This dough can be made in a day but is forgiving enough to let you refrigerate it overnight, which is what I elected to do. The original recipe required tempering (whisking a small quantity of warm milk into the egg), but I modified the step and used a stand mixer to make it more streamlined. I also increased the salt level, but feel free to return to the original amount (1 teaspoon). Orange zest, while not required, is a nice addition that pairs well with cardamom.
Butter Buns from Nordic Bakery
Adapted from Nordic Bakery Cookbook, by Miisa Mink
Makes 20 buns
- 500 grams / 4 cups bread flour
- 6 grams / 2 teaspoons active-dry yeast
- 85 grams / 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 8 grams / 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 gram / 1 scant teaspoon sea salt flakes (optional)
- 2 teaspoons cardamom seeds, crushed with a mortar and pestle
- 250 ml / 1 cup whole milk, heated to nearly a simmer and cooled to a warm room temperature (about 80°F)
- 1 large egg
- Zest of 1 orange
- 75 grams / 5 generous tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 50 grams / 3 tablesooons unsalted or salted butter, at a soft room temperature
- 3 tablespoons granulated or brown sugar
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, yeast, sugar, and salts. Fit the paddle attachment on the stand mixer, add the milk, egg, and zest and mix on low speed until just incorporated. With the mixer on low speed, add the butter in small pieces. Remove the paddle attachment and attach the dough hook. Continue to mix until the dough looks soft and satiny and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and wrap around the dough hook, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the paddle attachment; cover the bowl loosely with a towel, and let the flour hydrate for 20 minutes.
Lightly oil a large glass or ceramic bowl. Using a dough scraper or your hands, transfer the dough to the oiled bowl, cover with a lid or plastic wrap, and let rise on the counter until nearly double in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (Alternatively, refrigerate overnight and then let it come to a cool room temperature the next morning.)
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Fold the sides of the dough over the center to form a ball. Turn the ball out onto a lightly floured surface. Using the bench scraper, quarter the dough. Divide each quarter into 5 pieces. (You will have 20 pieces altogether.) Roll each piece into a ball by cupping your hands over the top of the dough and moving it in a circular motion. The friction from your hands and the work surface will cause the dough to form a ball. Evenly distribute the balls among the baking sheets. Cover with a non-terrycloth dish towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
Make the sugar topping: In a bowl, stir together the butter and sugar.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
After 30 minutes, press your fingers into the top of each roll to make a well. Fill each well with a scant 1/2 teaspoon of the sugar and butter. Brush egg over the top. Let the dough continue to proof until the dough just softly springs back when pressed with your fingertips, an additional 30 minutes depending on the temperature of the dough and the room.
Bake the rolls until the crust takes on a deep golden color, about 30 minutes and the dough is no longer raw in the center. Cool completely.