Friday, May 9, 2014

Vegan Swedish-Style Cardamom Buns



I spent a summer in Sweden as a teen as part of an exchange program.  At the time I still ate meat and fish, but honestly, I was not impressed by the simple ways that they prepared their food, so I ended up losing 10 kilograms and returned to Canada thin and "looking like a woman" - as my Italian mother told me when she picked me up from the airport. 

There was one kind of food that I enjoyed quite a bit though, and that was dessert.  Scandinavians know how to bake very VERY well.  They eat spiced buns, pastries and fruit desserts several times a day, although usually in small, bite-sized portions.  Each crumb is packed with heavenly flavor and having these tea-time-treats was a major highlight to my stay.  

I will share with you a standard Swedish recipe for cardamom buns, which I have veganized.   Surprisingly cardamom is very popular in Scandinavia.  It has always been one of my favorite spices so I was thrilled to see, smell, and eat so much of it!  

For 12 buns:

Dough

  • 4 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseeds +3 tablespoons water (flax egg replacer)
  • 2 teaspoons yeast 
  • 3 teaspoons water 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom 
  • 1/2 cup organic coconut sugar (or sugar of your choice) 
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil 
  • 1 cup water 


Cardamom paste 

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom 
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar 


Method

  • Prepare the flax egg by combining the flax and water, set aside. 
  • In a separate bowl, proof the yeast by mixing the yeast with a few sprinkles of sugar and water and set aside for 10 minutes. 
  • Once the flax and yeast have set, combine them with the dough ingredients and kneed together until a smooth ball has been formed. 
  • Set aside and let the dough rise for half an hour. 
  • Whisk together the cardamom paste ingredients and set aside. 
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough so it is 1/2 cm thick. 
  • Smear the cardamom paste evenly on the dough's surface.
  • Tightly roll the dough from one short end to the other, until you have formed a log
  • Slice every 3- 4 cm so that you are left with several uncooked medallions. 
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Place buns on a lightly greased cookie sheet and allow to proof (rise) for 20 minutes.
  • Bake on the middle rack for 15-20 minutes. 


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