I meant to have this up yesterday in case you had a little free time and felt like doing some baking today. Opps. I haven't got a good excuse for you. I simply distract myself and don't get things done. Lack of focus I think they call it. Or focusing on too many things, which I think is my affliction. Back to the recipe. Focus Maggie, focus.
If you like cardamom and cinnamon rolls you'll love these. If you like the super sweet frosted cinnamon rolls these may not be the thing for you. If you decide to make these, which I hope you will, just keep in mind that they are not overly sweet and that they have a little peppery/spicy kick from the cardamom. That being said I think they are great! I found the recipe on Epicurious and the only thing I changed was to leave out the egg wash. In retrospect I think I should have done it so I'll include it in the directions. I also think that using about 3 tsp. of ground cardamom would have been a heck of a lot easier that the mortar and pestle business I was fooling around with. But if you've got patience, and a good bit of elbow grease, go ahead and bash those cardamom pods into a nice fine dust!
Gourmet December 1996
1 1/4 cups warm water (105°F.)
6 tbls unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
6 tbls granulated sugar
two 1/4-ounce packages active dry yeast (5 tsp total, a package is 2 1/2 tsp)
3 large eggs beaten lightly
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup powdered nonfat dry milk
5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
4 tbls unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3 tbls cardamom seeds, ground in a mortar with a pestle, or in an electric spice/coffee grinder (I found this quite tedious, I had to pick out bits of the pods and then bash up the little black seeds that were almost like rocks they were so hard. In the end I had about 3 tsp of ground cardamom. I would recommend, for your own sanity, just to use 3 tsp of ground cardamom. Just make sure it is fresh and hasn't been hanging out in your cupboard for months.)
1 large egg beaten with 2 tbls water
In a large bowl combine the water, butter and sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the top and let it sit until it is foamy, about 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in eggs, salt and powdered milk. Stir in the flour one cup at a time until you have mixed in 5 cups. I was able to mix together about 4 1/2 cups until it got too hard to stir in anymore flour.
Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes adding as much flour (not more 6 cups total) to make the dough smooth and elastic. I kneaded in about another 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup. Making the amount of flour I used in total 5 to 5 1/4 cups. I always like to keep the last cup to cup and a half of flour out and knead it in, that way I am not kneading in any extra flour. I like it when recipes give you a range for the amount of flour to use. It makes baking in different climates/seasons a lot easier. Just remember if the dough feels right you don't have to use all of the flour!
Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn once to ensure the whole ball is lightly coated in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm draft free place for about an hour until the dough has doubled in size. Let me tell you one more time how much I love my oven and the standard proof setting. AMAZING. Works like a charm every time!
Punch down dough and on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin stretch the dough into a 15x20 inch rectangle. Spread the softened butter over the surface of the dough and sprinkle with the cinnamon, sugar and cardamom. I mixed it all together in a little bowl and then used a mini sieve to sprinkle it evenly over the dough.
With the long side of the dough facing you roll it up like a jelly roll. Cut the dough into 1 1/2 pieces, you should get about 16. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and place the rolls about two inches apart. Let rise for an hour.
Preheat oven to 350. Brush the tops of the rolls with the egg was and then sprinkle with some extra sugar (this is the step I left out but shouldn't have). Bake for about 25 minutes in the center of the oven until the tops of the rolls are golden.
Enjoy these warm with a nice strong cup of coffee. Or tea. Or hot chocolate. Whichever you prefer!
And if you decide to put a little extra butter on these just before you eat them I won't tell.