Snurr´ adj. 1 rotating, whirling motion. 2 snarl, tangle. 3 curl, frill. 4 one who is mildly intoxicated, high.
Snur`re v. 1 buzz, hum, whirr. 2 revolve rotate, spin, twirl, whirl, twist.
Also: Snur´re/bart n. an elaborate mustache.
Snu´rre/bass n. top, whirligig, dreidel.
BIBBI SNURR n. duvet cover set from IKEA.
Kane´l/snurr´ n. delicious cinnamon bun of Norwegian origin (see photo above).
Last night, while my husband sat down with a single malt and Lasse dreamt of another fun-filled day of destroying my organized bookcase and eating three-day old crumbs off of the floor, I was in the kitchen sweating.
Now, I’ve spent many a night sweating in the kitchen, but those were all in the Twin Cities, probably in July or August, with maximum humidity and no air conditioning. Early January in Norway is generally not the time to sweat indoors unless you’re without one thing. A KitchenAid.
KitchenAid mixers are generally one of those big item appliances that people either get as a wedding shower gift or Christmas present. They’re expensive, but really quite worth all the money since they’re very good quality, multi-purpose, and look undeniably attractive on any kitchen counter. Here, in Norway, not many people have a Kitchenaid. The main reason? They’re REALLY expensive. Like “should I eat something other than oatmeal for dinner this month or buy a KitchenAid?” expensive.
Thus, when I dove into my late night cinnamon snurr baking project last night, I had no machine to assist in my 30 minutes of dough kneading. Poor me. Poor my gimp left wrist. Poor my 24-lbs. baby carrying back. But sweat and struggle one must when delicious, sweet, buttery cinnamon snurrs are desired.
This is a recipe from the best Norwegian cookbook of 2009. It’s written by a man by the name of Morton Schakenda, who runs the Bakeriet i Lom, the most fantastic, dreamlike bakery in all of Norway. It’s true, I gush, but with good reason because this bakery, this recipe, some other buns, and everything else I’ve made out of “Norway’s best cookbook of 2009” are worth gushing about. And these twisted, cinnamon-strewn rolls are certainly worth sweating for. Maybe you’ll think so too.
By the way, if there are any wealthy/generous readers out there, one of these would look fantastic on my kitchen counter and would save me a lot of energy in my baking future. That's right, in robbins egg blue.
*recipe sent to yeastspotting
Cinnamon Snurrs (Norwegian twisted cinnamon rolls)
Recipe from Morton Schakenda’s Om Boller, Brød og Tilfeldigheter fra Bakeriet i Lom
*Makes 16 large or 2-dozen small rolls
For the dough:
About 7 cups (1 kg) all-purpose flour
2 cups (1/2 liter) whole milk
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon (15 g) salt
1 Tablespoon (15 g) cardamom (*I used a 50-50 blend of cardamom and cinnamon)
1 large egg
1 3/4 oz (50 g) fresh yeast OR 2 1/2 Tablespoons active dry yeast
5 oz (10 Tbsp/150 g) butter, cut into small pieces (*grating chilled butter with a box grater works well)
For the filling:
4 1/2 oz (9 Tbsp/125 g) softened butter
2/3 cup (125 g) sugar
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
+one egg for brushing before baking and a little extra sugar for sprinkling
- Using a standing kitchen mixer (or a large mixing bowl, a good wooden spoon, and a lot of muscle), dump in all of the dough ingredients EXCEPT FOR the butter and mix well until everything comes together. ***If using active dry yeast instead of fresh yeast, consider proofing your yeast in 1 cup of lukewarm milk (250 ml) first, then continue with the recipe as normal, remembering to add the remaining 1 cup (250 ml) of milk later on. 7 cups of flour should be about the right amount, but depending on the type of flour you are using, you may need to add a another 1/4-1/2 cup or so to keep the dough workable (ie: not too sticky). If using a kitchen machine, allow the machine to knead the dough for about 10 minutes- if making dough by hand flour a clean working surface, dump the dough out and knead for about 15 minutes.
- Add the chilled butter pieces, little by little, and knead them into the dough for 10-15 minutes. Make sure all of the butter is worked completely into the dough. Place the dough in a greased, large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until roughly doubled, about 1 1/2 hours (I set my dough in the refrigerator and allowed it to rise overnight, about 10 hours).
- Once the dough is fully risen, flour a large work surface and use a rolling pin to flatten the dough into a large 15” x 20” (40 cm x 50 cm) rectangle (*see photo). Using a spatula or pastry brush (or even your hands!), smear the softened butter over the entire surface of dough. Over this, sprinkle the sugar then cinnamon evenly and gently press into the dough with your fingertips.
- Lengthwise, fold 1/3 of the dough up towards the center, then fold the last third down over the portion of dough that has been doubled (*see photo). You know have three layers of dough. With the rolling pin, roll this out to a rectangle about 12” x 20 “(30cm x 50 cm), then with a knife, cut this into 16- 24 long strips (*see photo).
- To form the snurrs (twists), take each strip and twist tightly (*see photo). Then, wrap this around the tips of your index and middle finger three times and bring the ends across to the opposite side and tuck under (*see photo). It can be a little tricky making the twists on the first attempt (or even second, third, or twentieth), but as long as they are twisted and formed into some sort of a bun, they’ll turn out fine and certainly taste fine.
- Place each snurr on a baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap to rise for about one hour. Preheat your oven to 350F/175C, brush the tops of each snurr with a whisked egg and sprinkle with a little extra sugar. Bake for about 20 minutes, until they become a deep golden brown. Best while still warm, although they’ll keep for a day or two at room temp, freeze any that you plan to keep long than that.