Vikings bring to mind silly helmets with horns (although they’d never really wore them), long ships with dragon heads or other mythical creatures and a sense of living in the moment. But they do not inspire cooking, at least not for me.
When I thinking of Vikings eating, I always get this image of one of those Hagar cartoons where Hagar is sitting down to eat cod balls that his wife Helga has prepared for him. Who would eat the cod balls, even if you hated them, with Helga standing right there? 😉 Of course then there is Helga herself, a woman who managed her household with exact standards, such as Hagar needing his bath, her daughter in the amour dress and a son who wasn’t much on the physical side, but made up for it in intellect. But alas cod balls? I don’t think I could make them. Let’s not even consider eating them.
So my inner Viking, the one I called upon for this adventure turned out to the Swedish Chef from The Muppets. Okay I get that he isn’t really all that fierce and warrior like. I mean the chickens always got away from him, but frankly he reminds me of myself in the kitchen!
And so it was with my Swedish Chef wearing a horned hat that I entered the kitchen, prepared to do battle with…buns. Yes you read that right, buns. After all Sweden is famous for their version of cinnamon buns, but those are yeast and while I guess technically I was in warrior mode, it seemed a bit harsh to get yeast knowing in advance I’d kill it before it could do anything! So I made a version that do not require yeast.
Here’s how you too can make these battle worthy buns!
Preheat your modern oven to 400f. No clue how to judge the temperature of an open fire so modern it is!
First we make the filling because not all of it goes in the buns. For the filling we need:
1 c brown sugar
4 tbsp softened butter
3 tsp cinnamon
You can add 1/4 tsp of cardamon here if you wish to make it more Swedish
Now for the beginning of the battle, you need to add those ingredients together, mix well and sprinkle 1/4 of it in the bottom of an 11×7 glass pan, I greased mine first because things have a horrible habit of sticking around long after you no longer need them.
For the dough portion:
2 c bread flour or regular flour
2 tbsp sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
3 tbsp softened butter
3/4 c milk
Stir flour, sugar baking powder and salt into a bowl. (You can use a mixer if you desire or go the manual route!)
Next for some violence, add the egg to the dry ingredients (the violence comes from cracking it open) and mix well.
Time for more violence, we shall cut the butter into the dough, use forks or knives of pastry blender. Work it into a fine crumble.
Next grab a paddle or spoon and get ready for the tough part, we need to gradually add all her milk, paddling (mixing) until it is all combined into sticky doughy mess.
Now plunder the flour bin or bag because you really need to flour down the table or counter you will be using to roll out the dough. Hey I’m sure Viking life was messy too! What we want to do here is roll out the Doug (more violence if you are the dough) into a rectangle, or something close to that shape.
Once you have acquired a rectangle or kind of given up like I did, take the rest of the filling and sprinkle it over the dough, then roll up tightly from the long side. Trust me you want this tight or you will have a bigger mess than normal!
To cut the buns you can use a knife, which yields squashed looking buns or you can use unflavoured, but waxed, dental floss and or fine string and it cuts without the squish factor. You want to cut these into 1/2″-1″ rolls. If you cut them bigger you end up with less, but obviously a bigger bun!
Now these buns like each other lots, so snuggle them tightly together in r pan. (Think of all those Vikings abroad those boats, they’d be rather snuggled together too!). Bake for 20 minutes or until dough is light golden. Let cool. If you want to be more like they are in Sweden, do not glaze the buns, but instead sprinkle with pearl sugar after they have cooled for 5 mins. You could also add 1/4 tsp of cardamon into the dry ingredients for the dough.
These are comfort buns fit to do battle for, and they are worth the battle to make them. Okay it’s not really that much of a battle because they are easy, but shhh don’t tell the Vikings!