Rhubarb Buns

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Buns are awesome. All buns. If we have to choose though, cardamom might be the winner – but only during fall, winter and spring. Early summer and summer, on the other hand, these will be our go-to from now on (no doubt). The sweet yet slightly tart and very flavorful rhubarb filling is something out of a dream. Despite the idiom sounding somewhat tacky, it really is finger-licking good.

As per usual when we make buns, we do an over-night rise. You’ve heard us rave about that method many times before, but it really does both come out better and… well, it shrinks the perceived scope of the baking project to something more manageable. Oh, and we use oat milk as our milk of choice. Works great.

When rolling up the buns, it’ll get a little sticky and messy, because some of the filling will be trickling out. Don’t worry, this is all in order (plus it’s amazing to grab a spoon when you’re done and scrape up the leftovers from the counter). A little mess never killed nobody! Happy summer fika!

Makes 32 regular buns (NOTE: this recipe calls for an overnight rise)

Dough

200 g salted butter
5 dl milk of your choice
50 g fresh yeast 
1 tsp salt
90 g sugar (~1 dl)
960 g (approx. 16 dl) wheat flour
1 tbsp freshly ground cardamom

Rhubarb Filling

350 g rhubarb (~2-3 stalks, chopped (~7 dl)
180 g sugar (~2 dl)
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp lemon juice

Additional ingredients

100 g salted butter, room temperature
A little bit of milk of your choice
1 1/2 dl lightly toasted hazelnuts (~90 g), chopped

  1. Start with the dough. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir in the milk and bring the mixture to 37ºC. Turn off and remove from the heat.
  2. In a large bowl, crumble the yeast. Add in the butter-milk mixture, a little at a time, and let the yeast dissolve as you stir. Make sure no yeast lumps remain.
  3. Add in the remaining ingredients using a large mixing spoon, but make sure to work in the flour bit by bit instead of adding it all at once.
  4. Once the dough – which will be quite sticky – has come together in the bowl, either beat it using a handmixer (with the dough hooks attached) or knead by hand. If going with the former, beat for 7-8 min. If choosing the latter, knead for about 10 min (you might have to add in a little bit more flour here, which is why we prefer the handmixer for this recipe, since it’ll make sure the buns come out moist and not one bit dry).
  5. When the dough looks elastic and a little glossy, cover the bowl with a plastic top or plastic wrap and place it in the fridge to rise over night (at least 8 hrs but feel free to go even longer). Covering the bowl with a tea towel works too, but make sure you don’t have anything with a strong odor in your fridge, since it can be transferred.
  6. While the dough is rising in the fridge, make the rhubarb compote. Add the chopped rhubarb, sugar, water and lemon juice to a medium saucepan and put over medium heat. Simmer until all the water has evaporated, approximately 30-45 minutes. Let cool, blend into a puree, and store in the fridge.
  7. The next day, tip the dough out onto a clean work surface dusted with flour (to prevent sticking). Knead the dough for about 1 min. Roll out half of the dough to a 40 cm x 30 cm rectangle, with the long side facing you. If the dough bounces back and doesn’t want to roll out, let it rest for a few minutes to allow the dough to warm up and try again.
  8. Spread out half of the butter over the whole rectangle. Then, spread out half of the rhubarb compote over the top two-thirds of the rectangle. Roll the rectangle up, starting from the long end farthest from you. This way, you’ll end up with less filling getting squeezed out when you’re done. Slice the rolled log into 16 equal pieces. Place each piece into a baking cup on a pan. (We can fit 16 buns on one pan.) Repeat with the second half of the dough.
  9. Let rise, covered, in a preferably warm, draft-free place for 45 min. With 20 minutes left of the rising time, turn on the oven to 250ºC. Right before popping the pan in the oven, lightly brush with milk and sprinkle chopped hazelnuts on top. Bake for 8-10 min or until lightly golden in color. Remove from the oven sheet and allow to cool on a rack. Repeat until all buns have been baked. Store in airtight bags, and freeze what’s not consumed within the first day or two. The buns defrost quickly.

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