Sunday, November 8, 2009

Finnish Cinnamon Rolls (recipe with American measurements)

[All photos are from my baking today.]

These rich and yeasty rolls are not gooey soft and supersweet like American ones--and the cardamom gives them a Byzantine flavor. The Finnish Friend says that Finns bake and eat the rolls regularly. "They smell like home to almost every Finn," she says.

I converted the original Finnish recipe's measurements (metric weights) to American measurements (teaspoons, cups, etc.). I tested my conversions by making the rolls--the photo here is the end result. This is not quite how they're supposed to look--see step 9--but they taste fantastic in any shape.

Cinnamon Rolls, from Finland (Korvapuustit, or Pulla)



1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 packet quick-rise yeast
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon cardamom
4 – 5 cups flour

Filling ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter, soft
1 tablespoon cinnamon mixed with 2 tablespoons sugar

1 egg, beaten
1 – 2 tablespoons sugar--coarse, if you have it


1. Heat milk to warm (not hot!--test with your little finger). In a large mixing bowl, stir sugar into milk. Sprinkle yeast into milk. Let sit about 5 minutes, until the yeast softens. It may foam a little.

2. Stir 2 beaten eggs and cool melted butter into milk mix.

3. Add salt and cardamom to 4 cups flour, and mix well. One cup at a time, stir the flour into the bowl of milk and egg mix.

4. Sprinkle flour on a kitchen counter. Place dough on floured surface. With the heels of your hands, gradually knead (push and turn) the remaining 1 c. flour into the dough.
Keep kneading until the dough is no longer sticky—about 8 minutes.

5. Put dough in greased (buttered) bowl, and cover with kitchen towel.
Put in a warm place (for instance, heat the oven for a couple minutes, turn it off, then put the bowl inside).
Let dough rise for about 30- 60 minutes, or until double in size. 

6. Turn dough onto a floured surface.
With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a thin, rectangular sheet, about as thick as pizza dough.
Spread the soft butter onto the sheet, and then evenly sprinkle cinnamon sugar on it.

7. Tightly roll the sheet into a log, starting from the longer side.

8. Cut the log on an angle into about 14 triangle-shaped wedges.

9. Finnish rolls are baked on their side, rolled-up side facing out, so don't turn them face up like American rolls.
Turn them so they sit on the fat end of the triangle. Press the pointy centers of the rolls down with your finger, so the swirly edges spread out, like waves, on either side.
[I got this step wrong, but they turned out great anyway.]

10. Place rolls on cookie sheet. Let sit for 30 minutes. Then brush the tops with beaten egg, and sprinkle with sugar.

11. Bake in oven at 425 degrees, for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Makes about 14 rolls.


Krista said...

oh! This post makes me so miss cooking in your kitchen, even if I really only did that once. Your apartment is just such a kind space.

Jennifer said...

Mmmm! Non-gooey cinnamon rolls for the win! They look absolutely delicious...

Fresca said...

KRISTA! Hi! You coming to cook for me after my surgery was one of the kindest things anyone has ever done for me. You left that energy in the kitchen--it probably helped the rolls rise. : )

JEN: They really are better than they look, even. And if you've got the time, they're pretty easy too.

Rudyinparis said...

Aww, love the image of you with your bowl of dough!

deanna said...

Oo, those look a lovely shape. I like your creation and can imagine they're really good, less sticky and all.

Fresca said...

Now I know how to make them--and they're just an easy twist on any yeast bread--I will make them again, and get the shape right, just for the fun of it.