Tag Archives: norwegian

You Know it is 17th May When…

April 18, 2018 | Leave a comment

    • You skip out of bed at 6 to be at a Champagne breakfast at 7.

 

    • You happily (well..) prance around in a heavy wool dress and your least comfortable shoes. And since it was a gift when you were 15, chances are it is a little tight around the middle, too.

       

    • You read several articles on how to dress for the big day – all in red white and blue, of course. Otherwise people may think you don’t take it seriously.

 

    • You plan a menu around the same colour scheme. Yep, very festive!

      picture via matprat.no

       

    • You happily iron shirts and polish silver for the entire family, and curse silently that you didn’t do this sooner.

 

    • You spend half a day either walking in or watching a parade whilst singing ‘Ja Vi Elsker’, then refuel on hotdogs, ice cream and more bubbles. Congrats!
      17mai parade norway

 

Scandinavian Easter: 7 random things

March 22, 2018 | Leave a comment

 

7 random facts about Easter in Scandinavia

  1. In Sweden, the children dress up as little Easter Witches on Easter Sunday and go door to door, asking for sweets and treats.
  2. Norwegians are obsessed with reading who-dunnit-crime novels at Easter – sales triple all over Norway in the run up to the holidays. Norwegians like to go to their hytter (cabins) for Easter – and there, they read crime novels when they are not skiing. So obsessed are they there are even little crime stories printed on milk cartons over Easter so they never have to stop reading. Solving crime over breakfast? So very Norwegian, it seems.

    paskekrim melkekartong norwegian Easter milk carton
  3. Scandinavian Easter Egg traditions are people buying an empty cardboard shell and filling it with their favourite sweets, rather than just a huge chocolate egg. We like a mix of everything – sweet, sour, salty, liquorice, chocolate, marshmallow, and perhaps and extra Kvikk Lunsj, Kexchoklad or marzipan eggs for good measure.

    Easter eggs
  4. The Easter lunch is usually a huge Smorgasbord (with various regional variations and names). There will be pickled herring, every sandwich topping your mother and grandmother combined can think of, and lots of egg things. Maybe dyed, maybe scrambled, fried or boiled.

    Picture: TT via dn.se

     

  5. Easter in Scandinavia is called Påsk (Sweden), Påske (Denmark, Norway). An Easter egg is known as a Påskägg / påskeæg / påskeegg – and is gifted on Easter morning. We also like decorating with little chickens – usually slightly deformed with a leg out their head or an eye on their bum. They are, of course, called ‘påsk-kycklinger’ / ‘påskekyllinger’ – Easter chickens.
    Easter egg chicken decorations
  6. You’ll see many places with decorated twigs – feathers and other types of decorations, depending on area. This is a Påskris – Easter Twigs – to signify Christ’s suffering – originally used to lash out at people as a tease – and in some areas, get people out of bed on Good Friday morning. Nowadays, used mainly as decorations.
  7. Easter is the absolute last time you will see Semlor anywhere in Sweden. Most of these lovely luscious Lent buns are already gone at this time of the year, but for those still clinging on, Easter marks the final hurrah, signalising the end of the season. No more semlor until next year.
    skarsgaard semlor

Recipe: Solskinnsboller

March 16, 2018 | Leave a comment

Solskinnsboller – Norwegian Custard Cinnamon Swirls

Of all the things to come out of Norway (brown cheese, knitted jumpers, a dabbing prince), these ‘Solskinnsboller’ buns must be amongst the tastiest. Don’t need another bun recipe? Listen. We think you do. These are named sunshine buns because they have the same effect – they make you happy. Buttery, soft cinnamon swirls with a gooey vanilla custard centre. Cinnamon buns = good. Custard = good. These buns? Criminal.

You will need:

  • 1 quantity bun dough (your favourite – or our favourite, recipe here)
  • 1 quantity creme patisserie or thick custard (homemade or bought – but if the latter thicken it with a bit of cornflour first or it will be too runny.

