Making the dough
Crack open 10 cardamom pods with a pestle and mortar. Transfer to a saucepan with the milk and 50g butter. Warm over a low heat until the milk is steaming and the butter has melted; leave to cool for about 5 mins until warm but not hot. Mix the flour, yeast, salt and 50g sugar in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre; pour in the milk through a sieve. Add 1 egg and mix to form a dough. Tip onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 mins. You may need a little extra flour to stop the dough sticking, but try to add as little as possible to avoid drying out the dough. When it’s ready, it should feel elastic, smooth and no longer sticky.
Shape into a ball, transfer to a greased bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave in a warm place to rise for 1 hr or until doubled in size. The dough needs to double in size to give the buns a light, fluffy texture. The time this takes can vary depending on the temperature of where you leave it.
Meanwhile, bash the remaining cardamom pods, then remove and discard the husks. Grind the seeds to a rough powder. Mix in a bowl with the remaining butter, 150g sugar, the cinnamon, 1 tsp mixed spice and the orange zest.
Folding the dough
Line 2 baking sheets with nonstick baking paper. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface, make a dent in the centre and press in the mixed peel. Knead for 1 min to incorporate the peel. Roll out to a 35 x 50cm rectangle, with a long edge closest to you. Spread over the spiced butter to cover. Lightly mark it into equal vertical thirds. Fold the left third across so it leaves the right third exposed. Fold the exposed dough across to meet the lefthand side. Roll to 30 x 50cm. Cut the dough into 12 vertical strips.
Folding the dough creates layers of spiced butter. You want to end up with the dough being exactly a third of the original size – similar to folding an A4 sheet of paper to fit in a small envelope.
Cutting the dough
Cut a long slit lengthways down each piece, leaving them attached by 2cm at the top.
Twisting the strips
Plait the 2 strips around each other, then roll the dough up into a loose snail shape. Twisting together gives the buns their traditional striped look. Secure by tucking the ends underneath.
Making the knots
Repeat with the remaining dough, be sure to tuck the ends in, or the knots will spring apart. Space the buns out, as they expand when proving and baking, then transfer to the prepared baking sheets.
Loosely cover with oiled clingfilm and set aside for 45 mins–1 hr in a warm place until almost doubled in size. Preheat the oven to gas 5, 190 ̊C, fan 170 ̊C. Brush with beaten egg, then bake for 20-25 mins until risen and golden.
Finish the buns
Meanwhile, mix 25g sugar and 1 tsp mixed spice in a heatproof bowl and pour over 25ml boiling water. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. As soon as the buns are baked, brush with the syrup. Repeat twice in 2-min intervals. Scatter with the pistachios. Cool until only slightly warm before serving.
Here’s all you need to make this amazing Cardamom buns. Be sure to note down the ingredients or take a screenshot before heading to the shops.
15 cardamom pods
300ml whole milk
125g butter, softened
500g strong bread flour, plus extra 7g fast-action dried yeast
1 tsp salt
225g golden caster sugar
vegetable oil, for greasing
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground mixed spice
1 orange, zested
100g dried mixed peel
25g shelled pistashios, finely crushed