Swedish Tea Ring

This ring, as the name suggests, goes perfectly with tea (or coffee if you prefer it), and its taste and aromas, primarily the divine combination of cinnamon and nuts, evoke the pleasantness of Yule (and also Christmas) and call to mind a warm home during the winter months.

You Will Need:

For the Dough:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ca. 50 g butter
  • 1/2 cup warm water (ca. 1 dL)
  • 2 packets instant yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 cups flour (plain wheat flour, or self-rising flour)
Notes: the cup I used for measuring holds about 200 mL of liquids, or 125 - 130 g flour. This was actually your typical small coffee cup.
I put only 1 packet of instant yeast in my cake, but I would recommend that you use 1 and a half - 2 packets given the amount of flour that is needed for the recipe. The dough can only turn out even better and softer if you do this.
Also, with regard to the flour, I recommend you use either entirely self-rising flour, or mix both the self-rising and plain flour. This time, I experimented with a combination of 4 cups plain flour and 2 cups self-rising. I also floured the surface using self-rising flour.

For the Filling:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 50 g melted butter
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 150 g nuts (I combined 75 g almonds and 75 g hazelnuts)

How To Prepare:

  1. Scald milk.
  2. Add sugar and butter to the milk and mix until both melt.
  3. Mix water, yeast and one teaspoon sugar in a larger cup (keep in mind that the yeast will rise). Cover the cup with plastic wrap and leave it to rise for about 10 minutes. When the yeast becomes foamy and rises to the edge of the cup, or perhaps even starts to overflow, you will know it's ready for use.
  4. Leave the milk to cool down until lukewarm.
  5. When the milk has cooled down, pour it in a bowl, mix in the yeast and add the eggs. Mix.
Note: it is necessary to leave the milk to cool down because if you put the yeast in hot milk, its effect will be nullified. Also, if you put the eggs in hot milk, they could end up being "cooked", which also isn't good at all.
  1. Add 2 cups flour to the mix thoroughly.
  2. Keep adding the remaining flour one cup at a time and blend it in (I recommend you use a whisk or a wooden spoon for this) minding that there are no clumps left.
  3. When you get a compact, relatively smooth, non-sticky dough and when the dough begins to form a ball, put it onto a floured surface and knead for 5 - 10 minutes. If needed, add more flour. In the end, the dough should not be sticky, although it's good to let it keep some moisture and elasticity. It should feel soft and satiny to the touch
  4. Lightly grease your bowl with sunflower oil. Place the dough back in the bowl and flip it once so that you get some oil on all sides of the dough.
  5. Cover with a moist piece of cloth and leave in a warm place to rise for about 60 - 90 minutes.
  6. Your dough should double in size. Get it out on a floured surface and roll it out into a rectangle about 35 x 45 cm in size.
  7. Place baking paper on a baking tray and scatter the nuts on it (in this case the almonds and hazelnuts). Heat your oven to 200°C and bake them only for 5 minutes. Don't leave them in the oven for too long otherwise they may get over-baked and take on a bitter taste.
  8. Prepare the filling: beat the nuts using a meat cleaver (you can wrap them in plastic wrap beforehand so you have less to clean later on). Mix the crushed nuts with sugar and cinnamon.
  9. Melt butter (it doesn't have to be completely melted and it's better if it's not hot). Smear the dough with it and sprinkle with the dry mixture of nuts, cinnamon and sugar.
  10. Wrap the dough into a long rope taking care not to leave too much air while rolling it and to connect the ends/edges together.
  11. Twist the rope into a ring and connect the two ends as best you can so that they don't fall apart in the oven.
  12. Using scissors, or a knife, cut the dough 2/3 the way ever 2 cm. That is to say, the ring should remain connected on its inner side and you should not cut the slices off the ring itself.
  13. If you have some more time and will left in you, gently twist the slices you just cut into one direction so that the cross-section of the dough is visible and the slices are slightly leaned against one another. In the end, your ring should slightly resemble a flower (as in the picture above).
  14. Move the ring to a baking tray (which is lined with baking paper).
  15. Cover the now shaped ring with a moist towel once more and leave it to rise in a warm place about another hour.
  16. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes at 175°C.

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