Quick and easy vanilla custard cream

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla sugar (or 1 tsp vanilla paste)
  • 200 ml whole milk

Method: In a medium size saucepan, heat the milk until steaming (do not let it boil). Remove from heat. In a bowl, whisk together egg yolks, corn flour, sugar and vanilla until a thick paste. Whilst whisking, pour a little of the hot milk into the egg/sugar mixture until combined. Continue adding the hot milk slowly until everything is combined. Return to the saucepan and let simmer over medium heat until thickened – whisk continuously to avoid lumps forming. Once thickened (you should be able to make soft blobs that don’t disappear immediately – it will thicken more when it cools) pour into a bowl and place clingfilm directly onto the top of the custard. This avoids a skin forming. Leave to cool completely – the fridge quickens this step.

Assembling the buns:

Make you cinnamon buns as normal and leave under a tea towel for 25-30 mins to rise a bit more. Place your creme patisserie in a piping bag or plastic bag.

Now, you need to make an indent in each bun to fit the creme pat in – press down in the middle with your finger (or something measuring about 2cm diameter) until you have even indents in every bun. Pipe a small amount of custard into each hollow. Don’t be tempted to use too much – it will just get messy (but still tasty). 1-2 tsp should be enough.

Bake at 220 degrees celsius for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Things that happen when you live with a Scandi

March 14, 2018 | 1 Comment

 

Things that happen when you live with a Scandinavian

Maybe you’ve already moved in and you’re Googling “strange things that happen when you live with a Scandinavian” – don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place for answers. Or maybe you’re thinking “Should I start sharing my home with Agneta or Henrik?” Here, we give you a heads up what things might be like in your home, if you choose to go ahead. You’ve been warned.

They make you leave your shoes in the hallway.

Everything off in the hallway – and on with a nice pair of slippers. It’s a hygiene thing (although in Denmark you can sometimes get away with it). In Sweden, they’ll make you ask your guests to take their shoes off, too. This is how it will be from now on.

Announce when it is pee-pee time

“I think I’ll go for a pee now” will become a staple sentence. Eventually, you’ll start to adopt this habit too and find yourself doing it during a meeting at your fancy non-Scandinavian office.

The heating is maxed

Despite what people think, Scandinavians hate to be cold. Your house will now be a comfortable 23-24 degrees all year around. Any less and there will be complaints.

Also, you will air the room before bed. Yes, open bedroom windows, even at minus 20c.

Re-decorating & furniture

Living with a Scandi, decorating is easy: There is only one colour to choose from (white). This colour is also applied to skirting, radiators, ceilings and floorboards. Also you probably won’t need curtains any more (at least if you live with a Dane). If you don’t have a sofa table, one will appear within a week of the move because not having a sofa table in unheard of (where will we put our coffee?!)

Also, you no longer need carpets: Start your goodbyes now.

No more nick-nacks

One by one, those little cute things you own will be replaced by stylish candle holders and sleek things. No more souvenirs from Tenerife, no more ornate fireplace clocks. Eventually, you’ll find them all in a box in the attic. Good bye.

Is it a cult?

They burn day and evenings, sometimes entire packets of tealight in one room. Don’t fear, this is not a cult; it’s just cosy. Also, you may find that 4-5 small lamps are added to each room. Because, hygge.

Your double duvet is replaced by two single ones.

This is not a declaration that the love is dead, merely that nobody will steal your duvet again and you will keep your cold feet to yourself. And wait for an invite. THIS is true love.

Specialist equipment starts to appear in your kitchen:

Exhibit 1: OSTHYVEL

For slicing cheese. What is important to know is 1) You must NEVER make a ski slope  and 2) you will never again be allowed to hack away at the cheddar with a blunt knife. Ever.

Exhibit 2: Filter Coffee Machine

Scandinavians drink more coffee than anyone else in the world. If you live with an ultra Scandi, you’ll have a MochaMaster (these brew the fastest). But any filter machine works. From now on, your coffee will be so strong you’ll be awake 19 hours a day. Coffee before bedtime (around 9 pm) becomes normal. Milk in coffee is for wimps.

Exhibit 3: Smörkniv

For butter. Never use your own, only use the designated knife for butter.

Increased Nakedness

Look, it’s a body. It’s not anything Scandinavians think is sexual: It’s skin. We don’t care. There will be nakedness. If there is a sauna, there will be nakedness there, too. You may sit next to your new Father in Law, naked. On a small flannel. Get used to it and let it all hang out.

