Sexy Swedish Buns

Often, when you least expect it, Swedish dishes get spanked by the use of really interesting spices. Cardamom is the sort of flavour you'd expect to taste in Indian food, but they love it in Sweden, too. Swedes add eggs and butter to lots of pastries to enrich them, so they've often got a sort of brioche vibe going on, which is a really lovely thing that I've incorporated here. The sourness of the berries really brings out the sweetness of the bread, and on top of that it looks bloody gorgeous. If you want a little guidance on how to make these, go to www.jamieoliver.com/how-to.

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Photo: Sexy Swedish Buns

TOTAL TIME: 2 hr 30 min
Prep: 45 min
Inactive Prep: 1 hr 20 min
Cook: 25 min
 
YIELD: 8 buns
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

  • For the dough
  • 1 (.25 ounce/7 g) packet of yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups/375 ml warm milk
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground cardamom (or about 20 cardamom pods)
  • 2 large eggs, preferably free-range or organic
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 7 ounces/200 g caster sugar (superfine)
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons/50 g melted butter
  • 1 3/4 pounds (28 ounces)/800 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon/15 g unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 ounces/75 g demerara sugar (raw sugar)
  • For the filling
  • 14 ounces/400 g blueberries
  • 2 1/2 ounces/75 g caster sugar (superfine)
  • 1 orange
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Directions

For the dough:
Stir the yeast into the warm milk in a bowl, then put it aside.
If using cardamom pods, lightly bash them in a pestle and mortar, then pick out the husks and pound the seeds to a fine powder.

Beat the eggs and salt in a large bowl, then add the cardamom, sugar, melted butter,
18 ounces/500 g flour, and the milk and yeast mixture. Whisk constantly as you add everything so you end up with quite a thick, gluey consistency. Mix in the remaining
10 ounces/300 g flour until you have a dough. Use clean, floured hands to bring the dough together, then dust the top with flour.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or clingfilm and leave in a warm place to prove or rise for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size and is full of air pockets.

For the filling:
Meanwhile, put the blueberries and caster sugar (superfine) into a bowl. Finely grate the orange zest and add most of it to the bowl, along with a good squeeze of orange juice, then mash together with a potato masher.

Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper, then dot the paper with a few knobs of the butter and sprinkle over 1/2 the demerara sugar (raw sugar).

Dust a clean surface and your hands with flour and gently stretch and pull the risen dough out until it's a bit bigger than a 8 1/2 by 11-inch letter-size/A4 (210 mm by 297 mm) piece of paper.

Cook's Note: This next bit is pretty messy, so have a bowl of flour on hand to help you handle the dough and don't be alarmed if it seems quite wet.

Use a slotted spoon to move 1/2 the mashed blueberries onto the dough. Try not to include too much juice. Use the back of the spoon to spread the blueberries around the dough. Pull the sides of the dough up and into the middle like an envelope, and keep turning and pushing the dough together.

Cut the dough into 8 equal portions, then pull and stretch each one into a long, thin sausage shape, twisting them around on themselves so you get a sort of rough knot. Arrange them on the tray, leaving enough room between for them to spread as they cook. Push your fingers into the top of each one to make a little well, then spoon in a few of the remaining mashed berries and gently push them down.

Spoon over a little of the blueberry juice from the bowl, then sprinkle with the rest of your demerara sugar (raw sugar) and the reserved orange zest. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove or rise for about 20 minutes in a warm place.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C/gas 4. Once the buns have risen, put them into the oven and cook for 25 minutes, until golden and crispy. Serve them, hot and delicious, by themselves or with warm custard.

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