Tag Archives: buns

Recipe: Gingerbread Buns

November 16, 2017 | Leave a comment

 

Gingerbread Buns

For a wintery, Christmassy twist on your classic cinnamon buns we have replaced the traditional all cinnamon filling for the classic gingerbread spices. Very, very good with a cup of strong coffee.

Basic bun dough:

13 g/2 ½ teaspoons dried/active dry yeast or 25 g/1 oz. fresh yeast *(see below)
250 ml/1 cup whole milk, heated to 36–37°C (97–99°F)
80 g/ ¾ stick butter, melted and cooled slightly
40 g/3 tablespoons caster/granulated sugar
400–500 g/3–3 2/3cups white strong/bread flour
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, beaten

Filling:

120g soft butter (we use salted, here)
50g white caster sugar
50g light brown sugar
1-2 tbsp gingerbread spice mix depending on how spiced you like it (ready mix or make your own – see below)

Cream all the ingredients in a bowl until smooth.

Gingerbread spice mix:
yield; approx 2 tbsp
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
1.5 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cardamom

Here’s how to do it:

If using fresh yeast, add the warm milk to a mixing bowl and add the yeast; stir until dissolved, then pour into the bowl of the food mixer.

(If using active dry yeast (granules), pour the warm milk into a bowl, sprinkle in the yeast and whisk together. Cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for about 15 minutes to become bubbly. Pour into the bowl of a food mixer fitted with a dough hook).

Start the machine and add the cooled, melted butter. Allow to combine with the yeast for 1 minute or so, then add the sugar. Allow to combine for 1 minute.

In a separate bowl, weigh out 400 g/3 cups of the flour, add the cardamom and salt and mix together. Start adding the flour and spices into the milk mixture, bit by bit. Add half the beaten egg. Keep kneading for 5 minutes. You may need to add more flour – you want the mixture to end up a bit sticky, but not so much that it sticks to your finger if you poke it. It is better not to add too much flour as this will result in dry buns. You can always add more later.

Once mixed, leave the dough in a bowl and cover with a dish towel or clingfilm. Allow to rise for around 30 minutes or until it has doubled in size. Dust a table top with flour and turn out the dough. Using your hands, knead the dough and work in more flour if needed. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a 40 x 50 cm/16 x 20 in. rectangle.

Spread the filling across the dough in an event, thin layer.

To twist or roll?

To make traditional swirls, simply roll the dough lengthways into a long roll and cut into 15-16 pieces, place on a lined baking tray, and leave – covered – to rise for another 20 minutes.

Twists: Follow this simply video to make your cinnamon bun twists:

When you have done your twists, leave on a lined baking tray for 20 minutes to rise again.

Heat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius (fan). Brush the buns lightly with beaten egg, then bake for 6-9 minutes or until golden and done. Watch it, they can burn easily and different ovens vary in temperature.

While they are baking, make a simple sugar syrup: In a saucepan, heat 50ml water with 100g sugar until bubbling and completely melted. You can also use golden syrup and just melt it a big in a saucepan.

When the buns come out of the oven, immediately brush lightly with the syrup, then add pearl sugar (nibbed sugar) (if using) on top of the buns and cover with a damp tea towel. The tea towel stops the buns from going dry. We also like these just sprinkled with icing sugar which gives a nice, frosted feel.

Good luck!

Show Us Your Buns

September 28, 2017 | Leave a comment

Cinnamon Bun Day

Use #ShowUsYourBuns on social media so we can find you.

The countdown is on to Sweden’s most favourite day of the year. No, not Kalles Kaviar-day. No, not Snabbmakaronens day… We are, of course, talking about Cinnamon Bun Day (Kanelbullensdag)

Oh, glorious cinnamon bun. Adopted and bastardised by the Americans (that’s when you know you’ve made it in life) who covers them in icing and caramel and we don’t even know (Swedes will never do that). But what we do know is this – a cinnamon bun, whichever way it comes, is lovely. Comforting in its aromatic, plush little curvy self – as delicious with a cup of strong black coffee for breakfast, as with a glass of ice cold cordial on a sunny summer afternoon or split in half and turned into Swedish French toast (oh yes we did!).

