Advent Calendar

Happy Pastry Day! While not strictly pastry, here’s deliciously simple recipe for some classic Scandi winter warmers. Freddie Crossley’s recipe for cinnamon buns gets those buns in the oven in time for breakfast without getting up early. Get the coffee on.

Ingredients

  • 300ml whole milk
  • 50g butter
  • 425g plain flour
  • 7g fast action yeast
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • zest of 1 orange

Filling

  • 75g butter (room temperature)
  • 50g dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • A handful of pecan nuts.

Glaze

  • 150g sugar
  • 80ml water

To bake these in the morning, start the evening before and make a little space in the fridge.

Freshly baked Cinnamon Buns

For the dough, heat milk to just below boiling. Take off the heat, stir in butter to melt and cool.

Mix together dry ingredients. When at body temperature, stir in the milk mixture and zest. If using an electric mixer, knead with a dough hook until it comes away from the side. If working by hand, here’s a tip: mix all the ingredients until combined. Cover, go and have a cup of tea, then come back, wet your hands and give it a knead until smooth –  time will have done most of the work for you.

Put the dough in a lightly oiled plastic box with a tight-fitting lid and leave in the warm for about an hour until it is rising nicely.

Meanwhile, grind the nuts in an electric mixer, or chop finely, then add the filling ingredients and combine thoroughly.

On a floured surface, roll out the dough to about 35x25cm. Smear the filling onto the dough, leaving a little uncovered on the long edge furthest from you. Paint a little water along this uncovered strip, roll the dough from one long edge away from you towards the long edge with the uncovered strip and press gently to seal.

Line a 23cm circular cake tin with greaseproof paper, cut the sausage into 8 pieces and arrange on their sides in the tin, so their spirals face upward. Cover the tin with a plate and leave in the fridge overnight, or if you just can’t wait, in the warmth for about 30 minutes.

In the morning, remove the buns from the fridge. Heat your oven to 200oC. Beat an egg with a little milk and brush over the top of the buns. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

While they are baking, for the glaze, gently heat sugar and water in a pan without stirring to dissolve. Bring to a simmer, remove immediately and brush onto the buns.

advent calendar 1 to 24 on christmas presents