Breakfast changes

You will have sandwiches for breakfast. And probably sour milk. But definitely sandwiches – with cheese – and jam. Together. And coffee, a lot of coffee. There will be crispy bread – and it will re-appear at lunch. And for snacks. It never, ever ends.

Dinner is at 6

Dinner is at 6. Not 6:05, but 6 pm. Except, when you invite people over,  the invite might be for 6, so therefore people must arrive at 6 pm. By 6:05 food is served. DO NOT BE LATE. for anything, ever again.

Manners

Before you eat, say ‘Velbekomme’. When you’ve finished your food, say ‘Takk for maten’ (thanks for dinner). Fail on this and you will sleep with the fishes. Also, shots of 40% alcohol with some meals will eventually become the normal (always look people in the eye when you say ‘skål’, or you’re just rude.)

Cosy days

Fridays will become cosy Fridays. You will start to share big bags of crisps (dip each chip in dip mix). There will be darkness, 117 candles and Nordic Noir. After a while, they will start to add the dreaded….

…Friday Tacos

Because: Tacos are Scandinavian, everyone knows that. Tacos = burritos, nachos, quesadillas, enchilada, chimichanga… It’s all just Tacos. All of it. But only on Fridays.

Saturday Sweets

Don’t be surprise if you after a while of living with a Scandinavian you start to consume around 550 grams of sweets every Saturday (the average). Only uncivilised people eat sweets the other six days).

Also, salty liquorice.
It’s normal. You WILL like it eventually, don’t fight it, we’re only doing it for your own good, you know… Go on, just try this little Jungle Scream, it’s not too bad…

Weekend: Hiking days

The weekends will become 48h opportunities to get outside. Seeing as there is ‘No such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes”, every weekend will be a selection of hikes, walks, runs, bikes etc. Outside, with your backpack and your “all weather jacket”. If your chosen Scandinavian is a Norwegian, he or she will make sure to pack an Orange and a bar of Kvikklunsj chocolate.

Any snow and you will hear the words: “Snow? Really? You think this is snow? When I lived in Denmark/Norway/Sweden/Finland…. “ etc.

Mid-May is Eurovision

You can try to fight it, but at some point, your Scandinavian will be found in front of the telly, Pina Colada in hand, with a score sheet and dismay when Sweden doesn’t give Denmark 12 points as planned.

Flags everywhere.

Flags are now for every occasion, but only on occasions. Birthdays = flags. Flags in cakes. Flags on sandwiches. Picking up someone at the airport = flags. Eurovision = flags. Midsummer = flags. National day = flags.

Recycle hand-in-hand

Everything. Always: Rinse and recycle. You will start to make trips to the recycling stations together. Awww.

The fridge

You may start to see strange things in tubes appear in the fridge. Or things that look like plastacine. You will start to add remoulade on every meal once the Danes are done with you.

What other things do you think might happen when you live with a Scandinavian? Add your comments below!


PSST: Want to surprise your sweetheart with the aforementioned salty liquorice or dreaded things in tubes (you may earn yourself an extra cosy Friday)? Pop by or visit our webshop if you can’t make it in.

Morsdag – Norwegian Mother’s Day

February 8, 2018 | Leave a comment

 

Morsdag – Norwegian Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is celebrated in many countries – but only Norway celebrates it the second Sunday in February which this year falls on the 11th. Mother’s Day was celebrated the first time in 1908 following an initiative from Anna Marie Jarvis who wanted to honour her mother for her work during the American civil war. The celebration became official in 1913, and set to fall on the second Sunday in May which is the day most countries observe it.

There is little evidence as to why they in Norway moved it to February – but it is likely linked to the many official holidays already observed in May; May 1st, May 17th, Christ Ascension day and Pentecost which can both fall in May. With any luck, you will have 4 additional days of during May if they all fall during the week.