Enough talk – on to the buns. This year, as every year – we’d love to see your buns. Big buns, small buns, wonky buns, shiny buns, plain buns or perfect buns. Rolled or knotted or swirled or #failed.

Use #ShowUsYourBuns on social media so we can find you!

There’s only one rule – they have to be homemade, by you alone or as a team effort, and contain cinnamon (OK, that’s two rules). Take a picture and email it to us – we will share the best ones on our instagram and Facebook page. We may pick a lucky winner, too – one lucky person wins a copy of our new book Nørth and a big box of Scandinavian goodies (we’re talking chocolate, liquorice and more).

So, ready steady bake!

Click here for some of our favourite bun recipes – but you don’t have to use one of ours, if you have a favourite recipe or another one you want to try, go for it.

Mail your photos to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk before noon 6th October. Usual competition rules apply.

Recipe: The Best Cinnamon Buns (Kanelbullar)

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Cinnamon Bun Week

Photo credit – Pete Cassidy (fro our book ScandiKitchen Fika & Hygge)

Next week is the most wonderful week of the year – cinnamon bun week! That’s right, from October 2nd through October 8th we’re celebrating the humble cinnamon bun.

We want YOU to bake with us. Yes, like GBBO, but only buns. Using your own recipe or one you are trying out, get baking! Get the kids involved or bake on your own, whatever way you decide to make buns, make them with love and determination.

Once you are done, take a picture and send it to us iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk (just one pic, please) OR you can tag us on Twitter (@scanditwitchen) on Instagram (@scandikitchen) – using the hash tag #showusyourbuns. ee will find your buns and we’ll retweet or post to insta for the best ones – so the world can see your beautiful creations. Best thing? You can win a copy of our new book Nørth and a big box of Scandinavian goodies (we’re talking chocolate, liquorice and more).

Need inspiration? Here’s a recipe:

The recipe below is taken from our cookbook The ScandiKitchen by Bronte Aurell – published by Ryland, Peters and Small available at all good bookshops (and of course – signed – at our place).

Note: Fresh yeast can be hard to find in shops here – we stock fresh yeast in our web shop; we also have a cinnamon bun product bundle containing the essential ingredients you need to make your own buns. On to the buns.

Cinnamon Bun Recipe – BASIC DOUGH

  • 13 g/2 ½ teaspoons dried/active dry yeast or 25 g/1 oz. fresh yeast *(see below)
  • 250 ml/1 cup whole milk, heated to 36–37°C (97–99°F)
  • 80 g/ ¾ stick butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 40 g/3 tablespoons caster/granulated sugar
  • 400–500 g/3–3 2/3cups white strong/bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten

Filling:

  • 80g butter
  • 1 teaspoon plain flour
  • 1-2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla sugar
  • 80g caster sugar (or half and half caster / soft brown sugar)
  • Egg, for brushing.Cream all the ingredients for filling together until smooth.

Here’s how to do it:

If using fresh yeast, add the warm milk to a mixing bowl and add the yeast; stir until dissolved, then pour into the bowl of the food mixer.

(If using active dry yeast (granules), pour the warm milk into a bowl, sprinkle in the yeast and whisk together. Cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for about 15 minutes to become bubbly. Pour into the bowl of a food mixer fitted with a dough hook).

Start the machine and add the cooled, melted butter. Allow to combine with the yeast for 1 minute or so, then add the sugar. Allow to combine for 1 minute.

In a separate bowl, weigh out 400 g/3 cups of the flour, add the cardamom and salt and mix together. Start adding the flour and spices into the milk mixture, bit by bit. Add half the beaten egg. Keep kneading for 5 minutes. You may need to add more flour – you want the mixture to end up a bit sticky, but not so much that it sticks to your finger if you poke it. It is better not to add too much flour as this will result in dry buns. You can always add more later.

