Tag Archives: norwegian

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.

 

    Jästbolagets Kronjäst – Fresh Yeast 2 x 50g
    £0.99 £0.79
    - +
    Torsleff Vaniljesukker – Vanilla Sugar 100g
    £2.99
    Dansukker Ljus Sirap – Light Syrup 750g
    £2.49
    - +

 

10 Culinary Delights From Our Scandi Childhoods

September 21, 2017 | Leave a comment

10 Culinary Delights From Our Scandi Childhoods

 

Sometimes, when we were little, this is all we wanted to eat. (Still is, sometimes). Recognise any of these, for yourself or your children? Let us know in the comments.

  1. Meatballs with macaroni and ketchup (your token vegetable).
    kottbullar makaroni

  2. Mince fried and served with macaroni. And ketchup.
    makaroni med kjottdeig
  3. Lompe with nugatti (Norwegian Nutella)
    lompe nugatti
  4. Cheese toastie made in the waffle iron with lots of piffikrydd and some ketchup. Yum.
    cheese toastie waffle iron
  5. Just meatballs, for the picky ones.

  6. Falukorv with mash. Sliced, fired sausage mixed into the mash. Served with, you guessed it, ketchup.

  7. Hot dogs. Sausages in lompe or hot dog buns –your staple childhood birthday party dish.
    polse i brod
  8. Brown cheese. Just brown cheese, somtimes rolled into little balls. Mmmmm.
    brown cheese
  9. Fiskeboller fish dumplings with potatoes and a sprinkling of mild curry powder. All mashed together to a gloopy, yellow, mess. Boiled carrots or broccoli carefully shoved to the side of the plate.
    fiskeboller med karri

    Pre mashing.

  10. Rye bread with chocolate, slightly toasted so the chocolate melts. YUM.
    paleagschoklad

Remember these or have anything to add? Let us know and we’ll update the list.

We know what we’re having for dinner today!

Bacon & Mushroom Pizza

September 9, 2017 | Leave a comment

Crispbread Pizza With Bacon & Mushroom

Autumn in Scandinavia means foraging – for berries, fruits and mushrooms – so seasonal dishes often centre, or include, around these ingredients. Mushrooms are a favourite – especially the more elusive girolles (chantarelles). The following recipe is adapted for supermarket foraging – but feel free to use any mushroom you like.

  • 1 round Leksands crispbread
  • 100ml tomato sauce
  • 1 small onion + butter/oil for frying
  • 75g oyster mushroom
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 50g bacon or pancetta, fried until crispy
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 60g mozzarella + big handful grated cheddar
  • rocket salad to serve
  • Seasalt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Pre-heat oven to 225 degrees celsius.
2. Finely chop onion and fry in a bit of butter until soft – add pinch of sugar and let caramelise. Season with salt & pepper.
3. Chop the mushroom and fry until golden.
4. Spread the tomato sauce over the base. Add the onion, mushroom and your meat – finish with the mozzarella and grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper.

Bake for 10 mins or until the cheese is bubbly and slightly golden. Top with whisked egg yolk and rocket salad – serve immediately.

Enjoy!

—–

Bacon & Mushroom Pizza

Thanks to our friends at Leksands for the recipe – just mildly adapted for a UK kitchen.

7 Random Crispy Facts

September 7, 2017 | Leave a comment

7 Random Facts About Crispbread

  1. Crispbread is common across Scandinavia, but especially so in Sweden, followed closely by Norway. 85% of all Swedish households have it at all times.
  2. Crispbread is Sweden’s second largest export – second only to Absolut vodka.
  3. Your average Swedish munches through 5.5 kg of crispbread every year – and crispbread is amongst the most missed food products for Swedes abroad. It may not sound much, but considering an average crispbread weighs about 12 grams, this equates to 458 slices every year. A crispbread a day keeps the doctor away.
  4. What.. IS crispbread? Crispbread is traditionally made with only wholegrain rye, yeast, salt and water, although these days you have a wide range of variety ranging from all-wheat to all nut and seed (to purist, these don’t count). However, when you say crispbread, most people will still think of your classic rye crispbread.
  5. In Scandinavia, crispbread is treated as any other type of bread. It can be topped with almost anything, and is a common part of breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks in between.
  6. Super versatile, you can have crispbread at every meal. Crushed over a bowl of yoghurt, maybe with some berries, for a naturally low sugar, high fibre and delicious granola for breakfast; topped with smoked salmon and cream cheese for lunch; used as pizza base for dinner (oh yes, crispbread pizza is a thing and it’s delicious. In Sweden you can even buy ready made frozen crispbread pizzas).
  7. In the UK, crispbread is often thought about in one of two ways; 1; as a cracker for cheese or 2; diet food. This saddens our crispy Scandi hearts and tummies. Because; crispbread is absolutely great with cheese, and is definitely much better for you than mass produced wonderbread – but Scandis eat crispbread because it is tasty (and you can top it with anything you like), convenient (it keeps forever) and good for you. You could eat 4 triangles of crispbread for every slice of white bread – and thanks to the high fibre content you will stay fuller for a lot longer. Meaning you may be able to resist that cinnamon bun later. Or not. But that’s ok. Balancing your crispbread with cinnamon buns is what the Swedes would call ‘lagom’.

