As it happens, those fabulous cinnamon buns I made a while ago at Catering College are a staple at the Nordic Bakery. In their Finnish incarnation they are called Korvapuustit or cinnamon ears and no, I don’t speak Finnish yet.
Cinnamon ears (Korvapuustit) from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas
Makes 24 rolls
2 packages active dry yeast
1 cup warm water, 105F to 115F
½ cup melted butter
½ cup sugar
3 slightly beaten eggs
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
4 ½ to 5 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup soft butter
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 slightly beaten egg
2 tablespoons milk
pearl sugar or crushed sugar cubes
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in ½ cup melted butter, ½ cup sugar, the eggs, salt, cardamom, and 4 ½ cups flour until dough is smooth. Cover and refrigerate 2 to 24 hours.
Sprinkle board with some of the remaining flour. Divide dough into 2 parts. Turn out onto the lightly floured board, and roll each part out to make a rectangle about 12 inches by 24 inches long.
Spread each half with half the butter and sprinkle with half the sugar and cinnamon. Roll up, starting from a 24-inch side. Cut each roll diagonally into 12 pieces. Each piece will be about ½ inch on one side and 3 inches thick on the other. With two thumbs, press down the middle of the side of each roll. In so doing the two cut edges will be forced upward. The rolls will resemble two “ears.”
Cover 2 baking sheets with parchment or lightly grease them. Place cinnamon ears on prepared baking sheets. Let rise until puffy. Mix the egg and milk to make a glaze. Brush rolls with the glaze and sprinkle with the pearl sugar.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or just until golden.