Once mixed, leave the dough in a bowl and cover with a dish towel or clingfilm. Allow to rise for around 30 minutes or until it has doubled in size. Dust a table top with flour and turn out the dough. Using your hands, knead the dough and work in more flour if needed. Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a 40 x 50 cm/16 x 20 in. rectangle.

Spread the filling across the dough in an event, thin layer.

To twist or roll?

To make traditional swirls, simply roll the dough lengthways into a long roll and cut into 15-16 pieces, place on a lined baking tray, and leave – covered – to rise for another 20 minutes.

Twists: Follow this simply video to make your cinnamon bun twists:

When you have done your twists, leave on a lined baking tray for 20 minutes to rise again.

Heat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius (fan). Brush the buns lightly with beaten egg, then bake for 6-9 minutes or until golden and done. Watch it, they can burn easily and different ovens vary in temperature.

While they are baking, make a simple sugar syrup: In a saucepan, heat 50ml water with 100g sugar until bubbling and completely melted. You can also use golden syrup and just melt it a big in a saucepan.

When the buns come out of the oven, immediately brush lightly with the syrup, then add pearl sugar (nibbed sugar) on top of the buns and cover with a damp tea towel. the tea towel stops the buns from going dry. If you cannot get hold of nib sugar (pearl sugar), you can use chopped hazelnuts etc instead as an alternative.

Cinnamon Bun Recipes

September 27, 2017 | Leave a comment

Our Favourite Cinnamon Bun Recipes

There are as many cinnamon bun recipes as there are parents and grandparents – each claiming theirs to be the ultimate one, producing the softest, most cinnamon-y, comforting little bakes ever. But really – how wrong can you go when it comes to cinnamon buns? We are yet to meet a bun we didn’t enjoy.

Here are some of our favourite recipes – in no particular order.

  1. Classic Cinnamon Buns. Our go to dough for buns – sometimes filled with cinnamon, other times jazzed up with chocolate Always delicious – and easy to do.
  2. Filled Vanilla Buns. 6 different ways to fill a classic bun dough – we particularly love the blueberry version.
  3. Social Cinnamon Bun ‘Wreath’ – a lovely variation on the classic buns in a lovely big sharing version.
  4. Scandi Saffron Buns. Fragrant and aromatic – these are traditionally enjoyed in early December for St. Lucia – but they taste just as good now.
    Cinnamon Twists Bronte Aurell ScandiKitchen

    Phoro credit: Peter Cassidy, for Ryland Peters.

Vanilla buns, six ways.

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Vanilla buns, six ways

Once you are bored with cinnamon buns, where do you go?

Vanilla is where it’s at. This week, we decided to make a few different versions using the same base dough and basic filling.

There are as many recipes for buns in Sweden as there are people who bake them. We like this one: it’s simple, it’s straightforward and it just works. It forms a great base from which to experiment with your own flavours and fillings. The addition of egg to the dough makes the dough richer than usual. We’ve upped the butter, too – again, you can reduce it but we think it works well with the vanilla.

This recipe makes about 36 Vanilla buns of medium size.

Dough Ingredients

50g fresh yeast

500ml whole milk, luke warm

200g very soft butter (melted also fine)

80g caster sugar

1000 g plain bread flour (or between 800-1000g, depending on the flour)  – we always use Swedish Vetemjol flour for perfect results.

