Cardamom and cinammon owl-faced buns

From a recipe by Tessa Kiros in her lovely book Falling Cloudberries

250 ml  warmish milk
100 g golden or white caster sugar
25 g fresh yeast or 2 sachets of easy dried
1 lightly beaten egg
125g soft butter
2 tsp ground cardamom seed
1 tsp salt
650 grams of plain flour or a mixture of brown and white. I used some fine emmer flour in mine about 50 grams

For the filling

2 tsp. ground cinammon
50g grams caster sugar
80 grams of soft spreadable butter, divided in to 4 lots of 20 grams
Egg for eggwash and sugar to sprinkle on top.

Mix dough.  If you use fresh yeast then mix in with the milk and sugar. Add the rest of the ingredients, butter, egg, spices and salt and finally add the flour to that. If you are using dried active yeast then you can add that with the flour.  Leave for a 2 hour rise.
This makes a quite soft but not too sticky dough that is something like the density of pastry.

The filling, mix the cinammon and sugar together. Keep the butter separate.

Divide the dough into portions of about 300 grams each. You should have 4 portions.

The tricky part:

Roll each one out to an oblong as if you were doing pastry. about 20 x 25 cms and 3 ml thick.  With a palette knife, spread the butter evenly over the dough. Sprinkle 1/4 of the cinammon sugar mix over this.  Roll the dough up longways to make a long roll. Repeat for the other portions.
You can cut this as straight slices and put on tray to bake or you can cut the slices at an angle so you get fat truncated triangles. You cut the slices on the diagonal, alternating the direction to get this.

Hopefully this rather rubbish drawing will give you a further clue ! Drawing bit of my wp programme is a bit basic.

Then you put each triangle down on its fat or bottom edge,

this is what it will look like. A lot like an owl!

and press it down quite flattish, squash it down really well, almost further than you think you should.  Repeat with the rest.  See the bottom of this post for a link to Celia’s post and more photos on how this works. Celia’s present to me!  I got about 24 little buns from this. Leave to rise on a baking paper lined tray for about half an hour while you put the oven on to 180 C conventional or 170 C fan.  Eggwash and sprinkle sugar on top.

Cook for about 10 – 12 minutes till golden. They will feel quite soft when you take them out of the oven, but keep a good eye on them and don’t overcook them.

My variations:

Vanilla sugar and vanilla essence in the buns and choc chips or small chunks either rolled in or mixed in the dough, but easier to roll in in the layers.  Or you could use crystallised ginger and lemon zest,  the traditional taste is cardamom though. Makes you think of Stockholm in winter…. this alternative photo might give you more clues as to how they work… I will take some early stage photos next time I make them, unless someone beats me to it :)

To print this out together with how to do the shaping by Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial click here


****EDIT***** The extraordinary food writer Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial has kindly had a go at these and taken some fabulous photos which reveal the mysteries of the cutting and squashing.  It will all make sense once you read her post ! Click here

And when you’ve done that… (This is an untidy post, sorry everyone!) … you can print this pdf file owl rolls which has the recipe and Celia’s photos so it should all be clear finally. Phew! Bet you wish I had done that in the first place! I had a busy week last week :)

PPS  Recently found the original recipe reproduced here with measurements in cups so hope this helps. No drawings and photos though :)


Sept 2010: This old post seems to be attracting vast quantities of spam comments, if you want to ask me anything about it please use the contact form (in the menu bar at the top)  as I have switched comments off.

13 thoughts on “Cardamom and cinammon owl-faced buns

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      I’ve added a couple of drawings and another photo. I’ll try and do better on the spatial explanations next time. This is when a video would come in handy, wouldn’t it?
      So to recap. You cut the triangles. Then you place the triangle on its uncut, smooth fattest side. Then you press the little link bit down towards the board and the cut sides squash and press out and you can see, if it works, two spiralling cut edges on either side. Have a look at the photo. It’s a bit of a puzzle, but the a-ha moment is quite gratifying :)

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      Thank you Choclette! I don’t do much fancy rolling and cutting stuff, never made croissants, but these aren’t quite as high in fat as croissants, so you can eat more of them :)

  1. cityhippyfarmgirl

    Joanna they look perfect! A rainy grey old day here and they would be perfect to be popping out of the oven right about now- too bad laziness has set in… I can drool over yours though!

  2. Zoya

    Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog.

    I love cinammon buns and yours look gorgeous. I’ll have to try to make some for myself.

      1. C

        They’re great! Mine aren’t as pretty as yours though, I think I need to roll the dough thinner.

  3. C

    Oh, they look so gorgeous Joanna. I think they may have to be the next thing I try. I reckon they’d be perfect for breakfast – I wonder if a little jam would be good with them. Guess I’ll have to try them and find out!

    1. Joanna @ Zeb Bakes Post author

      My comments seem to have got in a bit of a muddle here. Sorry C! Just read your blog post and have amended the dough making bit of the post above. Sorry that it wasn’t clearer. I hope it is now. The buns don’t have to look like owls faces. It’s just the way mine turned out, I had a look at the original pictures in Falling Cloudberries just now and they look more like yours than like mine! And added a pdf file so you can print it out to make it easier.

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