour as well. Just substitute the flour by weight, not volume. Pearl sugar is obligatory; remember to be generous with it. You can leave the egg out and, furthermore, substitute the milk with water should you follow a special diet.
fresh yeast (or alternatively 1 tbsp + 2 tsp (instant) active dry yeast, used according to packet instructions)
(¾ cup + 2 tbsp) granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons
fine sea salt
(6 ½ cups) bread flour, more or less if needed
(1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the filling, egg wash, & topping
(1 ⅓ sticks) soft butter
1 ⅔ tablespoons
egg, for the egg wash
pearl sugar, to sprinkle
In This Recipe
In a large mixing bowl, combine the lukewarm milk and crumbled yeast. Stir with a spoon until the yeast is completely dissolved. Add sugar, salt, cardamom, and egg and mix until combined. Gradually add about two thirds of the flour and knead. Add butter and knead until well combined. Continue to knead the dough, and gradually add just enough flour so the dough comes clean off the sides of the bowl and doesn't stick to your hand. Don't overwork the dough or you'll end up with hard rolls, not soft as we want them to be. The dough can be made by hand, like I do, or in a stand mixer.
Shape into a ball and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1 hour, or until double in size.
Meanwhile, mix together the butter, sugar, and cinnamon for the filling. Set aside.
Line four baking sheets with parchment paper.
Punch down the dough and divide into two equally sized portions. Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour. Roll out the first portion of dough into a large, about 60-by-40-centimeter / 23-by-16-inch rectangle. Spread half of the filling evenly on top. Beginning with the long side, roll the dough into a tight tube shape, seam side down. Cut into 15 cylinders and press each point tightly into the center with your index finger.
Place the shaped cinnamon rolls on the baking sheets, spacing them about 2" apart. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for further 30 minutes, or until they're double in size. Repeat with the second batch.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 435°F.
For the egg wash, lightly whisk the egg. Before baking, brush each roll with the egg wash and sprinkle generously with pearl sugar. Bake the rolls on the middle rack for 10 – 15 minutes, or until golden to dark brown in color. Repeat with the other sheets of rolls.
The cinnamon rolls are best eaten while still slightly warm or on the same day. However, you can freeze them once baked and warm them up when ready to serve.