1⁄2 tsp salt

2 tsp ground cardamom

1 egg

 

Filling for Vanilla buns (filling #1, used also in 2-5)

175g butter (soft, spreadable)

4-5 tsp vanilla sugar (we prefer torslefs vanilla sugar)

Seeds from one vanilla pod

150g normal sugar

1 egg for brushing

100-150g of pearl sugar to decorate

 

The dough:

Heat the milk to 36-41 degrees and add in a bowl with the yeast, stir until dissolved. Add the butter, sugar, salt, cardamom, egg and enough flour to make the dough combine. You’ll need about 700-800g of flour – but add a little at the time, keeping the mixer on continuously (using the dough hook). Keep the rest of the flour back for kneading. Work the dough until it almost stops sticking and has a shiny surface – about 6-7 minutes with a mixer, longer by hand (add more flour if you need to). The dough should only just reach the point of not being sticky.

While the dough is rising, whisk butter and vanilla together until smooth and spreadable.

Leave dough to rise until it’s doubled in size (30-40 mins). Work through with more flour until dough stops sticking and can be shaped, then cut the dough in half and roll out the first piece in a rectangular shape (around 45cm x 35cm). Spread a generous amount of the vanilla butter evenly, then roll the piece lengthways so you end up with a long, tight thin roll. Cut 18 slices of the dough and place each swirl onto your baking tray – a good space apart from each other as they will rise again.

Repeat with second half of dough. Leave to rise for 20 minutes.

To make buns with the rest of the the dough:

Turn the oven to 220 degrees (a bit less if using a fan oven).

Brush all buns gently with remaining egg (you may need a bit more egg) and sprinkle a bit of pearl sugar on each bun. Bake at 220°C for about 8-10 minutes (turn the heat down a bit midway if you feel they’re getting too brown) for the buns – but for the longer rolls, turn the heat down slightly and bake nearer the bottom of the oven for around 20 minutes – take care not to burn them. As this dough contains sugar, the buns can go dark brown in a split second, so keep an eye on them.

As soon as the buns come out of the oven, cool down under a damp, clean tea towel to stop them going dry. If you prefer a stickier surface, brush with a light sugar syrup or normal light syrup as soon as they are baked.

The buns freeze well (freeze in plastic bags as soon as they have cooled).

 

Filling option #2

Vanilla and Crème Patisserie

Either make a batch of crème patisserie or simply make a portion of instant vanilla creme – whisk 400ml whole milk with 1 sachet of power, leave to stand for 15 minutes and its ready to use.

Follow recipe as above – but before rolling the buns tight, spread a thin layer of vanilla cream across the dough, then roll and proceed as recipe.

Filling option #3

Blueberrries

With or without the vanilla crème, add fresh or frozen blueberries to the dough before rolling. Simply scatter a handful of blueberries and then roll and slice.

Filling option #4

Tart berries

With out without the vanilla crème, add fresh cloudberries (or frozen) to the dough before rolling. Simply scatter a small amount of berries across, roll and slice.

Filling option #5

Marzipan & Vanilla knots

Roll dough out and in the recipe. Take half a packet of Mandelmasse, marzipan (or similar graded marzipan) and grate about 100g across the dough. (after you have added the vanilla sugar)

Instead of rolling the dough, simply fold it in half lengthways – then cut into 18 strips and make bun ‘knots’. You can check out this video for hints of how to make bun knots – it’s surprisingly easy and it distributes the filling well.

Filling option #6

‘Skoleboller’ – School buns.

Most popular in Norway, these buns are super lovely. For this version, you do not need the vanilla sugar – but you do need the crème patisserie.

Shape the dough into 36 round balls and place on baking trays. Press each ball a bit flat and make an indent in the middle. Add a large teaspoon of vanilla crème patisserie to each bun and leave to rise for about 15 minutes. Bake as directed in recipe.

Once removed from oven, let cool for a bit then pipe out some icing (icing sugar mixed with a teeny bit of warm water) on each bun. Place your desiccated coconut in a soup bowl and dip the bun, icing side down, into the coconut.

