J’avais oublié – Kanelbulle

[I had forgotten – Cinnamon buns]


I had forgotten about the smell of bonfires and forests; coffee made in a cast-iron pot, with as much water as we put ground beans. I had forgotten how blueberries taint your hands; and your lips. And how small they are meant to be.


I had forgotten how it feels like to gaze at the milky way, when the only lights to be seen are far up in the sky. I had forgotten how to make wishes at every shooting stars we see, and how we can’t help but wish harder for them to happen.

I had forgotten how to dig potatoes with my hands. And pick apples from trees. Carrying them, not unlike treasures, in a made-up bag, more of an upside-down dress, really.


I had forgotten about standing by the shore – with wet stocks, mud on our rolled up work trousers (of the too-large kind) and blueberry juices on our hands, earth under our nails – for hours, waiting for fish to come. They almost never do, but who cares?


I had forgotten how to make a cake batter with a wooden spoon. How to knead without a dough hook. How to bake without a timer. And how to eat with our fingers.

But right there, I’ve remembered. The golden trees at dusk. The gumboots we walk into. The smiles we have and what they mean.

It happened one day, of the recent past kind. A distant memory. Or perhaps, just a dream. But really, I have never been more awake. Eyes wide open. And heart too.

kanelbulle pola


I made those on our last night in Sweden. We’d planned a roadtrip to the river the next day. Just hours before our flight.
I proved the dough as I slept, and early in the morning, when the fog was still surrounding us and coffee hadn’t been made yet, I baked them. Of course, I forgot to put a timer. But really, that afternoon, when we sat on the ground by the bonfire, waiting patiently for the coffee to bubble into the flames, they made a pretty decent goûter, to the sound of streaming water and jumping salmons; wind in the trees and branches cracking under our feet.

The dough itself is really easy to make. Quite sticky which makes kneading by hand fairly difficult, but please, don’t be tempted to add more flour. Just be patient and make a plastic scraper – or in my case an old cheese slicer – your new best friend to keep your bench clean.


makes 10 large buns

for the dough
300 g plain flour
150 g whole-wheat flour
130 g caster sugar
3 tsp instant yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt
240 g whole milk
one egg
one egg yolk
125 g butter
, softened

for the cinnamon butter
100 g butter, very soft
100 g caster sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cardamom

Mix the flours, sugar, yeast and salt in a large bowl. In a jug, combine the milk, egg and yolk. Pour the liquid over the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon or – my favourite, when it comes to dough – a fork until it forms a rough dough.

Transfer to a clean work surface and knead until smooth. You could also use a stand-mixer fitted with the dough-hook, and trust me, it would make your life so much easier as it’s quite sticky. If you’re kneading by hand – like I did – expect to be at it for 15 to 20 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic, and just tacky.
At this point, add the butter, rubbing it into the dough, then knead for an extra 5 minutes.

Place the dough into a clean bowl and cover with a cloth. Allow to proof at room temperature for a couple of hours, or until doubled in size.

In the meantime, get the cinnamon butter ready. Simply cream the butter, sugar and spices for a minute or two and keep at room temperature until needed.

When the dough has proved, punch to deflate, then transfer to a lightly floured work surface and roll into a 30x40cm rectangle, approximately 8mm thick.
Spread with the cinnamon butter and roll into a tight log. Cut the log into ten 4cm-wide slices using a sharp knife, and arrange into a large baking tray lined with baking paper.

Cover loosely with buttered clingfilm and proof until doubled in size.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 170°C.
When the buns have proved, bake in the preheated oven for around 30 minutes, or until golden-brown.

Allow to cool down slightly, pack your car with rods and gum boots. And please don’t forget that cast-iron pot or the ground coffee.

20 thoughts on “J’avais oublié – Kanelbulle

  • chris September 29, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    I might have waited six months for this, but damn it was worth it. good to have you back. please stick around this time! we’ve missed you.

  • Virginia @ zucchero e zenzero September 29, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    I’ve missed you, Fanny! Love this post, the pics, the recipe ^_^ Welcome back!

  • xelou (@xelou1) September 29, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Magnifique ! Merci pour ce si joli post…

  • Marie September 29, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    So good to be reading you again ! :) Loved this post as much as I loved Sweden when I went two years ago !

  • Mariah September 30, 2013 at 3:54 am

    So glad you’re back – and with cinnamon rolls :) yum! they’re my favorite to make in Autumn!

  • thelittleloaf September 30, 2013 at 10:13 am

    Like all the other readers, I’ve missed your posts! What a beautiful way to return :-)

  • Paula September 30, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Where were you?? I’ve missed you!!
    You’re back just in time to receive autumn with Kanelbulle. Love it!! But I wouldn’t love so much if they were not accompanied by your words and pictures :)

    I want to be like you, go to Sweden and make cinnamon rolls!!

    Nice to see you again!!

  • Nudaperla September 30, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Gazing at the milky way, baking without a timer, eating with your fingers. Slowing down, in Sweden. This sounds dreamy. Welcome back, I missed your words.

  • Izy Hossack (@topwithcinnamon) September 30, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    Such lovely photos and what a delicious recipe. Definitely a good post to come back with!
    Hope your book is going well :)

  • cathy September 30, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    why hello! i know life is more important than blogging, but so happy to see another post from you pop up in my reader! Hope all is well in London! PS I made your fondant au chocolat recipe at least ten times over the past year when I was in Benin… its just such a great easy make in a country where I cant find many ingredients and was ovenless (pot in pot method works perfectly for that cake), but as long as i had chocolate, butter, and eggs all went well! and everybody always loved it :)

  • Jeanette October 1, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    couldn’t believe my eyes when i saw this blog’s updated again :) lovely photos and writings, as always. <3

  • Lucy October 1, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Lovely, as always, Fanny. Thank you.

  • Alelunetta October 1, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    absolutely lovely! your words and pics made me dream Sweden :) thanks!

  • amber October 7, 2013 at 1:34 am

    You’re back! Yay :) Love this post… yum :) and lovely photos!

  • Aïda October 7, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    And cinnamon buns <3 j'en rêve!

  • Steffen October 9, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Fantastic photographs.

  • Tuscan olive grove girl November 21, 2013 at 10:40 am

    I was searching for something comforting to bake today – it’s cold and windy outside – and these look like the perfect thing – merci for sharing!

  • PS. We picked apples and made cider. Oh and an apple cake too! | like a strawberry milk February 5, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    […] Apples as white as snow. His dad said they were called Transparentes blanches. And I really wanted to believe him so I proceeded to do so. I picked a few. Held them in my dress. Peeled them and cored them, with a small knife. Sliced them with the very same knife. And layered them with honey. I whisked eggs into butter and sugar. Eggs paler than the milkyway above our heads the night before. And added wholewheat flour and cinnamon just so. The cake went into the oven and we went fly-fishing by the river. We saw grown-up salmons jump, and tiny frogs too. I was taught how to say liten groda and it meant so much more. We picked blueberries, but you already know that. […]

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    […] stopped for gas, perhaps an excuse for coffee. Many times. A latte. Perhaps a kanelbulle. And more often than not, a hot dog, of the French kind – or so said the signs plastered […]

  • Kanelbullar till kanelbullens dag • like a strawberry milk October 3, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    […] The other ones were of the spur-of-the-moment kind. Made late, during our last night in Sweden the first time we visited. Eaten by Byske river, just a few hours before our flight back to London. They had whole wheat flour and I remember how long it took to develop the gluten by hand. I also remember how wonderful it was to unwrap the not-so-neatly folded foil and dip them into a forever-hot cup of kokkaffe. […]

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