Cinnamon-Cardamom Buns

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MAKES 1 DOZEN

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These fragrant buns belong to the large and delectably varied family of pulla, sweet yeast breads. Probably of Swedish origin, pulla breads are eaten all over Finland.

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** 1 7-gram packet active dry yeast
1½ cups milk, warm
6½ cups flour, sifted
2 tsp. ground cardamom
1 cup sugar
13 tbsp. salted butter, softened
1½ tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
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1. Dissolve yeast in milk in a small bowl. Put flour, cardamom, ½ cup of the sugar, and 7 tbsp. of the butter into a large bowl. Gradually add yeast mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon to combine, then mixing with your hands until a firm dough forms. Knead dough briefly to form a ball. Transfer dough to a clean bowl, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let dough rest in a warm spot to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

2. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, knead 3-4 times, then divide in half. Roll each piece of dough out with a rolling pin to a 15" × 20" rectangle. Spread half the remaining butter evenly over each, then sprinkle them with cinnamon and the remaining sugar. Starting with one of the long sides of each rectangle, tightly roll up dough, jelly roll style. Trim off uneven ends of each cylinder. Cut cylinders into 12 equal triangles.

3. Lay each dough triangle on a clean surface, uncut edge down. With a cut side facing you and with center point of triangle forming a peak, press down on peak with your forefingers so that layered dough pops out slightly. Transfer dough to parchment paper-lined baking sheets as done. Loosely cover dough with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350º.

4. Gently press down on peaks of buns again to ensure that the buns do not pop open while baking. Brush buns with egg and bake until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.