Regardless of when it is celebrated, a special day to treat your Mamma should be acknowledged – in Norway you’ll often see cards, breakfast in bed or a present of some sort. Many people also see it as an excuse to get together for some family time – but whatever you do, just make sure to give your mamma a teeny bit of extra attention. If you are lucky enough to be spending the day with her you might want to mark the occasion with a little treat? This year it coincides with Fastlavn Sunday (the Norwegian equivalent to Shrove Tuesday and when most people eat their buns) so a given suggestion is the Norwegian jam semla – but we have listed a few other options for you in case you know some weirdo who doesn’t like these.

  1. Norwegian Jam Semlor AKA Fastelavnsboller. Cardamom scented buns filled with jam and lightly sweetened whipped cream. Get her favourite jam to fill them with.
  2. Sally’s chocolate buns. In case you live with someone who doesn’t appreciate the combo cream and bun (we know – they should simply be expelled from your household – but in the spirit of giving, we offer them chocolate buns instead). Think cinnamon bun but with chocolate in place of the cinnamon filling.
  3. Daim cookies. Addictive in their golden crispy chewiness and sweet enough to be the perfect excuse for a fourth cup of coffee, even on a Sunday. Plus they don’t require kneading.
  4. Lingonberry and spice layer cake (recipe in ScandiKitchen: Fika & Hygge). Looks gratifyingly impressive for the comparatively easy process – sure to score you tons of offspring-points. For any Norwegians out there – this is like a lighter take on classic ‘krydderkake’ layered with a cream cheese frosting tangy with lingonberries. Mamma will be impressed.
  5. Seeded rye rolls (recipe in the ScandiKitchen cookbook) Perhaps not your typical treat – but just imagine how nice it is to wake to a house smelling of freshly made bread, the breakfast table set and the coffee brewing. Nothing to do for mamma but sit down. A loving gesture if ever we saw one. Just make sure you also take care of the tidying up – unfortunately any goodwill built up from enjoying a prepared breakfast is at risk of dissipating with each crumb that needs tidying.
  6. Rye and bluberry granola bars (recipe in ScandiKitchen: Fika & Hygge) – attached to a promise of a hike, together. Fill a thermos with hot coffee, and you have the scene set for a lovely day spent outside. Don’t over complicate it – a walk to the nearest park and bench is fine.
  7. A cup of really good coffee and a card. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Write a card and say thanks for being mamma and bring her a cup of coffee or tea. This one is our current favourite.

Picture credit: Peter Cassidy for Ryland Peters & Small / ScandiKitchen: Fika & Hygge

Norwegian Fastelavnsboller – Berry Cream Buns

February 1, 2018 | Leave a comment

 

Norwegian Berry Cream Buns – Fastelavnsboller

Fastelavnsboller is the Norwegian version of Semlor – using jam in place of the marzipan filling which is more commonly seen in Sweden. The term semlor is often used to describe Scandinavian cream buns – but this is not completely accurate. Semlor is the word most commonly used in Sweden and parts of Finland, and usually refers to a sweet yeasted bun filled with marzipan and cream. In the other Nordic countries, they have different buns. So marzipan haters, rejoice! This one is for you. Every bit as indulgent, and even easier to make. The same bun, with a lovely lightly sweetened whipped cream with a touch of vanilla and your favourite Nordic berry jam.

Bun dough:

  • 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:

  • 100ml of our favourite jam – raspberry is most traditional but strawberry or blueberry are also popular (and delicious!)

Whipped cream:

  • 300ml whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 0.5 tsp vanilla sugar or extract (optional)

Method (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 cling film 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 cling film 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. Add about 2 tsp jam on the bottom half (or to taste).

Whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla (if using) until stiff, then use a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle to pipe cream on all the buns (a spoon will do too). Put the ‘lids’ back on and dust lightly with icing sugar before serving.

Psst – eat the lid first to avoid the cream filling going everywhere as you bite into it.

 

This is how happy these buns will make you.

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!

13 Scandinavian Insults

November 2, 2017 | Leave a comment

13 brilliant Scandinavian insults

Feeling a bit annoyed, need to let some steam off? How about you do so with these rather wonderful Scandinavian insults – many of which are under used thanks to the influx of English – but they sound oh so lovely. These are just a handful from a loooong list, we had to stop somewhere. Give it a go and tell us if there are any of these you use, or any we have missed.

