We are so excited to share that we can now add Sweden to the list of beautiful and majestic places to which Tea Drops has traveled. It is such an honor and a thrill that thanks to the boundless realm that is the internet, we have the chance to share our tea morsels with people all around the world.
Unlike many of the other countries we have traversed in our virtual tea tour of the world, the Swedes believe that a coffee or tea break can happen at any time of day (and we heartily agree!) This social break, where people gather to enjoy a hot (but sometimes cold) beverage and some tasty nibbles is named fika (pronounced fee-ka) and is used as both a noun and a verb--as in, "care to fika?" I certainly wish we had a similar term in the U.S.!
Some of the treats that are found around the table during fika are cakes, muffins, breads, and pastries. As with the English high tea, meats are also sometimes served. Heartier fare such as cheese, eggs, or sandwiches can also accompany these dishes and this meal can be taken at home or in a cafe.
At the heart of fika is the chance to connect with loved ones, friends, and colleagues. It is a time to pause and regenerate the body and the spirit. I feel that this is such a testament to the heart of Sweden's cultural values that such a high priority is put on staying connected with those around you and to one's mental and emotional wellbeing.
It also goes without saying that I have a lot of admiration for a country that has a special day set aside to honor a given dessert--for instance, in Sweden there is a National Cinnamon Roll Day!
While we're on the subject, here's a recipe for some festive, delicious, and heartwarming Swedish cinnamon buns orkanebullens.
Kannelbullar - Swedish Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
- 2/3 cup butter
- 2 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 6 - 7 cups all-purpose flour Filling:
- 7 tablespoons butter at room temperature
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon Other items needed:
- 1 egg, for brushing the rolls prior to baking
- Baking cups
Mix your dry and then your wet ingredients before combining the dough. Mix the salt, sugar, cardamom, and flour in a separate bowl. Now melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add milk to melted butter as slowly stirring the mixture with a whisk. Heat until it reaches 115F.
Pour the melted butter and milk mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer, and add your yeast. Give it a good stir with a fork or spoon to blend well.
Set your mixer to the lowest stage. As the mixer is going on low speed, slowly start adding the dry ingredient mixture (salt, sugar, cardamom and flour). Blend well before adding more flour. When the dough balls up in teh middle of the mixing bowl, you are done and speed up the mixer.
Knead approximately 15 minutes.
Set bowl in a draft free place and cover with a kitchen towel. Let rise until doubled (about one hour).
While the dough is rising prepare the filling. Mix butter, cinnamon and sugar.
When your dough has risen, punch down the dough with your fist, remove from bowl, and knead on a floured surface for a few minutes.
Divide the dough into two equal pieces and roll each half on a lightly floured surface to into a flat rectangle.
Spread the filling evenly onto the dough, then roll up into a log. Cut into even slices and roll.
Place one in each baking cup. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Lightly beat an egg, then brush each bun. If you have it, sprinkle with sugar.
Bake rolls in the center of the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, and you are now done and can start enjoying these little rolls of pure goodness.
I hope you'll consider adding some delicious Swedish flair to your teatime or hosting a fika of your own, full of tea, laughter, and friends.
Posted by Erin Schwartz