HOW TO BAKE NORWEGIAN ‘FASTELAVNSBOLLER’

Happy Sunday – the perfect day for baking, right? And especially today since it is Fastelavnsøndag in Norway.

Fastelavn is a Carnival tradition in the Northern European nations of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and the Faroe Islands related to Roman Catholic tradition in the days before Lent. In Norway (and Denmark) this day is associated with the delicious fastelavnsbolle. Fastelavnsboller is quite similar to the Swedish semlor which you might have heard of, but in my opinion much better (although as a Norwegian I am a bit bias…) These delights consist of a sweet bun cut in half and filled with a lovely whipped cream. Add a touch of icing sugar or sprinkles on top depending on what you prefer, or add a berry jam of your choice inside.

For me, this day always brings lovely memories of the family gathering around the table and enjoying fastelavnsboller while having a hyggelig time together, so I hope this will inspire you to do the same this Sunday. (Although these buns can easily be enjoyed all year round with or without the whipped cream inside).

Tempted to try fastelavnsboller yourself? Then find my grandmother recipe below which I can with hand-on-heart say is great!

Fastelavnsboller

Ingredients:

For the buns:
2 1/2 dl milk
100 g butter
50 g fresh yeast
500 g flour
90 g sugar
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 egg

For the whipped cream:
300 ml whipping cream
1 tbsp sugar
0.5 tsp vanilla sugar or extract (optional)
or use a ready-spray if you do not have time…

For decoration:
1 egg
Icing sugar

Instructions:

  1. Measure up all ingredients so you have it all ready.
  2. Melt the butter, add in the milk and heat it up to about 37°C in a pan (which is body temperature so I usually test it by adding a drop on my wrist) before you stir the yeast into the mixture.
  3. Add all the dry ingredients into the bowl with your milk, butter and yeast mixture and stirr it all together.
  4. Lastly, add the egg.
  5. Knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes on medium speed (or by hand if you do not have a mixer).
  6. Let the dough rise for about 1 hour under a kitchen towel until it has doubled in size.
  7. Divide the dough up into about 20 evenly sized pieces, roll them into buns and spread them on two trays with baking paper on.
  8. Leave to rise for another 30 minutes under a kitchen towel.
  9. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  10. Once finished risen, brush each bun lightly with a beaten egg.
  11. Bake for 10–12 minutes until they are golden (make sure you check as this depends on your oven, for me it was 10 min).
  12. Take them out of the oven and let cool down.
  13. When they have cooled completely, cut the buns in half and spread the whipped cream on the bottom half before placing the other half on top. If you want, you can also add a berry jam of your choice inside under the cream.
  14. Finish the presentation off by lightly dusting icing sugar on top.

Best served and enjoyed immediately!

Tip: to make them easier to eat and not get cream everywhere when biting them, I recommend taking the lid off first and eat the two pieces separate.

Hope you like them, and if you try the recipe do let me know how it turns out :-)

// Photo credit: Ingrid Opstad

Ingrid Opstad

That Scandinavian feeling is a blog by Ingrid Opstad, a Norwegian journalist living in Italy. Ingrid wants her blog to represent the feeling of coziness and calm with a Nordic simplistic, minimalistic style. The blog is intended to share her knowledge and love for Scandinavia; touching upon everything from interiors, design, lifestyle, travel to hygge. A place where you can get inspired to find that Scandinavian feeling yourself, no matter where in the world you are.

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