Now, pass us the crispbread someone. Fancy some? Find our crispbreads here.

Crispbread as base = pizza in 10 minutes.

Packed Lunch – Scandi Style

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Packed Lunch – Scandi Style

Packed lunch comes in many shapes and forms, but one that holds a special place in our Viking hearts is the packed lunch. In Norway especially is this a thing, mostly made up of a few slices of bread – homemade or bread rolls if you’re lucky – with whichever topping your sleep deprived parent managed to dig out of the fridge that morning. Finished with a scribble on the parchment paper that it is all wrapped in – ‘love you lots, MUM’. It never fails to both make your heart smile and your ears go red as you try to quickly unwrap your food and hide the evidence that your mamma loves you and is not afraid to tell your cool friends.

Norsk matpakke

Oh yes, the humble ‘brødskiva’ (also just ‘skive/skiva’: lit. – bread slice – used about any open sandwich) is deeply engrained in Norwegian culture and almost everyone will have fond – and not-so-fond – memories of these. Each sandwich topped with a special, bread slice sized piece of parchment paper (sold in the supermarket, called ‘inbetween paper’ – mellomleggspapir).

Feeling inspired to make your own packed lunch? We thought so. So here follows, our top tips for avoiding sog and 10 classic combos.

Generally for all;

  • A thin layer of butter or mayonnaise will protect the bread from soaking up the moisture of your topping – and will mean other sauces, such as mustard, will not disappear into the bread.
  • Something fresh and crunchy is always a good idea, but remember that vegetables are best packed separately and added when you eat – except lettuce which transports quite well.
  • Separate your sandwiches. Cut pieces of parchment paper to layer between your open sandwiches so they don’t stick together or you get your flavours mixed up (nothing worse than a bit of jam stuck to the underside of your ham sandwich!).

10 Classic Packed Lunch Sandwiches

1. Ham and mustard. Optional extras: Sliced fresh cucumber, cheese.

2. Salami and mayonnaise. Optional extras: Sliced tomato.

3. Cheese and red pepper. We like nutty Jarlsberg or mildly spiced Nøkkelost for this; wrap your pepper in clingfilm separately and add when ready to eat.

4. Cheese with jam – a mature cheese with a sweet jam works. Trust us.

5. Liver pate and cress or pickles (pickles packed separately – cress is fine to pre-pack)

6. Meatballs and beetroot salad. Leftover meatballs (as if..) in slices with creamy beetroot salad –delicious.

7. Smoked salmon. With cream cheese if you’d like – we also really like it with mustard.

8. Brown cheese and raspberry jam. Sweet, yummy and a bit sticky.

9. Hardboiled egg and herring (note – this one works best with a top piece of bread, too). Slices of hardboiled egg with a few very well drained pieces of herring – e.g. mustard herring – on top. Delish!

10. Cheese in a tube. Bacon, ham or prawn cheese – choose your favourite. Nice with crunchy cucumber or red pepper to top.

Matpakke norsk packed lunch

A very sad example.

A few crunchy carrots, slices of raw swede or an apple on the side – you’re good to go. Check out or packed lunch shop here – for breads, condiments, hams, cheeses and more.

 

Useful Scandinavian words to start using in English

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The best untranslatable Scandi words you need to include in your everyday use from now on and forever

Image: The utterly brilliant satwcomic.com

We have some great words that deserve to be used outside their humble Scandi origins. Thank you to everybody who wrote in with suggestions – we got far too many words to use them all, but we have included our best ones here.