 

    Jästbolagets Kronjäst – Fresh Yeast 2 x 50g
    £0.99
    - +
    Torsleff Vaniljesukker – Vanilla Sugar 100g
    £2.99
    - +
    Dansukker Ljus Sirap – Light Syrup 750g
    £2.49
    - +

 

Semla Season 2017 – Everything You Need To Know

January 26, 2017 | Leave a comment

 

Semla Season 2017 – Everything You Need To Know

After Christmas we always feel determined to start a new and healthier life – less chocolate and more spinach, but only until we remember the next big occasion in the Scandi baking calendar; Semla season. Semla is the Swedish answer to pancake-day pancakes, but in our completely unbiased opinion; a million miles better and far too good to only eat once per year.

We started selling these chubby marzipan and cream filled buns of glory in the café a few weeks ago – and as we are now only 1 month away from the big day, it is time to kick off and remind each other what the Semla is all about. We have collated some essential reading (all the important semla-facts), our favourite recipes, and our very own semla product bundles if you want to give them a go at home without the hassle of seeking out the products you need. Ah, you’re welcome. Public semla-service is what we do.

– 12 Things You Need To Know About Semlor –

– Princess Semlor – The 2017 Luxury Semla – Recipe –

Princess Semla Recipe Image

Classic Semlor – Swedish Marzipan Cream Buns – Recipe

Classic Semlor Recipe


 

Fancy doing some baking? Try our kits to get started;

 

Now, promise you try one. Come say Hej and have a coffee and semla with us in our café or make your own, just don’t go without. They are too good to be missed.

15 Facts About Cinnamon Buns

September 20, 2016 | Leave a comment

15 Things You Need to know about Cinnamon Buns

This year, as every year, we are celebrating the official Cinnamon Bun day. A national holiday in Sweden (not really, but it should be) – it falls every year on October the 4th and is celebrated by eating cinnamon buns en masse.

For many Scandis, us included – every day is cinnamon bun day. There’s always a reason for a cinnamon bun. It is, as you may know, also referred to as an edible hug. No? Just us then. Because that’s how we feel about it. It is as comforting and warming as a hug from your best friend, a stranger or your dog. Whichever of those you prefer.

As Scandinavians we feel it is our duty to educate those less knowledgeable about this harmonic symbiosis of flour, butter, sugar and cinnamon. This is lesson 1, based on our post from last year (read it here) – we’ll keep it simple.


Cinnamon Buns – Cinnamon  Swirls – Kanelbulle – Kanelsnegle – Skillingsbolle
  1. The cinnamon bun’s origin is a hotly debated topic. The Swedes claim it originated there in the 1920s. Usually, we won’t shy away from a debate, but in this case – it doesn’t matter where it is from. We love it too much. It is a love-child of Scandinavia.
  2. Cinnamon bun day has been celebrated since 1999, and the bun itself didn’t really become popular until the 1950s.
  3. A Nordic cinnamon bun is typically made with a bit of ground cardamom in the dough – this is what differentiates it from other cinnamon buns, such as the over-the-top sticky sweet buns you often see in north America.  with a bit of ground cardamom, which sets them apart from other cinnamon buns on this lovely planet of ours.
  4. A real cinnamon bun (a Scandi one) does not have icing on the top. In Norway, a sprinkle of normal granulated sugar – in Sweden those lovely big-ish sugar crystals called Pearl Sugar.
    kanelbullar cinnamon buns
  5. A typical Swede eats 316 cinnamon buns per year – in our central London cafe we sell about 60 cinnamon buns per day (and we all smell faintly of cinnamon..mm!).
  6. That is roughly 21600 per year.
  7.  If you stack all these buns, the total height would be 648 meters, or roughly the height of the Shanghai Tower, the 2nd tallest building in the world with 632 meters. Only Burj Al Kalifa would be taller, with its 830 meters. (Eat more buns, people!)
    cinnamon bun lenght

    Or, you can bake a really really long one to share.

