For November month's We Knead to Bake, Aparna taught us about Kanel Snegle (Cinnamon Snails) or Kanelbullar (Cinnamon Buns). It is the Swedish version of the popular American Cinnamon Rolls. The Swedish Kanel Snegle/ Kanelbullar is less about sugar and more about the spices in it – cardamom in the dough and cinnamon inside the Snails/ Buns. They’re are delightfully aromatic, soft and moist, and perfect with a cup of tea/ coffee whether for breakfast or in the evening.
Kanel Snegle/ Kanelbullar are traditionally made on the 4th of October every year in Sweden to celebrate “the Day of the Cinnamon Bun” but can be found in bakeries all through the year. There are different ways of shaping this confectionery and I have detailed two types here – the typical “snail” shapes which much like that of the regular Cinnamon Roll, and the “twist”.
Typically the traditional filling in these buns is just butter, sugar and cinnamon, but there are versions that also use almonds with this filling and that’s what we have done here.
One way of shaping is to just roll up the dough with filling like jelly/ swiss roll style and cut them into pieces. This is the typical Kanel Snegle. The other way is to fold the dough over the filling and cut it into strips. Then slightly pull/ elongate strips and twist like a rope and then roll it up, tucking the end underneath the bun.
The third slightly more complicated and prettier bun is made by cutting the strips into half lengthwise leaving one end attached (see pictures and video for details) like “trousers/ pants”. Then each “leg is twisted and then rolled up to form a bun.
These Kanel Snegle freeze quite well, so you can make the full batch of twenty and freeze them for later use. Just warm them up in the microwave or the oven whenever you want one or two.
For the Starter
1/2 cup warm milk
1 tsp instant yeast
1 cups all-purpose flour
For the Dough
All the Starter
1 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
4 pods cardamom, powdered
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp butter, soft at room temperature
For the Filling
3 tbsp butter, soft at room temperature
3 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp coarsely ground almonds
For the Topping
2 tbsp milk (or egg wash if you eat eggs)
Pearl sugar or large sugar crystals
- Mix together all the ingredients for the Starter into a sticky dough, in a large bowl. Place the Starter dough in an oiled bowl and loosely cover it and then refrigerate it. Remember the dough will rise quite a bit so use a container that has enough room for this. I used my tupperware Compact lunch box.
- The next day, about an hour before you are ready to start on the dough, take the Starter out and leave it at room temperature.
- Tear the Starter to large pieces and drop into the large bowl. Now sift together the flour, cardamom and salt into a bowl. Add this, the lemon zest and sugar to the bowl and mix well until mixed.
- Now add the soft butter and knead well until you have a smooth and elastic dough. If your dough feels dry, add a little milk or if it feels wet then add a little flour till you have the required consistency of dough.
- Make the filling by mixing/ creaming together the soft butter, brown sugar and cinnamon with a fork or spoon into a spreadable paste.
To Make the Cinnamon Snails
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and then roll it out into a approximately rectangle about 10” by 6” in size. Spread the filling all over the rectangle, leaving the corners for rolling.
- Sprinkle the coarse almond powder over this and then either tightly roll the dough jelly/ Swiss roll style and cut it into 7 or 8 equal pieces with a sharp knife. Place these, cut side down on a lightly greased baking sheet leaving space between them, or in white cupcake cases
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and then roll it out into a approximately rectangle about 10” by 6” in size. Spread the filling only till half the dough.
- Fold the dough over in half and cut into 7 long strips with a sharp knife, twist and shape them as desired. Place these, cut side down on a lightly greased baking sheet leaving space between them, or in white cupcake cases.
- Let them rise for about 10 to 15 minutes till they look a little puffy but not swollen up. Brush the Snails/ Buns with milk (or egg wash) and sprinkle with pearl sugar, large sugar crystals or brown sugar (whatever you have on hand).
- Bake them at 200C (400F) for about 15 minutes till they’re cooked, golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. If they’re browning too quickly, turn down the temperature by about 20C (65F) and bake them till done.
- Let them cool on wire racks. You can serve them warm or at room temperature. You can freeze these Kanel Snegle for whenever you feel like having one. This recipe makes about 14 Kanel Snegle/ Kanelbullar.
- I froze about 10 of these to be used later and it was all gone in the weekend, when we had our friends visiting us.