  1. Lagom (pronounced [ˈlɑ̀ːɡɔm]). A very Swedish word. It means not too much, not too little. Just the right amount. You can have a lagom amount of coffee, for example. How many meatballs do you want? Lagom, please. Your shower can be lagom hot. Your coffee lagom strong.  It expresses a sense of balance and satisfaction with having your needs met without needing excess.
  2. Knullruffs  A Swedish word meaning ‘messy hair after having sex’. Yes, we have a word for that. ‘Hi Brenda, you have knullrufs today – I guess your date went well last night?’
  3. Poronkusema  An old Sami word meaning ‘the distance reindeer can travel before needing to urinate’. Used as a distance measure, as in “ There’s a Poronkusema to his house’ (7 kilometres, in case you were wondering).
  4. Fika A Swedish word meaning ‘ to meet up for a cup of coffee and a bun/cake. You can Fika as a noun or verb – to fika or go for a fika. It’s casual, but you can fika with your friends, or even have a fika date. You can fika with colleagues at work or even fika with your family. It’s a social thing: you can’t really fika alone.
  5. Hygge (hyggelig)  The ultimate Danish word. It means a state of lovely cosiness, on your own or with people you like. Doesn’t have to involve food, but it involves good feelings and happiness. You can hygge in front of the telly, or you can hygge at the local café. In front of the log fire with a good book is a nice place to hygge, too. Same word in Norwegian is Kos / koselig.
  6. Tandsmør – A Danish word, meaning ‘tooth butter’. Meaning: There is so much butter on your bread that your teeth leave bitemarks.
  7. Sambo and Mambo – In Sweden, if you live with your partner, you have a sambo. Samman = together and Bo = live. If you live at home with your mother, you Mambo. Yes, really.
  8. Pilkunnussija – A great Finnish word, literally: a comma fucker. A pedant; a person who corrects trivial or meaningless things. A person who believes it is their destiny to stamp out all spelling and punctuation mistakes. As in ‘Seriously, don’t be such a pilkunnussija’.
  9. Jamsk – A Danish dialect word that describes feeling under the weather, a little bit tired and just not quite right and have no desire for food. (Pronounced with a soft j, not a hard one).
  10. Utepils – A brilliant Norwegian word that simply means: To sit outside and enjoy a beer.
  11. Juoksentelisinkohan – A Finnish word that means: “I wonder if I should run around aimlessly?”
  12. Kabelsalat – Norwegian. Literally, Cable Salad. When all your cables and leads are mixed together.
  13. Forelsket – Norwegian and Danish word that means: That intoxicatingly euphoric feeling you experience when you’re first falling in love. Pre-real-love. More than fancy, less than love.
  14. Linslus/Linselus – A Swedish and Norwegian word, meaning ‘lens louse’ – Someone who always wants to have their face in a photo.
  15. Palla – Swedish. To steal fruit off trees. Eg. ‘Hey Kalle, let’s go palla in Andersson’s garden– they have pear trees and plums, too’. No doubt word enthusiasts will now email us saying the English word is “scrumping”. But as far as we could work out, you can only scrump apples. Let us know if we’re wrong about that, though.
  16. Slutspurt – The Danish word for ‘clearance sale’ (you can find this one almost always somewhere written largely across the store’s front windows). Literally: Race to the end.
  17. Klämdag – Swedish word, literally meaning Squeeze Day. If there is a bank holiday then a working day and then another day off, that working day will become a ‘squeeze day’ – and we’ll all be off work.
  18. Sliddersladder – A Danish word for gossiping and chitchat. (The d is soft)
  19. Buksvåger – What you call someone who has had sex with someone you’ve already had sex with. A useful Swedish word.
  20. Ogooglbar – Swedish for ‘ungoogleable’ – something you cannot Google.
  21. Orka / Orke – Danish, Swedish, Norwegian: This verb is a tremendously common word meaning “to have the energy”: ‘Do you orka to go into Oxford Street this weekend? No, Kalle, I don’t orkar it’.
  22. Attitydinkontinens – A Swedish word, literally meaning “attitude incontinence,” meaning: Inability to keep one’s opinions to oneself. As in: ‘Sorry for that long comment I left on your page, I guess I had a case of attitydinkontinens.’
  23. Fredagsmys – Swedish. Every Friday, we do this: Fredagsmys means Friday Cosy. Eat nice food, sweets, get cosy. Only on Fridays, though. Usually involves tacos (for some reason).
  24. Badkruka – Swedish for someone who refuses to enter the water. As in: ‘Get in the lake, you badkruka’.
  25. Gökotta – Swedish – to wake up in the morning with the purpose of going out to hear the birds sing.

Any we have missed out? Feel free to add more in the comments.

 

x

 

You Know You’re Scandi When…

August 30, 2017 | Leave a comment

You know you’re Scandi when..