  8. In Norway (and highly likely elsewhere in Scandinavia too) there are various very important cinnamon bun competitions held every year, where readers of the local newspaper nominate and vote for the best cinnamon bun in town. It is prestigious and competitive, and taken very, very serious.
  9. The same place refers to its cinnamon buns as Skillingsboller – ‘schilling buns’ – referring to the cost of one back in the day.
    cinnamon buns skillingsboller
  10. In Denmark, they are often called ‘cinnamon snails’ – Kanelsnegl’, and in Finland, ‘slapped ear’ – Korvapuusti. Maybe because if someone did slap your ear, a cinnamon bun would be a suitable treat to comfort you in your pain and distress.
  11. Cinnamon buns are made a variety of different ways. You can swirl them and pop them into a little paper case to keep all the buttery sugary gooeyness; do a simple swirl and bake, cut side up, or do a thinner swirl baked cut sides out. We love them all.
  12. The cinnamon bun is perfect – it doesn’t need meddling with. Still, some people make things as the below – a bacon cinnamon bun roll sandwich. Proceed at your own responsibility; we take no responsibility for whatever may come from consuming this (delicious?) concoction.
    Cinnamon roll with bacon
  13. There are two kinds of cinnamon; Ceylon and Cassia. Ceylon is also referred to as sweet cinnamon – or true cinnamon and is the most popular one. It is a bit more expensive than the other, but the taste is miles better. Get it if you can – otherwise your buns won’t be as good.
  14. Cinnamon also contains a substance called coumarin – which can damage the liver if consumed in larger quantities. The Scandinavian countries regularly relish in this fact, purely so they can put a scare cinnamon headline out, such as;
    ‘How to avoid cinnamon-poisoning’
    ‘Be careful with cinnamon’
    ‘Cinnamon buns can damage your liver’But fear not – you would have to eat approximately 10 cinnamon buns per day for an extended period of time to notice anything.
  15. It is Scandifically proven that it is impossible to resist a fresh cinnamon bun still warm from the oven. Try it. Sprinkle with almonds for a nutty taste..mmmm!
    Cinnamon Twists Bronte Aurell ScandiKitchen

    Phoro credit: Peter Cassidy, for Ryland Peters.

Enjoy Bun Day on the 4th October – we want to see your buns, so don’t forget to send us a picture to iloveherring@scandikitchen.co.uk and we’ll post the best ones on facebook and instagram. Prizes for the best looking buns.

Fancy making your own? Check out our recipe for the world’s best cinnamon buns and head to our webshop to buy our cinnamon bun baking kit, containing the essential ingredients you need for a Scandi cinnamon bun.

Like this post? Share it on Facebook to spread the cinnamon-bun-love – button below.

Recipe: Swedish Marzipan Cream Buns – Semlor

January 14, 2016 | 1 Comment

Recipe and photo from the ScandiKitchen cookbook, image credit: Pete Cassidy for Ryland Peters Small

‘SEMLOR’ LENT BUNS

Every January, the excitement builds because our customers know it is almost time for ‘Semlor’ buns. Scandinavians celebrate the start of Lent in different ways, but all of us like to eat as many of these addictive treats as physically possible (rumour has it there are no calories in Semlor if you eat them with your eyes closed).

13 g dried yeast or 25 g fresh yeast *(see below)

250 ml whole milk, heated to 36–37°C (97–98°F)

80 g butter, melted and cooled slightly

40 g caster sugar

300–400 g white strong flour

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cardamom

1 egg, lightly beaten

 

FILLING:

100 g marzipan paste

good dollop of custard or Crème Pâtissière

500 ml whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla sugar

icing sugar, to dust

piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle

 

MAKES 12

*If using fresh yeast, add it to the finger-warm milk and mix until dissolved. Then pour it into the bowl of a food mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment.

If using dried yeast, sprinkle the yeast granules into the finger-warm milk and whisk together. Cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for about 15 minutes to activate and become frothy and bubbly. Pour into the bowl of a food mixer with a dough hook and stir in the melted butter. Add the sugar and stir again. Add half of the flour as well as the salt, baking powder and ground cardamom. Add half the beaten egg (reserve the other half for brushing before baking).

