Making my way right on through Scandinavia, we come to Norway!
What are some things that come to mind when I think of Norway? Norwegian Ridgebacks…Vikings…Maybe the little Norway guy from the Skandinavia & The World comics…
anyone else read SatW?? …No?…okay…(it’s hilarious)
Ok well I don’t know much about Norway, but its another country, like most other European countries, that I want to visit because…Yay travelling and learning about other peoples and cultures!!!
Lets learn a few things about Norway, shall we??
-The Norwegian equivalent to “bon appetit” is “Vel bekomme!”, “Yes” in Norwegian is “Ja”, “No” is “Nei”, and “Sorry” is “Unnskyld”, which is what I will be saying for horribly mispronouncing all those words.
-In the headlines for Norway (Aside from “Brexit”) is an article about a 345 mile subsea power cable that is going to connect Norway to the UK, so the UK can take advantage of Norway’s abundant hydro power! First off, I salute Norway for their renewable energy usage, that’s awesome. Secondly, I salute you for sharing it.
-Norway is apparently redesigning their currency, and it looks super awesome! They actually had an art contest to determine the new designs. They’re chic and modern and colorful and why does America’s money look so boring???
-This is kinda cool– The town of Rjukan, Norway is surrounded by mountains, which block out the sun for half the year, so they literally set up three huge mirrors that REFLECT THE SUNLIGHT AROUND THE MOUNTAINS so they can HAVE LIGHT in their town square during that half a year!!!! Is that not the most brilliant and coolest thing??? The mirrors are computer operated and shift every ten seconds to track the sun’s movement. Here, read about it >>HERE<<!!!!!
Ok so these Skolleboller! (No idea how to pronounce that.) “Skolleboller” means “School buns”, and are apparently pretty easy to find in Norway, whether it be at a cafe, 7/11, school cafeteria, grocery store or a gathering of friends. These things are pretty darn tasty, what with the cardamom mixed in the dough and the “crème pat” topping (pastry cream) and the coconut on top. Sounds like a winner to me! I think mine turned out more or less passable, even though I ran into a few hitches…
One reason I felt inclined to start this entire baking-through-europe project is to hopefully practice making yeast doughs more. I can bake cakes and cookies no problem, but breads..rolls..buns…I’ve had my share of trouble with. Mostly my problems were that it wouldn’t rise, and they would end up dense and chewy. My wish has only come true once so far in this adventure, but it was successful then!
The hitches I ran into were with the flour and the pastry cream. I had run out of all-purpose flour partially through measuring out my ingredients, so I filled the rest of the flour requirement with whole wheat flour. I don’t really ever use whole wheat flour much, mostly because in my experience it dries things out a bit more, and it handles differently than all purpose flour. My dough was pretty tough before I even mixed all the flour in, so I didn’t even add it all, and instead added a little extra milk. At that point it was still somewhat dry to me…but I put it to proof anyway and hoped for the best. Luckily it did rise up! I feel that it still wasn’t as light and fluffy as it would have been with only all purpose flour, but oh well! I’m assuming it was because the whole wheat flour and something to do with the higher protein levels and more gluten forming because its whole wheat flour and…yeah. #SCIENCE!!!
My other hitch was with the pastry cream…I’ve made pastry cream before on multiple occasions, and I’ve never had much problem with it…until today!! I was to the point of simmering all the ingredients together and it wasn’t looking smooth…it was a bit curdled and chunky. I figured it was maybe because I didn’t temper the egg yolks enough before adding them to the milk?? So I scrapped it and started over. But even with the adjustments I still had the same problem! Sooo….I’m not sure. Maybe I over cooked it?? I used it anyway, because I didn’t want to make it again. It still tasted good, just…not as smooth and custardy as it should. Luckly, when eaten with the dough and the coconut, you can’t really even tell! They were about 90% roommate approved, so…I’ll take it!
The yeast worked though, so if nothing else, I’m happy about that! …..It’s the little things! 🙂
The only adjustments to the recipe I made, besides the flour, was vanilla bean paste in the custard instead of vanilla extract, for better flavor because vanilla beans are the best. I also halved the recipe so I would only get 6 Skolleboller instead of 12-14, which is an amount my roommates and I could not consume on our own! And I used milk in the glaze instead of water, because like I noted in my Denmark post, sugar+water glaze is not my favorite.
Yet again, please check out the original posting of this recipe, as it gives some fun background on Skolleboller in Norway >HERE<
Norwegian Cardamom Buns with Coconut and Custard
*Recipe makes about 14- 6” buns or 24- 4” buns
(recipe can easily be halved)
For the buns:
2 cups (5 dl) milk (preferably whole, but 1% or 2% will work too), luke warm
2 oz. (50 grams) fresh yeast, or 2 Tablespoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup (100 grams) butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup (50 g) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cardamom
6 – 7 cups (650- 750 grams) All-Purpose flour
For the vanilla custard:
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup (50 g) sugar
1 3/4 cups (4 dl) whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla sugar
1 Tablespoons cornstarch
For the sugar glaze and topping:
1 cup (100 grams) powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
1 teaspoon water (I used milk instead…and more like a few teaspoons)
+ desiccated coconut (sweetened or unsweetened) for topping
- In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the luke warm milk. Add the melted (and cooled) butter, the sugar, cardamom, and 5 cups (550 grams) of the flour. Blend well.
- Slowly add more flour until a smooth, slightly sticky dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured work surface and knead for a minute or two until a soft dough is formed. If needed, add another tablespoon or two of flour to prevent sticking.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic, and allow to rise to double its’ size, about 1 hour.
This would be a good time to make your vanilla custard (ingredients above and instructions at the bottom):
- Punch the dough down, divide into small balls (12-14 will make the traditional, large skoleboller, while 22-24 will make nice, little kid portions).
- Form each ball into an evenly round, flat bun. Place on a parchment-lined baking tray with at least an inch between each one. Cover with a clean dishcloth and allow to make a second rise for about 20 minutes. In the mean time, preheat oven to 400F (200C).
- After the 20 minute rising period is up, use the back of a spoon to create a good-sized indentation in the center of each bun (about the size of a soup spoon).
- Place a generous spoonful of the egg custard in the center of each indentation. Bake on the bottom rack for 10-12 minutes. Take your skoleboller out when they begin to slightly brown on the tops and the egg custard is just starting to set.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack (The vanilla custard will set a bit once cooled down). Once your buns are cooled, you can drizzle on your confectioner’s sugar glaze – simply whisk the powdered sugar and water together. The glaze should be white, not translucent, and should be able to drizzle but not run, add more sugar or water, accordingly).
- Once glazed, dip your buns into a bowl or plate full of the desiccated coconut and swirl around a bit until all of the glaze is sufficiently covered with the coconut- careful not to destroy your custard centers.
- Serve with coffee and milk at home, at school, at the office, at social hour, at a birthday party, on a picnic, on a hike, or anywhere else that seems fit.
To make the vanilla custard:
- Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together very well.
- Bring the whole milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Slowly pour the egg yolk mixture into the milk, whisking briskly. Add the vanilla.
- While your egg and milk mixture is still simmering, add the cornstarch, little-by-little, whisking briskly. Allow the cornstarch to fully dissolve and the custard to thicken while stirring the entire time. It will take about 3- 5 minutes for the custard to thicken enough.
- Allow to cool on a ice water bath.