Since moving to Sweden, I have been cooking more than I have in years. I’ve never felt so confident in the kitchen, not have I enjoyed cooking as much as I do nowadays. Even if it’s something as simple as pasta, I relish the experience because I’m cooking for those I love.
The other day I had an urge to do something different, to mix my day up a bit, so I took on the challenge of making kabelbullar by myself for the very first time. I’m not going to lie, I was a little bit nervous about how the recipe would turn out, but my craving for fresh baking and my desire to challenge myself was stronger than my nerves.
All went well until it came to kneading the dough. It was a sticky mass that didn’t want to do anything other than attach itself to the kitchen surface and my hands. Minutes of pummeling went by, but it didn’t become the smooth, manageable dough that it was supposed to. Meanwhile, in the other room Sebastian was working on a guitar solo. (I like to leave the door a bit open so I can hear him play.) He was playing it over and over, trying to master it.
There came a point where I thought the dough was never going to stop sticking, and I was ready to throw it in the bin, when I thought to myself ‘ok, if Sebastian can master that solo, then I can master this bloody dough.’ Sebastian came into the kitchen a few minutes later and suggested I use some more flour, which I did, and before long the dough was cooperating. The feeling was one of complete euphoria.
Watching my kanelbullar rise in the oven had me experiencing this wonderful sense of pride…I felt like a parent, watching her little ones rise to the occasion. When they came out they were rough, humongous and beautiful. When I broke into one, it was soft and fluffy – perfectly baked with a comforting taste of warm, sweet spice and butter. It was mid afternoon when I sat down with a glass of milk and my own baked kanelbullar for Fika, and I felt truly happy and blessed for my Swedish life.