I’ve been making these little beauties for a couple of weeks now, and they’ve been sort of a hit with family and friends who have visited us, so I decided to put the recipe into my blog archive, you know, for future use. The thing I love most about them is the fact that I get to make Djamo spend a little time with me in the kitchen. For those of you who don’t know, Djamo is a huge foodie like myself, but he doesn’t like the heat of the kitchen at all. He finds it completely stressful and would much prefer to keep out of the way when it comes to cooking. Of course, when its steak night or fish night, or even a barbecue, it’s like freaky Friday, with roles reversed, where he’ll be there in a flash, marinating the meats in whatever condiments that come to mind and fry that steak into a state of heavenly deliciousness, whilst Lucy and I drool from a safe distance.
But these little buns, like any bread that requires kneading, are an exception to his rule. Since he had spent many years in his early twenties working in a bakery, kneading has become almost a second nature to him. It’s an art form, and one that I need to study more to truly appreciate. He uses almost all his senses when it comes to kneading: feeling the texture of the dough with his hands, using his nose to smell development of the the yeast. He knows the difference between sweet dough and savoury dough just by the touch of his fingers. His kneading technique alternates from forceful to gentle, from fast to slow, something he picked up whilst at the bakery. How magical it is to watch the remnants of flour, yeast and milk transform into an elastic and smooth ball of dough within a matter of minutes.
What I also adore about these knots except for the forced labour part #Iregretnothing, are the filling and the syrup to brush over the buns. Sweet, floral (like most of my recipes at the moment), spicy and with a lovely salty finish. Whats not to love?
I have to admit, these pictures I took for this post are not my favourite photographs I have ever taken and I do want to apologise for this. I am finding that I am slowly learning to develop my photography skills and I am still experimenting with what works and what doesn’t, so please bare with me as I journey down this path of growth. 🙂
Salted Cardamom + Orange Blossom Knots
adapted from: Adventures in Cooking
Cooking time: 2+ hours
Makes: 20 buns
1 cup whole milk, warmed
1 1/2tbsp fresh yeast (or 1/2tbsp dry yeast)
3 1/4 cups plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1/3 cup vanilla sugar
1/4tsp ground cardamom
1/4tsp sea salt, extra for sprinkling over the buns
6tbsp butter, room temperature
1tsp vegetable oil, for greasing
Salted Cardamom Filling
1/3 cup light muscovado sugar
1 1/2tsp ground cardamom
1/4tsp vanilla bean paste
1tsp sea salt
Orange Blossom Syrup
1/4 cup light muscovado sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2tsp vanilla bean paste
1tsp orange blossom water
Pour the flour, sea salt, sugar and cardamom into a bowl and stir well. Place the milk, yeast and butter into a saucepan, and over a low heat, stir until all the butter has just melted. Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture and pour in the milk. With a fork, stir the mixture together until just combined, then begin to use your hands until the a dough just comes together.
Dust a clean surface with a little flour and knead the the dough for 10 minutes until elastic and smooth. Place in a clean bowl that has been greased with the vegetable oil and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
Whilst waiting for the dough to rise, make the salted cardamom filling. Combine all the ingredients until a smooth paste is formed. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC (180ºC fan-assisted) 400ºF. When the dough has risen, take out of the bowl and roll out thinly. Spread the cardamom filling in an even layer before folding one side of the dough into the middle and then folding over the other side of the dough on top of this.
Cut 20 strips. To fold into a bun, grab the two ends of a strip and gently shake until stretched slightly. Bring the two ends together and hold these in one hand and in the other hand, hold the loop end. Begin to twist at least 6 times before bringing into a small knot. Set aside and repeat.
Allow to rise for a further 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the orange blossom syrup but placing the sugar, vanilla bean paste and water in a saucepan and allow to come to a boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take off the heat and add the orange blossom water. Set aside until needed.
When ready, place the buns onto a baking sheet covered in parchment paper and bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Take out of the oven a brush with the orange blossom syrup and sprinkling with the sea salt. Can be eaten immediately or when cold.
Thank you for reading.