Mix well until all the ingredients are incorporated and then start to add more of the flour, bit by bit, until you have a dough that is only a little bit sticky. Take care not to add too much flour. Knead the dough for at least 5 minutes in the mixer. Cover the bowl with a dish towel or clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm (not hot) place until it has doubled in size – about 30–40 minutes.

Turn the dough out to a floured surface. Knead again for a few minutes, adding more flour if needed. You want a firmer but not dry dough. Cut the dough into 12 equal-sized pieces. Place, evenly spaced, on a baking sheet. Leave to rise for 25–30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.

Brush each bun with the beaten egg and bake for 8–10 minutes or until baked through – keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly. Remove from oven and cover the buns with a lightly damp dish towel immediately – this will prevent them from forming a crust.

When they have cooled completely, cut a ‘lid’ off the buns – about 1.5 cm/1⁄2 in. from the top. Scoop out about one-third of the inside of the bun and place this in a separate bowl. Mix it with the marzipan paste until it forms a very sticky mass – add a dollop of custard or Crème Pâtissière at this point to help it along. You want a spoonable, even mixture. Spoon the filling back into the buns, equally divided.

Whip the cream with the vanilla sugar until stiff, then use a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle to pipe cream on all the buns. Put the ‘lids’ back on and dust lightly with icing sugar.

12 Things You Need To Know About Semlor

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Semlor are serious business in Sweden. Every year, usually starting as soon as Christmas is over and done with, semlor make their appearance in bakeries across Sweden. In Scandinavia we do not eat pancakes on pancake day. We eat big fat buns instead. Here are 12 things you need to know about the bun that makes Swedes go a little loopy.

  1. Semlor are eaten all over Scandinavia (but excessively in Sweden), Semlor are served up to and especially on Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras). This year, the big day is 9th February.
  2. A semla is a cardamom flavoured yeast bun stuffed with marzipan, vanilla and whipped cream. We also call them fat buns, to fatten you up before Lent. Although we’ll continue to eat them all the way until Easter. It’s a whole year until we next get a chance, you know.
  3. Semlor are strictly seasonal. Nobody ever makes them at any other time of the year except when it is The Season. This means not before 1st jan and not after Easter. Yes, we know a few Swedish shops have started doing it end of December, but those shops will be dealt with in due course by Semlor Polisen. 

    boris and semla

  4. It’s Semla (singular) and Semlor (plural)
  5. Semlor, and their season, is very serious business. It used to be law in Sweden when you could sell Semlor.
  6. How do you eat it? That is the big question. Do you lick the lid, eat the lid first or use the lid to scoop out the cream? Or do you just take a big bite? Or perhaps you use a fork? The possibilities are many – we can only suggest you try them all and find your favourite.
    50shades
  7. Hetvägg – Afficinadoes eat Semlor in a bowl with hot milk poured over. This is called hetvägg.
  8. Sweden once had a King Fredrick who died from eating too many Semlor. He ate 14 in one sitting, then died from severe indigestion. Okay, he also had a banquet of food before hand, but still… It was probably the semlor that did it (from Sweden.se).

    king fredrick death by semlor
  9. 45 million Bakery made semlor are sold in Sweden each year. This does not include homemade ones or supermarket ones. This is just bakeries. On Fat Tuesday alone, bakeries sell over 6 million. Note: 9 million people live in Sweden.
  10. Semlor a la mode Despite their tradition and history, semlor, too get caught up in trends. Last year was the year of the ‘semmelwrap’ – an attempt to modernize and make the classic semla less messy. It also makes it easier to eat on the go so you can eat even more semlor. This year it’s all about the ginger biscuit semla. No, we haven’t tried it – please report if you do.

