Makes 16 to 18 buns
75 g / 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
250 ml / 1 cup whole milk
30 g fresh yeast / 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast / 3 1/2 teaspoons instant active dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
75 g / 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
425 - 450 g / 4 cups pastry flour or 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
75 g / 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room-temperature
50 g / 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean
25 g / 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
50 g / 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 -3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Crumble fresh yeast into a big bowl.
Melt butter in a saucepan. Add milk. The butter milk mixture should be lukewarm , not hot. This is important because otherwise the yeast will "die" and the dough won't rise.
Add little bit of the milk mixture, about two to three tablespoons to the crumbled yeast and stir until the yeast is completely dissolved. Add the remaining milk mixture, granulated sugar, salt. cardamon and mix until all ingredients are well combined.
Add most of the flour (set aside about three tablespoons) and stir with a big, preferable wooden, spoon until the dough comes together.
Active dry yeast
Heat milk until lukewarm. Mix dry yeast with two tablespoons of lukewarm milk in a mug. Melt butter.
Mix sugar, salt, cardamon, dissolved yeast mixture, remaining milk and melted butter. Add most of the flour (set aside about three tablespoons) and stir with a big, preferable wooden, spoon until the dough comes together.
Instant active dry yeast
The yeast does not have to be dissolved in any liquid.
Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add milk to the melted butter and set aside.
Mix most of the flour (set aside about three tablespoons), dry yeast. sugar, salt and cardamon. Add butter milk mixture and stir with a big, preferable wooden, spoon until the dough comes together.
Place the yeast dough onto a well-floured surface and knead the dough until smooth. If the dough is too sticky add more flour to the dough.
Place the dough into a big bowl and cover it with a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a draft-free and warm place. I place my bowl in the oven and switch the oven to 40 °C / 100 °F ( make sure that the oven is not too hot). Let the dough rise until it has roughly doubled in size which takes about 30 to 45 minutes. It depends on how warm or cold your place is.
Prepare the filling.
Split vanilla pod lenghtwise and scrape out the seeds (use the tip of your knife or the dull side of the knife). Don't throw away the empty vanilla pod. Fill a jar with granulated sugar and add empty vanilla pods and after a week you have vanilla sugar.
Combine softened butter, granulated sugar, vanilla sugar and the seeds of vanilla. Mix all ingredients until it resembles a paste.
Prepare two to three baking sheets with parchment paper.
Take the dough out of the bowl and knead the dough again on a floured surface. Roll out the dough into a rectangle (45 cm x 45 cm / 18 inches x 18 inches). Spread the vanilla paste onto the rectangle evenly and roll it into a tight roll.
Cut roll into 16 to 18 pieces (each piece should be 1.5 cm to 2 cm / 0.6 inch to 0.8 inch). Place the rolls onto the baking sheet. Make sure that there is enough space between each roll.
Cover each baking sheet with a kitchen towel. Let the rolls rise again in a warm and draft-free place for about 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 225 °C / 440 °F.
Bake the rolls for 5 to 7 minutes until they are slightly golden in color.
While the buns are still warm brush the rolls with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.
The vanilla buns taste the best when still warm. You can also freeze the buns. I always have some buns in the freezer and thaw them up in the oven.