Swedish Tea Ring

This Swedish Tea Ring shows how you can update a recipe to make it your own. Thanks to Kara Hancock for her version.

Prep Time
1 hour
plus chilling
Cook Time
25 Min
Recipe by
Kara Hancock, Head Pastry Chef
Blue Dog Bakery and Café
Louisville, KY

1 lb. (454g) Plugrá® Premium Butter, unsalted, divided
2 lg. (100g) eggs
¾ cup (170g) warm water (105° - 115°F)
1 pkg. (7g) yeast
4¼ cups (520g) all-purpose flour, divided
1 tsp. (6g) salt
2 tbsp. (25g) sugar
1½ tsp. (3g) powdered cardamom
⅔ cup (128g) packed brown sugar
2 tbsp. (10g) ground cinnamon
2 tsp. (4g) ground nutmeg
1 cup (113g) walnuts
1 lg. (17g) egg yolk
1 tbsp. (14g) heavy cream or milk
½ cup powdered sugar, optional
2 to 3 tsp. (10 to 14g) milk, optional
Divide the butter into 3 portions: 4 oz. chilled and cubed; 2 oz. to be left at room temperature and the remaining 10 oz. to be prepared as follows: Beat the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until it is smooth. Transfer to a sheet of parchment paper and spread into about an 8 x 10-inch rectangle. Cover with another piece of parchment and refrigerate.
Combine the eggs, water and yeast in a small bowl. Set aside in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Mix 4 cups flour, salt, sugar and cardamom in a large bowl. Add the chilled butter cubes and using your fingers, rub the flour mixture into the butter until it resembles coarse grain.
Arrange the flour mixture around the sides of the bowl leaving an indentation in the center. Pour the chilled yeast mixture into the indentation and blend it gradually with the flour. Knead until smooth, about 2 minutes. Form the dough into a ball cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle that’s about ⅜-inch thick; arrange so that the long side is facing you. Remove the 10 oz. of butter from the refrigerator. Peel off the top sheet of parchment away from the butter and flip the butter over to cover the left two-thirds of the rectangle of dough. Peel away the remaining parchment. Fold the uncovered third of the dough over the butter, then fold the left-hand third over the center, as if folding a business letter. Push down along the seams on the top and the bottom to seal in the butter (1st turn). Give the dough a quarter turn so that the sealed edges are perpendicular to you. Roll out the dough once more into a rectangle, and fold again in the same manner (no need to pinch the seams again) (2nd turn). Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour to relax the gluten in the dough. Roll and turn the dough 2 more times for a total of 4 turns. Cover and chill the dough at least 2 hours.
While dough is chilling, place the remaining 2 oz. butter, ¼ cup flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade and process until smooth. Add the nuts and pulse until the nuts are finely chopped; set aside.
Roll the dough to about a 29 x 11-inch rectangle. Spread the reserved cinnamon and nut mixture onto the dough. Roll the dough along the long edge to form a 29-inch long log. Trim the ends and bring them together, using a little water for glue to form a ring.
Place the ring on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cut the dough on a slight angle every 1 to 2-inches from the outside edge toward the center, leaving the a 1-inch rim uncut at the inside to form 12 pieces. Twist each cut slice to lay flat onto the baking sheet.
Combine egg yolk and cream and brush the ring being careful not to cover the cut portions. Cover the cut ring loosely with a cloth and let rise about 25 minutes in a warm place until doubled in bulk.
Preheat the oven to 400°. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the ring has reached an internal temperature of at least 190° and the ring is golden brown.
Combine the powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon milk in a small bowl for the glaze; mix tother until smooth. Add the additional milk, if needed to achieve a thick but pourable consistency. Drizzle the glaze over the ring using a spoon or small pastry bag or dust with powdered sugar before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Substitution for Powdered Cardamom
10 2(g) cardamom seeds, crushed
Individual Pastries
For individual pastries, cut the dough into 2½-inch pieces and arrange them on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Cover loosely with a cloth and allow to dough in size before baking. Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes or until browned and glaze or dust with powdered sugar after baking.