    semmelwrap

  11. Regional variations – In Norway, the buns are called fastelavnsboller and the buns are filled with thick whipped cream and raspberry jam – and dusted with plenty of icing sugar. In Finland, they are called laskiaispulla and are filled with jam – often bilberry. In Denmark, the dough is slightly different and they are filled with custard (also called fastelavnsboller).
  12. So, what’s the damage? One bun is around 500 calories. Yes, now you know. If you eat it in the dark, calories don’t count. And if you have two in short succession it doesn’t count, either. In any case you will probably be so full after having one that you’ll sleep through dinner – they are prone to bring on serious cases of paltkoma (food coma). Buns for dinner? Yes please.

    skarsgaard semlor

Get your Semla fix at the café daily from now until Easter. If you need larger amounts for Fat Tuesday, please pre-order iwantfood@scandikitchen.co.uk

Our Semlor cost £2.95 take away. Fancy making your own? Try the recipe from our book, Semlor – Swedish Marzipan Cream Buns.

Recipe: Semlor Lenten buns

January 22, 2015 | 7 Comments

Ohhh, those delicious buns of delight and loveliness. It’s the season and we have a great recipe.

Lent buns (Semla for singular, Semlor for plural) are buns eaten leading up to and during Lent in Scandinavia. In Sweden the are most popular and bakeries start selling these already in January. Fat Tuesday – Shrove Tuesday or Mardi Gras – is the day when we eat at least one and maybe more of these buns. We basically fatten up before Lent.

You will never ever find Semlor buns sold outside the season – it is just not done. So, take advantage of the season now that runs until Easter and have a go at making these seriously rich buns at home.

Let us tell you that the little dollop of custard or creme patisserie makes all the difference. Thats just our little trick and hint for an extra delicious bun.

Enjoy.

Love, The Kitchen People

Recipe: Semlor Lenten buns
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A delicious bun eaten for Lent.
Author:
Recipe type: Baking
Cuisine: Swedish
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 25g fresh yeast (or 12g active dry yeast)
  • 80g melted butter
  • 250ml whole milk
  • 40g caster sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • Approximately 300-400g plain bread flour
  • ½ egg for brushing
  • Filling:
  • 100g Marzipan
  • A good dollop of custard or crème pâtisserie
  • 500ml whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar or extract
  • Icing sugar to dust
Instructions
  1. If using mixer, set it up with the dough hook attachment. Melt the butter and add the milk, ensuring a lukewarm temperature of around 37-38ºC. Add the fresh yeast and stir until dissolved.
  2. Add sugar and stir again. Add half of the flour as well as the salt, baking powder and ground cardamom. Add the ½ egg (preserve the other half for brushing before baking).
  3. Mix well until all ingredients are incorporated and then start to add more of the flour, bit by bit, until you have a dough that is only a little bit sticky. Take care not to add too much flour: you will get dry buns. Knead the dough for at least five minutes in the mixer, longer by hand. Leave to rise in a warm (not hot) place until doubled in size (30-40 min).
  4. Turn the dough out to a floured surface. Knead again for a few minutes, adding more flour if needed. Cut the dough into 12 equal sized pieces. Take care that the balls are completely round and uniform in size. Place on baking tray with good spacing between buns. Leave to rise for another 25-30 minutes.
  5. Gently brush each bun with the remainder of the egg wash and bake in a hot oven (200ºC) for about 8-10 minutes or until baked through – keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly. Remove from oven and cover the tray with a lightly damp tea towel immediately – this will prevent the buns from forming a crust.
  6. When the buns have cooled down completely, cut a ‘lid’ off the buns – about 1½ cm from the top. Scoop out about ⅓ of the inside of the bun and place crumbs in a separate bowl.
  7. Mix the almond paste with the crumb until it forms a very sticky mass –add a dash of milk, custard or crème pâtisserie at this point to help it along. You want a spoonable, even mixture. Spoon the filling back into the buns, equally divided. Whip the cream with the vanilla sugar until stiff and use a piping bag to pipe cream on all the buns’ tops. Put the ‘lids’ back on and dust with icing sugar.

Shop all ingredients you need for Semlor here 

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