Life is a celebration and there are moments that deserve a bit of grandeur and indulgence. Enter in this month’s featured Brunost recipe: Brunost-Caramel Cinnamon Buns (kanelboller med brunostkaramell). These gooey, rich, and incredibly delicious sweet buns will make you see Brunost in a whole new light.
Brunost’s unique composition makes it ideal for melting, which is why it’s perfect for adding into sauces and stews. Its natural caramel taste is the inspiration behind this recipe, providing a smooth flavor with a slight sharpness from the combination of cow’s and goat’s milk used in making this particular Brunost. Melting it together with a little sugar and cream is all you need to make a luscious caramel sauce.
While I thoroughly enjoy a traditional cinnamon bun, smothering the tops with the Brunost caramel gives them an elegance and burst of flavor that’s unique and distinct from any other cinnamon bun around.
Cinnamon buns are a well-established part of the Nordic food culture. In Norway, they go by many names – skillingsboller, kanelboller, kanelsnurrer, and kanelknuter.
My first introduction to Norwegian cinnamon buns was in Bergen, where my in-laws took me to a local bakery to have my first taste of a shillingsboller. It was a rite of passage – immersing myself in a baked good that had established itself in Bergen during the Hanseatic period, where trade would have brought the recipe as well as the cinnamon.
These buns are definitely not your typical skillingsboller, but they might just end up being a staple go-to treat in your home. Serving these for brunch, celebrations, holidays, the weekends, and even just because would make anyone’s day.
These buns are far better shared, so gather together the people around you, grab some plates and forks, and dive on in!
Brunost-Caramel Cinnamon Buns (kanelboller med brunostkaramell)
*Makes 8 buns
For the buns:
5 tablespoons (70 g) butter 1 ¼ cups (300 ml) whole milk 3 3/4 cups (450 g) all-purpose flour 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (75 g) granulated sugar 1 ounce (25 g) fresh yeast or 1/3 ounce (about 8.5 g) active, dry yeast ½ teaspoon salt
For the filling:
1/3 cup (75 g) butter, melted 2/3 cup (130 g) brown sugar 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
For the Brunost caramel:
½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar 2 tablespoons water ½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream 3 ½ ounces (100 g) Ski Queen®/Gudbrandsdalen, sliced or grated
Sliced almonds, for garnish Confectioner’s sugar, for serving
For the buns, in a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the milk and heat until lukewarm. Pour into a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Add the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Knead on medium-low for 8 minutes or until soft and elastic. Transfer the dough to a lightly buttered bowl, cover with a tea towel, and let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
For the filling, in a small bowl, combine the melted butter, sugar, cinnamon and cardamom.
On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a large rectangle that measures roughly 30 x 46 cm (18 x 12 inches). Using a rubber spatula, spread the filling evenly across the dough, leaving a a ½ -inch (1 cm) margin at the top and wetting it with a little water. Tightly roll the dough upwards starting from the bottom. Pinch the seam shut and turn the dough so that it’s seam side down. Use your hands to even out its shape. Using a sharp knife, cut the log into 8 equal-size buns. Place the buns in a shallow, buttered baking pan, cover with a tea towel, and let rise for 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF / 200ºC.
In a small saucepan, bring the sugar and water for the Brunost caramel to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the heavy cream and Brunost and whisk together until melted, thoroughly combined and somewhat thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside.
Bake the buns for 10 minutes, until puffing and starting to turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and drizzle all of the Brunost sauce over the buns, covering them. Sprinkle with sliced almonds on top, if desired. Place back in the oven and bake 10 to 12 minutes longer or until golden brown on top and cooked through. Let the rolls cool slightly before digging in. Sprinkle with powdered sugar on top and serve.
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