I am a real stickler, no dessert before dinner. But once a year, The Swedish Tea Ring (Vetekrans) gets me at Christmas time. I can’t deny having one piece of this cinnamon and cardamom flavored bread with my morning coffee.
The recipe is adapted from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book. No matter what twist I put on this tasty coffee cake –mmmmmnnnnnnnnn! It’s perfect, every time.
My suggestion, if you plan to make this recipe for Christmas or New Year’s morning, start on it the day before. It only takes a few moments to mix up the dough, but it needs to rest in the fridge for 2-24 hours. It is nice to have that step out of the way before the holiday morning!
2 packages active dry yeast
1 cup warm water 105-115 degrees – I usually turn on the tap and when it gets hot that is what I use!
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
3 slightly beaten eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom (this is optional)
4-4.5 cups of all-purpose flour
1 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 cup blanched almonds, finely chopped -OR- for those with nut allergies, 1 cup raisins *Mr. D is allergic to nuts, so I like to make something he will eat!*
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons hot strong coffee (or hot milk)
1/2 teaspoon of almond extract (or vanilla)
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the hot water. Let stand for five minutes during which time you melt the butter. Stir in the 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup sugar, the eggs, salt, cardamom and 4-4.5 cups of all purpose flour. Cover and refrigerate 2-24 hours. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
It will be puffed up like the photo above when it comes from the fridge.
Turn the dough out onto a floured counter top. Roll the dough out until it is about 20-24 inches square.
Spread the softened butter over the entire surface. Mix the 1 cup sugar and 2 Tablespoons Cinnamon and sprinkle over the butter, taking care to get the mixture all the way to the edges. This is also where you will sprinkle either raisins or the almonds over the surface of the dough.
Roll up the dough as to make a jelly roll. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. tuck the loose edges under one another.
Set aside on a warm surface, covered with a dish towel. The stove top works well while the oven is warming up, on top of the fridge or anywhere it isn’t too chilly. With scissors cut into the ring every half inch *cut almost through to the center of the ring* turning the dough to expose the filling. Let rise until it has almost doubled in size.
Bake for 15-20 minutes. Mix up your glaze and brush the tea ring with it while the cake is piping hot.
E N J O Y -!- Yum!