Thursday, 1 October 2015


This summer I discovered these heavenly sweet rolls in Finland where I also learned that Finns love cardamom as much as I do.  On my first day at the breakfast buffet I tried a bit of everything I wasn't sure about and discovered Voisilmapulla - Butter Eye Buns.  They are a sugary sweet bread, a cross between brioche and bath buns with a warming flavour of cardamom. Butter because they are packed with the stuff and eye because of the dimple in the middle which is filled with even more butter.

Don't be scared of the amount of melted butter you have to knead in, a bit like focaccia, you think it's never going to happen, but it does and it's what gives it a light airy texture. I used my freestanding mixer to start it off then finish it by hand.

I've sprinkled mine with sugar nibs but that's optional, I know they're not easy to get in shops here - you could try the internet. We had them with and without in Finland. In the recipe it says 2 tsp of cardamom but you could add more depending on how much you like the stuff, I put 3 in the next time I made them.

This is the recipe my Finnish friend Linda gave me, it makes 18 healthy sized buns, don't worry they freeze well and if you're going to go to the effort of making them, why not make lots. I divided mine in half and made a loaf too which we had toasted with cinnamon butter.

550g Milk, warmed
175g Sugar
2 Eggs
900g Strong White Bread Flour
2 Heaped tsp Ground Cardamom
20g Dried Yeast
200g Butter, melted

50g Butter
1tbsp Sugar
Egg Wash to glaze
Sugar Nibs to finish (optional)

Warm the milk and sugar till the sugar has just dissolved, you don't want it boiling. Now add the eggs and whisk together.

In a large bowl or free standing mixer combine the flour, cardamom and yeast.  Slowly stir in the milk.  If you're doing this by hand, use a knife till it starts to come together.  Once the milk is completely combined with the flour, pour in the melted butter.

This is where it gets really messy, there is a lot of squelching before it starts to resemble the smooth sticky dough you are aiming for.  Once all the butter is incorporated into the dough start kneading.  It will be sticky but try not to add flour,  dust your hands lightly with flour instead.  I always knead for 10 minutes to ensure a good result.

Divide the dough in two and place into floured bowls, cover with cling film or a shower cap and leave  in a warm place to prove for 1 hour.

Once the dough has doubled in size, knock it back and divide into 100g balls.  Shape them and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment with enough room to rise again.  Cover the buns with a clean dry tea towel and leave for 30-45 minutes to prove again.

Whilst they are proving, melt the remaining butter and sugar and leave to one side.  To finish the buns (no pun intended) press a deep dimple into each using your thumb, it will spring back a little, then fill with the melted butter, brush over with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar nibs if using them.

Bake in a preheated oven at 200C / 180C fan for 15-20 minutes.

Hyvää ruokahalua  Xx