Sunday, March 20, 2011

Swedish Blueberry Buns

Ingredients for the dough:
1 (.25 ounce) packet of yeast
1 1/2 cups warm milk
1 heaped teaspoon ground cardamom or about 20 cardamom pods
2 large eggs
a pinch of sea salt
7 ounces caster sugar (superfine)
3 1/2 T melted butter
1 3/4 pounds (28 ounces) all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 T unsalted butter
2 1/2 ounces demerara sugar (raw sugar)

* * * * * *

Ingredients for the filling
14 ounces blueberries
2 1/2 ounces caster sugar (superfine)
1 orange

Preparing 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 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 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 damp kitchen towel or oiled plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to prove or rise for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

* * * * * *

Preparing the filling:
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 chunks of 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 rectangle.
[Note: Have a bowl of flour nearby to keep your hands from getting too gooey; dough may be 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 oven to 350 degrees F.

When the buns have risen, put them into the oven and cook for 25 minutes, until golden and crispy. Serve hot.

Makes 8 buns


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