A lot of last month and this one too, have been quite busy and I did end up picking comparatively easier bread this month for the “We Knead To Bake” group to bake. It’s a bread I had marked as one I definitely wanted to make, and easy they might be, but they are very, very good as you will find endorsed by all those who did bake them.
I have made Cinnamon Rolls flavoured with cardamom before, but these rolls are a little different because they involve the use of a refrigerated starter and so take a little longer to make.
This month’s bread is the Kanel Snegle (Cinnamon Snails) or Kanelbullar (Cinnamon Buns) which is the Swedish version (and probably the original version) of the popular American Cinnamon Rolls. The Swedish version are and not sticky like their American counterparts and are also less sweet. They’re are delightfully aromatic, soft and moist, and perfect with a cup of tea/ coffee whether for breakfast or in the evening.
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. Whether you call them Snails or Rolls (coiled shape) or Buns (twisted and rolled up) depends on how you shape them.
Scandinavian celebratory breads tend to be all about spices and warmth so you will find a lot of their breads scented with cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, aniseed, etc.
You will find these rolls/ buns in some form in various countries across Europe, perhaps differently shaped and made with a slightly different recipe.
So they’ll be Franzbrotchen in Germany and Austria, Korvapuusti in Finland, Skillingsbollen in Norway and Brioche/ Pain a la Canelle in France.
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 I have done here. Kanel Snegle/ kanelbullar usually come baked in white paper cases, and the nice thing about this is that the filling stays in the buns and doesn’t get left behind on the baking sheets!
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.
The recipe below is adapted and tweaked from a variety of recipes which were more or less the same. Some recipes mention using bread flour, but most use plain flour and that’s the way I went.
As I mentioned before, this recipe involves the preparation of a starter which is refrigerated overnight. It will rise quite a bit so make sure your container has enough of free space to allow the dough to expand.
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.
Kanel Snegle/ Kanelbullar (Swedish Cinnamon Snails/ Rolls)