  1. You wouldn’t DREAM of drinking the water from the tap without letting it run for at least 5 seconds. Otherwise you end up with the ‘pipe-water’ that has been sitting there for hours. Eugh.tap water
  2. You automatically remove your shoes when you enter someone’s house.
  3. You happily drink a glass of milk with breakfast, lunch and your evening meal (no, not dinner – the one after – kveldsmat/aftensmad).mr melk milk glass
  4. You insist on having your sandwiches topless. Less bread, more delicious filling, what’s not to like?
  5. You think 11.30am is an acceptable time to have lunch.
  6. You hoard candles for autumn and winter and secretly can’t wait for the temp to drop so you can light all of them. Hygge!hygge candles
  7. You spend hours struggling with the correct level of politeness in emails. Scandinavians are direct – in spoken as well as written language. Pardon us whilst we work on our manners.
  8. You still think it’s weird that milk comes in plastic bottles and not in cardboard.paskekrim melkekartong norwegian Easter milk carton
  9. You wonder where the crispbread section and tube cheese section in the supermarket is.
  10. Your dream Friday night is staying in and relaxing in front of a film or TV show. Tacos for dinner, sweets and snacks after.Pick and mix fredagsmys fredagskos
  11. You own at least 3 pairs of knitted socks from your grandma.
  12. You think liquorice, especially the very salty kind, is delicious. In chocolate, with ice cream, in vodka.liquorice salmiakki lakris
  13. You own at least one weatherproof jacket.allvaersjakke-norwegian

Crispbread Pizza With Chicken

August 22, 2017 | Leave a comment

Crispbread Pizza With Chicken

We are big fans of using crispbread as a quick and easy pizza base. By using a round of Leksands as your base you can have pizza in 12 minutes – the mild rye flavour complements these toppings really well.

  • 1 round of Leksands crispbread
  • 100ml tomato sauce
  • 3 slices roast chicken
  • 1 small onion, chopped – plus butter or oil for frying
  • clove of garlic
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 60g mozzarella
  • Good handful grated cheddar (or try it with Vasterbotten)
  • 2 tbsp creme fraiche, 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard and a squeeze of lemon – stirred together
  • Sea salt & freshly ground pepper

1. Pre-heat oven to 225 degrees celsius.
2. Finely chop onion and fry in  a bit of butter until soft – add a pinch of sugar and the garlic and let caramelise. Season with salt & pepper.
3. Spread the tomato sauce over the base. Add the onion mixture, sliced fresh tomato, chicken chunks and apple – finish with the cheese.

Bake for approximately 10 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and slightly golden. Scatter with fresh rocket and serve with the sauce.

Enjoy!

—–

Chicken Crispbread Pizza

Thanks to our friends at Leksands for the recipe – just mildly adapted for a UK kitchen.

7 Random Things About 17th May – Norway Day

May 11, 2017 | Leave a comment

7 Random Facts About 17th May – Norway Day

  1. Norway day – the 17th of May – is celebrated as it was the day Norway got its constitution, back in 1814.
    Norwegian Constitution 17 May

  2. It is the busiest day of the year for Norway’s king – a whole day of waving is intense.

  3. 17th May is the final day of ‘russetid’ – graduation time for students. 3 weeks of solid partying, all culminating on the morning of 17th May. 

  4. 17th of May is the day Norwegians eat the most ice cream (if it is sunny) – up to 10 times the average amount for a sunny spring day.
    iskrem norway day
  5. During WW2 it was forbidden to parade for 17th of May. It was also forbidden to wear the Norwegian flag’s colours on one’s clothes – contributing to its importance as a symbol of Norway’s freedom ever since.
    17 mai tog
  6. Marching bands are an important part of the parades – and marching band is the second most popular past time among Norwegian children (surpassed only by football).
    Korps marching band
  7. It is a national holiday, but since the 18th is not, the celebrations start early – Champagne breakfast at 7am is common, so you have time to eat and drink in time to watch the main parade starting around 10am (varies regionally).
    17 mai frokost

  8.  And an extra one – remember to say congratulations to every Norwegian you see.

7 Nordic ways to talk about hangovers

April 28, 2017 | Leave a comment

Seven Nordic ways to talk about hangovers

‘Bagstiv’ is a Danish word for when you wake up the next morning, still drunk. Literally: Backwards drunk – in Sweden and Norway, its Bakfull and bakrus.

2. A drunk Dane might say he has a “Stick in ear” (en kæp i øret)

3. The Finnish word for hangover is “Krapula” 

4. The Old Norse Viking word for hangover was ‘kveis’, meaning “uneasiness after debauchery” 

5. In Denmark, if you drink a beer on a hang over, it is known as a Reperationsbajer – literally, a ‘repair beer’

6. In Danish, hangovers are known as Tømremænd  – literally, carpenters.

7. “Fylleangst” pronounced (foola angst) means “drunk anxiety” in Norway and is the unsettling feeling one has the day after drinking when you can’t remember what you did, how you acted or who may have seen you do it!

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