  1. Klossmajor (Danish, Norwegian) – Lit. Brick major – Someone super clumsy.
    klossmajor 
  2. Juksemaker pipelort (Norwegian) – Lit. Cheat maker pipe poo – Someone who cheats. The second half usually only added on by children.

  3. Snuskhummer (Swedish) – Lit. dirty lobster – used about dirty (old?) men staring at girls.
    snuskhummer
  4. Snoronga (Swedish, has Danish and Norwegian equivalents) – Lit. Snot child – someone snotty and spoilt; a brat.
    Snoronga
  5. Klaptorsk (Danish) – Lit. Clapping cod – Someone doing something very stupid; much like a cod attempting to clap .
    Klaptorsk 
  6. Vatnisse (Danish, Norwegian) – Lit. cotton gnome – someone silly (with cottonwool for brains, perhaps)

     

  7. Narhat (Danish) – Lit. Fool’s hat – someone so stupid they’re not even worthy being called a fool, just the fool’s hat.
    Narhat
  8. Skitstövel (Swedish) – Lit. Shit boot – someone full of shit.
    Skitstovel 
  9. Kronidiot (Norwegian) – Lit. Crown idiot – As stupid as you can get. The leader of the idiots.
    kronidiot 
  10. Korkad (Swedish) – Lit. Corked – Someone stupid.
    korkad 
  11. Bytting (Norwegian) – Lit. Swapee (ie. Being swapped) – someone so stupid or evil you think they have been swapped for someone from the underworld.
    bytting
  12. Dumbom (Swedish) – Lit. Stupid barrier – Barriers are, in general, stupid because they are blocking the way, right? So a stupid-barrier is an insult you do not want thrown after you.
    dumbom barrier
  13. Mehe (Norwegian) – Lit. from Medhenger, meaning ‘with-hanger’ – someone who just follows and can’t think for themselves.Followers Mehe

How to Enjoy Autumn like a Scandi

October 18, 2017 | Leave a comment

How to Autumn like a Scandi

Or what we think about when it is biting cold, rainy and dark. It is the little things. From the smell of your coffee in the morning, to the fact that you can wear your old bright knitted socks that grandma made and perhaps spend some hours in the kitchen baking with cinnamon. Let’s go on…

  1. Autumn is the perfect time to go full fledged HYGGE. Candles EVERYWHERE.
  2. We can finally wear all the knitted socks we own…

  3. …and our (Christmas) jumpers
  4. We can eat lovely traditional food such as Fårikål (lit. Mutton in cabbage – Norway’s national dish; mutton or lamb stewed with cabbage and peppercorns and not much else) and Korv Stroganoff (the Swedish sausage version of the stew named after a 19th century Russian count).
  5. ..and cover everything in cinnamon. Buns, apple cakes, porridge, crispbread..yum! 
    cinnamon buns - cinnamon rolls - skillingsboller
  6. We can go hiking like a Norwegian in bright, weatherproof jackets, with a Kvikk Lunsj to match. They taste best when enjoyed outside in the fresh air, you know (and on the inside, contains the Norwegian rules of the mountain to help you stay safe. If you can read Norwegian, that is).

  7. We can FINALLY wear our Sydvests (sou’westerns).

  8. And we finally don’t have to defend our multiple-cups-of-coffee-by-9am habit – the colder dark mornings being the perfect excuse.  
  9. Fredagsmys is back on the agenda; It is, year round – but in summer sometimes UTEPILS takes precedent (Utepils = the Norwegian concept of enjoying a beer outside whenever there is a sliver of sunshine and warmth in the air (read; warmer than 4 degrees)

    Fredagsmys fredagskos 
  10. And, some say it is a bit early, but it still makes us happy to start planning our Glögg parties…

  11. …and our gingerbread baking competitions..

    Just your casual Scandi gingerbread house production.

    (We know, we KNOW! The last two are strictly for The season that shall not yet be named. But when autumn is grey, dark and cold it is nice to let yourself be just a teeny bit excited about the next thing. We can almost smell the glögg! No, it is not too soon – we have some already..)

What else do you like about autumn? Anything we missed, pop it in the comments please.

Vanilla buns, six ways.

September 27, 2017 | 6 Comments

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.

 

 

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