Friday, April 18, 2008
You know already that Swedes love their "bullar", yeasted buns. The traditional filling is cinnamon, but there's also cardamom buns, buns filled with custard, and these ones: pistachio buns. Now, the ones you buy don't really have a lot of pistachios in them, it's usually just almond paste tinted green with food coloring. The flavor is much better when you make it yourself - with real pistachios, of course.
You can shape the buns as you like, but I tried making knots for the first time and well, some of them turned out quite pretty. (And some most decidedly didn't - but they were still very tasty, of course.) I've tried to describe how to make them, and it sounds a lot more fiddly than it actually is. If I hadn't been alone at home, I'd have asked Per to take photos, but as it was, my hands were quite sticky...
The recipe comes from Oscar Målevik who just won the Swedish bakery championship for young bakers.
makes about 35
For the dough:
150 g melted butter
500 ml milk
5 g cardamom, coarsely ground or crushed in a pestle and mortar
50 g fresh yeast
50 g light muscovado sugar
800-850 g plain flour
pinch of salt
Heat the butter and milk until tepid. Crumble the yeast into a bowl and stir in some of the liquid until the yeast has dissolved. Add the rest of the liquid, salt, sugar, cardamom, flour and egg. Work into a smooth dough. It should be very well kneaded, so let your Kitchen-Aid run for 7-8 minutes, or just give it a very vigorous kneading by hand. Let it rise, covered, for about 30 minutes.
For the filling:
250 g almond paste
150 g butter, at room temperature
45 g custard powder
100 g peeled raw, unsalted pistachios
a little bit of water
Grate the almond paste, or just crumble it into the bowl of your Kitchen-Aid if you're as lazy as I am. Add the butter, and mix until you have a smooth paste. (It's easier if you grate it, but it works anyway.) Finely chop the pistachios - in a food processor, preferrably - and add them. Add the custard powder too, and mix well. Add a few drops of water if you need it to make the filling soft and spreadable.
Divide the dough into two parts. Roll out one of the halves into a large rectangle. Spread with half of the filling. Fold the dough lengthwise, so that you have a large but very narrow rectangle. Cut this into strips, abut 2 cm wide, and then cut each strip once more but not all the way through. It should resemble an "y" but upside down. Take the two "legs" and twist them together, and form a sort of loose knot. Place it in a paper or foil cup, and set on a baking sheet. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
Leave to rise, covered, for another 45 minutes. Brush with a beaten egg with a dash of water and a tiny pinch of salt, and then sprinkle with pearl sugar, flaked almonds or coarsely chopped pistachios.
Bake at 210°C (if you have a convection oven, for a regular oven, heat to 225°C) for 8-10 minutes.
Recipe in Swedish: