Rebekah Peppler, Food Stylist, Writer, Recipe Developer

Photos by  Christine Han Photography  for Pantry Confidential. 

Photos by Christine Han Photography for Pantry Confidential. 

Rebekah Peppler, Food Stylist, Writer, Recipe Developer
Oh, Rebekah! This is the type of person you can while away an entire afternoon with. A midwestern gal with Wisco roots (and proud of it!), she’s happiest talking about summer sausage and singing the virtues of the oft-misrepresented 7-layer salad (have you heard of either?). Rebekah’s down-to-earth demeanor belies her fancy classically-trained pastry chef background and Type A-when-it-comes-to-work personality, but it’s this ability to maintain balance so effortlessly while giving everything a just-so finishing touch that makes her the popular food stylist she is. She works hard, parties harder, and makes everything look like a breeze in the process—that’s when you know you’re dealing with a pro. 

Read on to learn what surprising ingredient Rebekah tries to incorporate into much of her baking and get your hands on a KILLER Negroni rhubarb float recipe—AND! A chance to win her Short Stack Editions: Honey cookbook!

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Hi Rebekah! Please tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do as a food stylist. Can you share with us the road you took to get to where you are today?
I studied journalism and art history in college back in Wisconsin then moved to New York City to study pastry arts at the French Culinary Institute. I always knew I wanted to combine my love of words, food and beauty in one place. Food styling and writing are two incredible channels to do so. 

I’ve found that the job of a food stylist is very often glorified into this epic dream gig. Don’t get me wrong, it totally is. But it’s not just hanging out on set with tweezers and spray bottles making food look gorgeous. The thing most people don’t know about food styling is the vast disparity between time in the kitchen and time on set. I spend 90 percent of my time sourcing, shopping, schlepping, prepping and cooking the food and about 10 percent playing with the food on camera. All that "preliminary" work leads to the perfect final shot, not just the fun Dexter tools. 

How did your Honey Short Stack book come about?
I've known and worked with the team behind Short Stacks for years now and consider them both friends and colleagues, a combination that always make for crazy fun collaborations. I remember when the idea behind the publication was just a twinkle in the publisher Nick's eye and I told him once he made it happen, I was in. Once Short Stacks came to fruition, he called me up, asked which ingredient I wanted and it snowballed from there. I’m lucky I claimed honey, it’s such an incredible ingredient to play with.

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Please walk us through a “typical” project. How exactly do you develop a recipe? Many people don’t know what goes into creating one, especially all the unseen labor that goes into simply procuring and preparing the ingredients.
Since I’m not sure a “typical” shoot exists, I’ll walk you through a stand-alone recipe. When I’m developing recipes they’re normally for either a magazine, online publication or a cookbook. First, a client reaches out with an idea of what they need, say 10 easy fall recipes for a food magazine. We work out the contract (rate, deadline, etc.), then I come back to them with one to two sentences on each recipe detailing the range of ingredients, what method I’m planning on using and anything else that might interest them. They come back to me and say, your ideas are perfect, go develop! I write up full drafts for each recipe (littered with “TK"s to fill when I’m in the kitchen), run to the store(s), shop all the ingredients and hop in the kitchen. Depending on the recipe, I'll test it two to four times to get it just right, sometimes more if it's finicky. Then I'm on my computer filling in the TK’s and adding any changes I made along the way. I also make sure each recipe is written in the style of the publication (everybody has their own quirks). I send the finished recipes out with my invoice and log all the details into my personal accounting sheet for the year (freelance is all about organization--I don't know what I'd do without Excel and Moleskin notebooks). If all goes well, I’ll eventually see the recipes in print, send a copy to my mom and et voilà! A recipe. 

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How would you describe your cooking style + food aesthetic? Where do you draw inspiration from? 
While I'm all for sampling the newest thing to enter the food world, when I'm in my home kitchen it's all about the classics with a twist. I grew up in the Midwest (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) and in a kitchen brimming with hearty, locally-sourced ingredients. To me, cooking at home isn't so much about technical skill or crazy ingredients but rather--as hokey as it sounds--the heart you put into it. My heart happens to have a particular fondness for dairy.

What do you like to make for yourself after a full day of cooking for others?
Does a glass of wine count? Honestly, after a completely packed day surrounded by food on set I can usually be found on the couch with a wine glass in one hand and a hunk of cheese in the other. Bonus points for also taking the time to pull out crackers and olives but don't count on it. 

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What do you love most about your kitchen? 
My kitchen is petite but has epic (compared to what I've had in the past) counter space. I put two stools on the opposite edge of the middle island and have spent many afternoons force feeding friends/getting them tipsy while I test recipes on the other side. It also boasts a (modest 20-inch) gas stove (especially dreamy as I suffered through electric in many of my past apartments) and (a first in my seven years in NYC) a dishwasher. 

Also, since the apartment is south-facing, it's flooded with light all day long which makes for particularly lovely prep and writing days (and even more delightful fire escape cocktail hours). Plus, the dainty size of the space has really allowed my Type A tendencies to blossom, forcing me to be extra creative with storage: I have one drawer and four narrow cabinets all day to work with and I can say with a happy heart that the only thing that is relegated to the (apartment's only) closet is the ice cream maker. If that’s not a win, I don’t know what is.

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Where do you shop for kitchen supplies?
Honestly, for such a tiny space (my apartment has a single closet), I have a completely stocked kitchen. I’m still holding out for a Vitamix but otherwise I can’t fit another thing in. If I need something for a shoot it’s NY Cake and Bake in the city, A Cook’s Companion on Atlantic in Brooklyn or I’ll hop on Amazon Prime

More often, I’m shopping for ingredients and there's plenty of places I love: Kalustyan’s, Sahadi’s and Dual Specialty Store for spices and dry goods. I’m constantly at Whole Foods, Fairway and Union Market. Plus there’s a deli down the street from me that has the craziest stuff; I’m always in there. 

Favorite utensils to use at home?
A fish spatula and a Microplane. They're in constant rotation.
Top pantry essentials in your kitchen?
I have an over-stocked pantry due to all the recipe testing I do, but personal essentials include whole coffee beans, honey, good crackers and always, always gummy candies.

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Do you have a secret ingredient you love to use?
It’s not a really secret or a surprise if you’ve ever worked with me but I absolutely love malted milk powder. The, I’d-bring-it-to-the-desert-island-with-me, kind of love. You give me free reign and 9 times out of 10 I’ll put either that or poppy seeds into a recipe. I also end up putting a ton of booze in recipes. My bar, conveniently located next to both my kitchen and my bed (a perk of living in a teeny apartment!), is nicely stocked and never fails to provide inspiration. Sometimes I’ll just buy an interesting spirit not so much for the cocktails I can make with it but what I imagine I’ll dream up in the kitchen with it. 

I’ve also recently started playing with powdered milk. Like the kind you get in the bag for a ridiculously cheap price. I’m trying to figure out how to make a cookie I used to eat as a kid and I’m convinced the secret lies in that bag of Carnation instant. 

Guilty pleasure ingredient or dish?
Seven layer salad. If you're not from Wisconsin you may not know what this is but, basically, fill a casserole dish with (in this order) a layer of lettuce, chopped bell peppers, red onion, celery, mayonnaise, sharp cheddar cheese and bacon and you have the dish I eat as soon as I land on home soil. I just got back from a trip home and, no joke, I ate it once a day… mostly for breakfast. So far, no one I've met in NYC (or anywhere outside my home town) gets the allure but I'm working diligently on changing that. 



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Who are the chefs and food producers you admire?
There are so many people in food to admire right now and I’m so darn fortunate to work with a lot of them. I’ll keep it short and personal: Melissa Clark is a dream to work with and her recipes are always spot on. I was cooking her recipes way before we met and find myself even more enamored with them—and her—the longer we work together. Same goes for my assistants, Jade Zimmerman and Adelaide Mueller. Those woman can cook and they make me look better than I could ever make myself. Lauren Deen for taking a chance on me so many, many years ago and pretty much throwing me into the start of my food styling career. And, oh, my grandma for pretty much everything. She still grows and picks her own raspberries and knows how to make a pie with them that will make you weep.

Favorite cookbooks, blogs and sites?
Anything by Dorie Greenspan. I spent most of college baking from her books and she never steered me wrong. Same goes for Julia (Child). 

Whose pantry would you like to raid?
Does everyone read that as panty raid at first? For the pantry, I’d raid my mom’s. She has the most meticulously organized and perfectly stocked pantry. It’s insane and I’m never happier than when I’m cooking in her kitchen. I’d also raid Bon Appetit's, because their test kitchen manager Brad keeps that place stocked to a T.

As for a panty raid, she’s going kill me for saying this but I’d totally raid my close girlfriend Erin Hartigan’s… she knows why. (Sorry, E.)

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Negroni-Rhubarb Floats

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Courtesy Rebekah Peppler

Makes about 2 cups 
1 pound rhubarb, sliced into 1-inch pieces 
½ pound strawberries, hulled and quartered
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 ounces Campari
3 ounces gin
2 ounces vermouth 
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 orange peel ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Vanilla ice cream
Champagne or sparkling wine

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

In a medium bowl, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, Campari, gin, vermouth, vanilla bean and seeds, orange peel and salt. Toss to combine and dissolve the sugar. Spread on a baking sheet in an even layer and roast until the rhubarb and strawberries are soft and jammy, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

To serve, scoop vanilla ice cream into chilled coupe glasses. Top with a generous spoonful of the roasted rhubarb mixture and a hefty splash of champagne. Serve immediately.

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Thank you for opening your home to us! Stay updated with Rebekah and her delectable creations on social media: 
Rebekah Peppler |  Instagram 

For your chance to win a copy of Rebekah's Short Stack book, Honey, please leave a comment below. You have until Friday, August 14, 11:59pm/EST, to enter. Winner will be chosen at random - good luck! 

*Photos by Christine Han Photography for Pantry Confidential. All photos on Pantry Confidential are original unless otherwise indicated. Please credit and link back to our site when using our images, thank you. 

Johanna Kindvall, Illustrator

Photos by  Christine Han Photography  for Pantry Confidential. 

Photos by Christine Han Photography for Pantry Confidential. 

Johanna Kindvall, Illustrator
Johanna’s feature is a long time coming in so many ways. We first came to know this lovely Swede through her illustrated cooking blog, kokblog. There wasn’t anything like her blog that we were aware of and her whimsical, yet both minimal and instructional, drawings pulled us right in. We couldn’t wait to feature her kitchen after her lengthy house renovation, and boy, does she have a kitchen to show! The clean lines and functional sensibility that are so emblematic of Johanna’s art are on fully display in her Brooklyn home. She is a quiet force to be reckoned with and we can’t wait to introduce her to you - appropriately over fika, a proper Swedish coffee break, replete with warm cardamom buns and strong coffee. 

Read on to find out how Johanna saves an overly salted soup - plus, a chance to win her latest book, Fika - The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break

Hej Johanna! Please tell us a little bit about your illustrator background. 
I have been drawing since childhood. My mother (a tailor) and father (an artist) always provided us kids with endless of drawing materials. Even when I have been doing other things for a living, I never really stopped drawing.

I had a few shows in the early 90s, mostly painting and sculptures. But later on I got more into design and architecture, which led me back to school. In 2003, I finished my Master of Fine Art and Design at HDK, Gothenburg University. It was really during this time I developed the drawing style I have today. In my last year in school, I met my husband, Marek, and almost immediately after I moved to NYC to work on my final master project (the Promenade, which was a redesign proposal of the High Line in 2003). I paid my tutor in whiskey and Sunday dinners. I have always been baking and cooking, but it was at this time I started to really pay attention to my cooking.

In 2005, I started kokblog as a way to collect my recipes. But mostly it was a way to show my work as an illustrator. Today I work almost exclusively with illustrations. My latest architectural project was the redesign of our place in Brooklyn, which I did with my husband. My work also includes pattern design for fabrics and wallpapers, etc.

How did Fika the book come about?
I met Anna Brones, my collaborator on the book, on Twitter. I think I was responding to an article she had written about her experience of cooking Swedish food in the US (she is American/Swedish). We instantly connected and did a bunch of collaborations together, where she was writing and I was drawing. It was mostly articles about Swedish cooking and baking.

One day Anna came up with this great idea to write a book about the Swedish coffee break, fika. Soon after she invited me onto the project. About a year later, Ten Speed Press contacted us and soon after we had a book contract. Despite living several miles away from each other, often on two separate continents, we managed during the year to develop more than 60 recipes together. With the help of constant documentations with notes, photos and drawings on our deeply concealed fika blog, regular emails and weekly Skype calls, we made it all into a book with almost 50 recipes (which are all tested several times). Anna is freelance food writer, lover of coffee, travel and bikes, now living her life in Paris. The recipes in the book are developed and created by both of us. Anna wrote the content and I worked on the illustrations. 

Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall enjoying a fika, as illustrated by Johanna. 

Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall enjoying a fika, as illustrated by Johanna. 

Please walk us through a “typical” thought process for a commissioned project. Do you develop your own recipes? If so, do you cook or draw first?
When I work on a commission, I carefully listen to the client's needs, likes or what they have in mind. Some clients are more precise than others. My job is to translate their needs and vision into an illustration or graphics.

Most of the recipes on kokblog are developed by me. It could be based on a classic or something new I want to learn more about. It's food I want to eat regularly at home. Most of my ideas comes from what I eat at dinner parties, restaurants and when traveling. But food blogs, social media, magazines or cookbooks are also great sources for inspiration and a great way to learn new methods.

I most always cook first (many of my recipes are created with the things I happen to have in my fridge). But sometimes I start by doing research in cookbooks and online. Then I often sketch the recipe simply on a piece of paper or in my recipe book (a combination of sketches and notes). But it's always the flavors and the method that decide the recipe - not how it will look in a drawing.

Johanna takes us behind the scenes in her brightly lit studio, sharing the process of idea conception, sketches and ultimately, computer-assisted rendering.  

Johanna takes us behind the scenes in her brightly lit studio, sharing the process of idea conception, sketches and ultimately, computer-assisted rendering. 

How has your Swedish background influenced the way you cook and eat?
Obviously my Swedish background reflects my cooking but it constantly changes, depending on where I am and what's in season. I grew up in the countryside in Sweden where most people cooked traditional Swedish food. My parents used to live in Spain before I was born so the cooking in our home wasn't always that traditional. But like all Swedes, we had meatballs, falukorv, pea soup and knäckebröd regularly.

My parents also took us for a walk in the woods every Sunday. During the summer and autumn, we would forage berries (for jam), mushrooms and herbs (for snaps). For example, my mother would make elderflower cordial, lingonberry jam, pickled gherkins, black currant juice, raspberry jam and strawberry jam to stock up in her cellar. Blueberries she always froze to use for tarts and as topping for ice cream. My mother also made her own sausage, especially liver sausage.

What do you like to make for yourself after a full day of drawing and illustrating?
I love carbonara. But if I want something lighter, I sauté mushrooms which I serve with pasta or my husband's flavorful brown basmati rice (he makes it in the pressure cooker with bay leaves). For lunch I make different kinds of salads, noodles (in homemade broth), or dal and eggs.

Which do you prefer to cook/eat/draw: sweet or savory? 
Funny enough I'm more of a savory person than sweet. But baking is for sure my absolute favorite thing, especially bread baked with wild yeast. 

Obviously I love drawing food but I also really like to draw the tools in cooking. One of the most fun jobs in my past was when I got to draw machines for chocolate making for an article in Art of Eating. Last summer I visited a winery in Sicily. It was fascinating as they are using both new and old technology. One day I'm hoping to have time to draw all the different types of barrels and machines in winemaking. It would make an interesting post or article, I think. 

My favorite comfort food growing up was probably köttfärssås, which is a simpler version of Bolognese. Today I really like Äggakaka (eggy cake), which is a southern Swedish thick pancake-like egg dish you make preferably in a cast iron pan. It's served with lingonberries and salted pork (bacon). 

Favorite local restaurants?
If go locally here in Clinton Hill, I really like Aita, The Finch and Locanda Vini & Olii

Play out your ideal dinner party for us: the mood, decor, music, guests and obviously, food!
I often start the dinner with drinks (cocktails by my husband or wine depending on the food) with freshly baked bread, accompanied by hors d'oeuvres. Everyone is mingling around in the kitchen snacking and getting to know each other. Often we have world music (P1 världen, Swedish radio online) in the background, classical music or jazz.

Some of the guests may know each other but we often try to have a mix. Sometimes we haven't even met everyone. Sometimes we have a small talk before a dinner; it could be an artist who presents their latest work, for example.

I'm a lazy decorator, so the table is often set in front of my guests. Sometimes it's even occupied with freshly made pasta that will be cooked while the guests are sitting down and the main course wine is served.

For dinner I like serving my latest projects. It can be as decadent as pheasant filled with marinated cranberries or just a hearty stew with fresh pasta. The most important thing is for us is to meet our friends, get to know new ones and have inspiring conversations. 

Dessert is most often something that goes into the oven while we eat dinner. My specialties are tarts and pies. It's simple and can be endlessly varied both with the filling and the crust. Lately I have been doing chocolate mousse.

Incredible pendant lighting by  Tom Dixon . 

Incredible pendant lighting by Tom Dixon

Space under the stairwell doubles as seamless - and clever! - custom cabinetry for kitchen storage! 

Space under the stairwell doubles as seamless - and clever! - custom cabinetry for kitchen storage! 

What do you love about your kitchen?
I love everything about my kitchen. I guess that's the beauty of designing it yourself. But I think the function of it is what I like the most. How everything works in the way I cook and bake. But all of this is based on experience of designing and working in many different kitchens. For example, I like my Swedish country kitchen but it's not as good as this one. We made a few mistakes there. Mistakes that we learned from and that were very useful when we planned this one. 

One thing I'm not totally happy with is the kitchen sink faucet. It's gorgeous but when you rinse vegetables it actually splashes water everywhere. It is especially annoying when you get soaked in water just before dinner guests arrives. But funny enough, you get used to it.

Homemade bread and antipasti helped fuel our shoot:  mushroom confit , marinated sun-dried tomatoes (recipe to come soon on kokblog), a  rye sourdough loaf  and a Swedish rye bread known as rågbröd (recipe can be found on page 148 in the book). 

Homemade bread and antipasti helped fuel our shoot: mushroom confit, marinated sun-dried tomatoes (recipe to come soon on kokblog), a rye sourdough loaf and a Swedish rye bread known as rågbröd (recipe can be found on page 148 in the book). 

Favorite kitchen utensils or gadgets?
My bread knife. I like it so much I got one for my tiny cottage kitchen in Sweden. Also I love my classic almond mill I found at a flea market in Sweden.

Where do you shop for kitchen supplies?
I wish I had a butcher, fish monger, cheese shop and vegetable shop around the corner, as I really do prefer small food specialty shops to larger food chains. But we have a few: Victory Garden is one of them; they mostly have produce from local farmers, etc. I get my chicken there, which tastes and looks like a real chicken, small and absolutely delicious. It comes with the head and feet, which makes for a wonderful stock. They also have cheese, bread, dairy and pastries. And I love Sahadi's (where I get feta, olives, nuts, dried fruits, halva, salt licorice, olive oil, tea and spices) and the farmers markets for vegetables.

Top pantry essentials in your kitchen?
My sourdough starter. I bring it everywhere I go in the world (on flights it travels in a traveling bottle made for shampoo). 

Dried chickpeas, lentils, dal, rice, semolina and polenta. Fennel, garlic, carrots, celery, ginger and onions. Whole ancho chilies, Aleppo pepper, cumin, coriander, mustard seeds, anise seeds, caraway seeds and cardamom. Salt. Tahini, flours (rye, wheat, etc.). 

Do you have a secret or unexpected ingredient you love to use?
I like to share my experiences in the kitchen so no direct secrets here, unless I'm told to be quiet when testing and developing recipes, for me and others. 

Not sure if this is unexpected: In beef stews I like to use a combination of whole ancho chili (soaked in hot water before chopped and added to the stew), licorice root and chocolate (the cocoa powder is added at the end).

Would you believe this small jar contains homemade dehydrated yeast? Because why wouldn't you dehydrate your own yeast! 

Would you believe this small jar contains homemade dehydrated yeast? Because why wouldn't you dehydrate your own yeast! 

Favorite cookbooks/blogs/sites?
I love Elizabeth David's books. And the book Roast Chicken and Other Stories by Simon Hopkinson with Lindsey Bareham, illustrated by Flo Bayley.

I have many food blog favorites, hard to say which I like the most. But here are a few sites I visit regularly: Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, Rachel Eats, Elizabeth in Rome, London Eats (excellent cookie maker), Bread Magazine, Plated Stories by Ilva Beretta and Jamie Schler, and Cook's Illustrated

Guilty pleasure ingredient, food product, or dish?
I sometimes crave hotdogs but not the American ones, the thick Swedish ones (tjock korv med bröd). I don't think it's a great sausage in any way (my husband really hates them) and the bread that comes with it is really terrible. But I enjoy it enormously once or twice a year. And I will always have it with ketchup, a product I never ever have in my kitchen. Instead I make a thick tomato & chili sauce to serve with my fresh sweet Italian sausages, which are excellent with mustard as well. 

Whose pantry would you like to raid?
Madame Fromage's! I'm sure there will be loads of nice cheeses and complementary items in her pantry. I really enjoy her blog; it's mouthwatering and well-written.

Anything else you'd like us to know about you?
I have a background as a social worker and I learned to improvise in the kitchen by cooking with drug addicts. For some years, I trained people in a large kitchen in Malmö, serving lunch and fika for 20 to 30 guests every day. It was a challenge and I learned what to do when a dough couldn't keep together and how to save overly salted stews (simply add more vegetables and liquid). 

