"If baking is any labor at all, it's a labor of love. A love that gets passed from generation to generation."
My first memory of wrapping my hands around a lump of bread dough is when my Grandma Claborn came to visit during my childhood in Yuma, Arizona. Her signature dish was cinnamon rolls ... I mean the most mouth-watering clouds of sugary cinnamon goodness and love I'd ever tasted. I think I was about four years old when I pulled my little red Radio Flyer wagon into the kitchen where Grandma was making cinnamon rolls, turned the wagon upside down, and asked Grandma if I could have a lump of the cinnamon roll dough. She gave me the dough and a bit of flour with her large, work-worn, floury hands and I proceeded to use the bottom of my wagon as a kitchen countertop, watching Grandma and imitating the way she'd press her hands into the dough, fold it back onto itself, turn it, then repeat the motion...over and over again. When I got tired from all the kneading, I stuck the dough to the backside of one of the wagon wheels and then twirled the wheel forward, flinging the dough to the other side of the kitchen. I remember Grandma and I giggling together over this bit of fun and her saying after awhile, when my lump of dough was a putrid gray color, "I don't think you'll want to eat that, hon'."
Besides the wonderful memory of bonding over baking with my Grandma, I also remember how good that dough felt in my hands, how satisfying it was to roll it into "snakes" or tiny doll-sized dinner rolls. It was my first experience of bread baking as an art form and I was hooked!
I've baked an awful lot of breakfast breads over the years, but I recently tried one that has "risen" 😄 to the top of my list of favorites: Swedish Cardamom Rolls. Is it labor-intensive? Yes, a bit. But please do savor the time it takes to work the dough and smell the cardamom and twist the strips into lovely little knots of ooey-gooey goodness. I guarantee the whole experience will diminish depression, lighten loads and bring a spark of joy...especially when you eat that first roll fresh out of the oven!
So, without further ado, here is the recipe. Bake it for company, bake it for your children, bake it for yourself...and rejoice in the Giver of all good gifts for our blessing and enjoyment - including exotic spices and fragrant yeasty dough!
Swedish Cardamom Rolls
For the Dough
For the Filling
For the Decoration
Making the Dough
Shaping the Buns
Baking the Buns
Bake for 20 minutes (or a little longer). The buns should be a beautiful golden brown and have an internal temperature of 190-200 F on an instant read thermometer.
Decorating the Buns
*Recipe modified from www.savortheflavour.com.
These would be perfect reheated and served with morning coffee and visiting with guests before a later breakfast, or with a mid-afternoon cup of tea. As Julia Child said,