Sunday, February 22, 2009


The last days before Lent are referred to as fastelavn in Scandinavia. Today is fastelavn Sunday, and tradition says we must bake sweet buns, and Nene and her dad have been very busy baking. Daddy makes perfect buns, whereas Nene in her own words makes crooked and weird buns, that are reserved for her grandparents. I have a feeling that she truly believes that her special style of buns is an artful choice, and if she wanted she could have made perfect rounds too!

Edited to add: I have been asked to share the recipe. I'll try!!, but I have never written a recipe in English in my life, so bear with me! It also lacks specifics on time, because, like I said above, this is a Nene & daddy activity (that I'm not allowed to participate in because of my general clumsiness in the kitchen), and when I asked him for specifics, like how long must the dough sit, and how long do they bake, he was very vague - he said "let them rise until they're the right size, and let them bake until they're done". Right. (Basically what this means is hamburger bun size, and bake until they look golden.)

Anyway, this is Nene & daddy's recipe for 32 big and heavy but airy buns:

1 liter milk
50 grams fresh yeast
2 kg flour , sifted
salt, cardamom
250 grams butter, melted and cooled

1 cup sugar

whipped (and sweetened with sugar) cream and jam

First mix the milk with the melted butter. Crumble the fresh yeast into a bowl and add the lukewarm milk&butter little by little, stirring it until the yeast has dissolved. Add the dry ingredients little but little, the dought is quite wet at this point so you need to work it with your hands and knead it until it's nice and smooth.

Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and put in a warm place to rise. Let the dough double in size. When doubled in size, you can start the rolling. Divide dough into 32 pieces and roll them into buns. You can do this by cupping your hand over the piece and roll it on your counter top.

Transfer to a baking sheet. Leave them to rise again.

Bake at 225˚C until they look nice and golden. Brush each bun with a little bit of milk when they're done.

Cut the buns in halves and serve with whipped cream and jam, like a cream and jam hamburger!

(whipped cream and jam is only for fastelavn - when we make these buns at other times of the year they are served with butter and jam, or cheese).

here's an Estonian recipe that is a bit more complicated, but otherwise the buns look very similar, and she explains the procedure better than I do! I thought it was fascinating to see how similar Norwegian and Estonian tradition is - she also writes a bit about Danish, Finnish and Swedish tradition - they're a bit different, but all are variations over the same theme. I'm curious about what she says about Finnish tradition though - is there a Finnish reader who can explain how you eat marzipan with the buns? Is it like a filling?


Anonymous said... var kjempegode! Heia Nene og pappa

HPNY Knits said...

they look wonderful! what is the recipe?

ArtMind said...

Oohh, I love her style of buns a lot!
I think I would pick them from the platter! :)

Kirsten said...

They look delicious!! I would love the recipe if you'd care to share. . .

HPNY Knits said...

thanks for sharing! I think I'll prefer the odd shaped ones, they taste better......!

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