3 cubes fresh yeast or 3 packages active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
7 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 and 1/4 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/8 cup sugar
5 to 6 cups unbleached all-purpose white flour
2 to 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 Tablespoons sugar
1 to 3 teaspoons cinnamon or cardamom
1 egg, beaten
Pearl sugar (optional garnish)
1. In the bottom of a large bowl, stir together the yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar. In a 2-quart pot, melt the butter over low heat. Let cool slightly, then pour in the cold milk. Warm or cool the butter-milk mixture until it is мfinger warmо or about 98 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour a little of the liquid onto the yeast, stir once and let rest 5 minutes.
2. Stir in the rest of the warm liquid, the salt, sugar and nearly all of the flour. Gather the dough into a ball and knead until smooth and shiny, about 5 to 10 minutes. Place the dough in the bottom of a bowl, cover with a clean dry dishtowel, and set in a warm draft-free place to rise until nearly double in size, about 30 minutes.
3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead again until smooth and shiny. Divide the dough into two parts. Roll each part out into a rectangle about 1/4-inch thick.
4. Spread half of the softened butter over each rectangle. Stir together the 4 Tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon or cardamom and spread half of the mixture on each rectangle. Roll the rectangle up and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices. Place the slices on a cookie sheet (greased or covered in parchment paper), cover with a clean dry dishtowel and let rise in a warm draft-free place for about 30 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Brush the tops of the buns with the beaten egg and sprinkle with pearl sugar. Bake buns in the center of the oven until golden brown, about 5 to 10 minutes. Cool on a rack.