Bulla (Swedish Sweet Buns)

Updated: Apr 14, 2020

(by Helene Henderson)

(Originally published in The Swedish Table by Helene Henderson, University of Minnesota Press)


1 t. sugar

1/4 c. warm water

1 package dry yeast (1/4 oz. or 2 1/4 t.)

3/4 c. milk

3/4 c. salted butter

1 egg

3 3/4 c. all-purpose flour

3 T. sugar


1/2 c. sugar

1/2 T. ground cinnamon

1 t. cardamom, ground fresh, or 1/2 t. dried

4 T. unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 egg, beaten

pearl sugar or 1/2 c. powdered sugar dissolved with 1 T. water

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine 1 t. sugar, warm water, and yeast.

Let sit for 10 minutes or until the yeast begins to bubble and foam.

In a small saucepan, combine milk and butter.

Heat until warm and butter is melted, bud do not boil.

Let sit for 8 minutes or until temperature falls below 110 degrees.

Pour into the yeast mixture.

Add egg, flour, and 3 T. sugar, and beat with a dough hook until combined.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 1 minute.

Transfer dough to a lightly oiled (or buttered) bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

While the dough is rising, in a small bowl combine sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Roll dough into a 20 x 15 inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface.

Brush top with soft butter and evenly sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Fold dough in half and cut into 1-inch wide strips.

Hold one end of each strip and twist in opposite directions.

Coil the twisted strip around your finger to create a tightly rolled bun.

Place inside paper muffin cups or on a baking sheet covered with Silpat liner or parchment paper.

(Alternatively the bulla can be made jellyroll style and cut into 1/2 inch sections.)

Let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or more.

Brush rolls with beaten egg and sprinkle with pearl sugar.

(Alternatively you can substitute pearl sugar with powdered sugar dissolved in water, and drizzle the glaze over the rolls.)

Bake for 10 - 12 minutes.

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