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Kardemummabullar (Cardamom Buns)

Reprinted with permission from Fika, by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall, copyright © 2015, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Johanna Kindvall. 

Vetebullar (base dough for cinnamon and cardamom buns)
Makes 30 to 36 buns, or 2 lengths

Bullar (buns) are perhaps the quintessential component to a Swedish coffee break, and vete in Swedish means “wheat.” Vetebullar is therefore the general term for wheat-based dough that can be turned into any number of bun creations. Kanelbullar (cinnamon buns) and kardemummabullar (cardamom buns) are common variations on this type of bun, and while the traditional “roll” form is common, there are twisted varieties as well. Typically they are baked and served in paper liners. Kanelbullar are such an iconic pastry that an entire day in Sweden is devoted to them (October 4, for those considering celebrating). 

This recipe has both filling varieties, and once you’ve mastered the dough, you can start experimenting with your own fillings. If a Swede knows one thing, it’s this: no matter what the variation, bullar are always best fresh out of the oven, and make for a wonderful-smelling kitchen. 

7 tablespoons (3.5 ounces, 99 grams) unsalted butter
1½ cups (360 milliliters) milk
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
4½ cups (1⅜ pounds, 638 grams) all-purpose flour
¼ cup (1.75 ounces, 50 grams) natural cane sugar
1½ teaspoons whole cardamom seeds, crushed
¼ teaspoon salt

7 tablespoons (3.5 ounces, 99 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup (3.5 ounces, 99 grams) natural cane sugar
3 to 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon or whole cardamom seeds, crushed
2 additional teaspoons crushed cardamom seeds, if making filling using cinnamon

1 egg, beaten 
Pearl sugar or chopped almonds

To prepare the dough, melt the butter in a saucepan; then stir in the milk. Heat until warm to the touch (about 110°F/43°C). In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in 2 to 3 tablespoons of the warm mixture. Stir and let sit for a few minutes until bubbles form on top of the yeast. 

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, cardamom, and salt. Add the yeast mixture along with the remaining butter and milk. Work together with your hands until you can make the dough into a ball. 

Transfer the dough to a flat surface and knead it until smooth and elastic, 3 to 5 minutes. The dough should feel moist, but if it sticks to your fingers add a tiny bit of flour. The dough is fully kneaded when you slice into it with a sharp knife and see small air bubbles throughout. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a clean tea towel, and place in a draft-free place to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Grease a baking sheet, or place medium paper liners directly on the sheet. 

Make the filling right before the dough has finished rising. Using a fork, cream the butter together with the sugar and the spices until you get an evenly mixed, spreadable paste.

The same base dough recipe can be used to form small individual buns or a single, larger loaf (also known as "length"). 

The same base dough recipe can be used to form small individual buns or a single, larger loaf (also known as "length"). 

When the dough has finished rising, take half of the dough and place it on a flat surface. Roll it out with a rolling pin to an 11 by 17-inch (28 by 43-centimeter) rectangle. Place the rectangle on the surface so that the long side is closest to you. 

Carefully spread half of the filling on top of the rolled-out dough so that it covers the entire area; be sure to go all the way to the edges. Begin at the long side near you and roll the dough upward (see diagram). Slice the roll into 15 to 18 equally sized slices and place them, rolled side up, on the baking sheet or in the paper liners. If using a baking sheet, pinch the ends of the slices to keep them from pulling away during baking. Repeat with the second half of the dough. Cover the buns with a clean tea towel and let rise for 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 435°F (225°C).

When the buns have risen, carefully brush them with the beaten egg and sprinkle each with the pearl sugar.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. If you are baking a length, bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer the buns from the baking sheet to the counter, and cover with a tea towel to cool. Serve freshly baked, and if not eaten right away, store in the freezer once they are completely cooled.

VARIATIONS: Instead of rolling the dough to make the classic bun shape, you can also make twists (see diagram above), a common formation when making cardamom buns, as well as baking a length and cutting a design into the dough with scissors to let the filling ooze out a little (see below).

Just look at these little beauties! 

Just look at these little beauties! 

Tack tack, Johanna! Stay updated with Johanna and her wonderful illustrations on social media: 
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For your chance to win a copy of Johanna's newest book, Fika - The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break, please leave a comment below. You have until Friday, June 12, 11:59pm/EST, to enter. Winner will be chosen at random - good luck! 


*Photos by Christine Han Photography for Pantry Confidential. All photos on Pantry Confidential are original unless otherwise indicated. Please credit and link back to our site when using our images, thank you.