After I got back, I quickly begin to search everything about Korvapuusti. Apparently, it is Finnish Cinnamon Roll (translated as slapped ears because of its shape) and it’s one type of Pulla (a mildly-sweet Finnish bread flavored with cardamom). The cardamom dough is filled with cinnamon sugar and topped with pearl sugar. Needless to say, it’s delicious.
I found a Korvapuusti recipe from myblueandwhitekitchen and it looks perfect. I usually follow recipes step by step and will not make any changes especially if it’s the first time. That day though, I was exhausted after a long day of recipe testing (and the hubby wants to hike with me after). As I was mixing everything together, I realized I didn’t read the recipe thoroughly. I should add two-thirds of the flour and knead with butter, then gradually add just enough flour to form a clean dough. I was too tired to do it again. I thought I was wrong already, so I might just throw the dough into the fridge and let it proof overnight. I can be mentally more prepared tomorrow morning.
The second morning, I got up at 6:30, excitedly. When I opened the fridge, I saw the dough has risen, but it looked rough and dry. I was so upset that I almost threw out the dough. I blamed myself for not following the recipe, but then the dough smelled so incredibly good with the aggressive amount of cardamom. So I said to myself, there’s really nothing to lose. Why not just roll out the dough, put the filling and bake? Worst case, I will just eat all of the stale bread myself.
I am so glad I didn’t throw out the dough. As I was rolling out the dough, it began to soften and become smoother. I was too excited about that fact that I think I didn’t shape them so perfectly. Anyways, they taste AMAZING. They do not have the crunchy caramel bottom like the one I had in Portland, but I don’t think that’s how Korvapuusti should be. Based on my research, the bottoms will be dark brown (or even black) in color, but not with caramel. I followed Sini’s ingredients measurement, and it’s the perfect sweetness vs. richness for me. The one I had from Heart of course taste richer, sweeter and I really like the crunchy almost candy-like bottom. However, that’s more like an indulgence treat rather than how this Korvapuusti can be your daily breakfast.
Crunchy pearl sugar on top,
Soft and Chewy bun.
Do I need to say more? Make these Korvapuusti – Finnish Cinnamon Rolls at home. Discover a whole new world. You’re welcome. Share this post and tag #herbakinglab on Instagram! Every morning with Korvapuusti and coffee is a perfect morning.
Korvapuusti - Finnish Cinnamon Rolls
1.500 ml (2 cups + 2 tbsp) lukewarm milk (preferably whole milk)
2. 50 g fresh yeast (or alternatively 16 g / 1 tbsp + 2 tsp instant active dry yeast)
3. 180 g (2 dl; ¾ cup + 2 tbsp) granulated sugar
4. 1 ½ tsp fine sea salt
5. 1 tbsp + 1 tsp ground cardamom (preferably freshly ground)
6. 1 egg
7. about 1 kg (6 ½ cups) bread flour
8. 170 g (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the filling:
1. 150 g (1 ⅓ sticks) soft butter
2. 6 tbsp granulated sugar
3. 1 tbsp + 2 tsp cinnamon
1. egg wash
2. pearl sugar, to sprinkle
To make the dough
In a large mixing bowl (you can make the dough by hand, like me, or in a stand mixer), combine the lukewarm milk and crumbled yeast. [If using instant active dry yeast, skip this step. Combine the yeast with some flour and add to the warm, 42°C / 108°F, milk mixture before adding the rest of the flour.] Stir with a spoon until the yeast is completely dissolved. Add sugar, salt, cardamom, and egg and mix until combined. Gradually add about two thirds of the flour and knead. Add butter and knead until well combined. Continue to knead the dough, and gradually add just enough flour so the dough comes clean off the sides of the bowl and doesn’t stick to your hand.
Don’t overwork the dough or you’ll end up with hard rolls, not soft as we want them to be. Shape into a ball and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1 hour, or until double in size.
Meanwhile, mix together the butter, sugar, and cinnamon for the filling. Set aside.
To shape and bake the rolls
Line four baking sheets with parchment paper.
Punch down the dough and divide into two equally sized portions. Lightly dust a clean work surface with flour. Roll out the first portion of dough into a large, about 60-by-40-centimeter / 23-by-16-inch rectangle. Spread half of the filling evenly on top. Beginning with the long side, roll the dough into a tight tube shape, seam side down. Cut into 15 cylinders and press each point tightly into the center with your index finger.
Place the shaped cinnamon rolls on the baking sheets, spacing them about 5 cm / 2″ apart. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for further 30 minutes, or until they’re double in size. Repeat with the second batch.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 225°C (435°F).
For the egg wash, lightly whisk the egg. Before baking, brush each roll with the egg wash and sprinkle generously with pearl sugar. Bake the rolls on the middle rack for 10 – 15 minutes, or until golden to dark brown in color. When the rolls are done, the bottoms will most probably be dark brown in color; this is totally normal and typical for Nordic cardamom-spiced sweetbread. Repeat with the other sheets of rolls.
1. If you’re used to American Cinnamon Rolls, I strongly suggest you add more butter and sugar to the filling (or even double the amount). This recipe will produce a slightly sweet and not too rich filling. I personal like the end result a lot, but hey it’s your bread so nobody will judge you adding more butter and sugar to your filling.
2. It is a very forgiving recipe (see my story above), and the dough could be made the night before and chill to rise overnight. In the next morning, take the dough out of fridge and let it set at room temperature for 10 minutes before rolling. Then follow the recipe for the remaining steps.
2. Just like every cinnamon roll, it’s best eaten on the same day, when still warm. I used half amount of each ingredient and made 15 rolls. Store them in an air-tight container or freeze them and warm up when ready to eat.