Monday, November 30, 2015


Semlor, also called fastlagsbulle, laskiaispulla or fastelavnsbolle, are traditional sweet buns made in various forms in Denmark, Iceland, Finland, and Norway, among other countries. These lovely cardamom-scented buns are traditionally served in Sweden before the beginning of Lent, although you can make them year-round.
They are filled with a rich cardamom custard and fluffy whipped cream, then dusted with icing sugar. One great thing about them is that they are not overly sweet, and the dough is lovely and pillowy soft, especially on the day they are made. You can serve them how ever you like, although I recommend a glass of cold milk, they go best with it.

Semlor recipe

For the dough
250 grams plain flour
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoons dry yeast
4 tablespoons brown sugar
120 ml whole milk
1 small egg
¼ teaspoon salt
50 grams butter
For the glaze
2 tablespoons milk
For the filling
250 ml whole milk
100 grams sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
100 grams butter, diced
100 ml double cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

To make the dough, sift the flour twice with the cardamom, add the yeast and sugar, then whisk it well. Make a well in the centre, pour in the warm milk and the beaten egg, add the salt, and start mixing it with a wooden spoon until a soft dough forms. Transfer the dough to a floured surface, then gently knead it for about 10 minutes, gradually adding the diced butter as you knead. If the dough starts getting too sticky, add another tablespoon of flour. Once everything is well blended, transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover it with a kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm spot for about an hour to an hour and a half.
To make the filling, whisk the cornstarch with the sugar and cardamom, then pour in the milk and blend thoroughly. Pour this mixture in a large saucepan with a heavy bottom, then place it over medium heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until it thickens, about 2-3 minutes. Remove it from the heat and add the diced butter, then whisk until it melts. Once the butter is melted, cover the surface of the custard with plastic wrap (to prevent a skin from forming), then let it cool until room temperature. Place the cooked cream in the fridge for about 15 minutes. While it's cooling further, whip the double cream with the vanilla until stiff peaks form, then gently fold it in the custard. Return the filling to the fridge and chill it for at least an hour.
When the dough is ready, gently knead it on a floured surface, then divide it into 8 equal pieces. You can use a scale to make sure they are all the same weight. Shape each piece into a ball, then arrange them on a large baking sheet lined with baking paper. Let them rise for another 30 minutes. Just before baking, generously brush them with milk. Bake them in a preheated oven, at 200˚C (400˚F), for about 15-20 minutes. Let them cool for about 10 minutes on the baking sheet, then let them cool for about 30 more minutes on the wire rack, so they don't melt the filling. Using a sharp knife, carefully slice about a centimetre (½-inch) of the dough from the top of the bun, then use a teaspoon to remove the dough from inside of the bun. Take the filling from the fridge, pour it in a piping bag with a large nozzle, and generously pipe in the filling. Place the cut part of the dough back on top. Repeat this with the other buns. Dust with icing sugar and serve. Yields 8 buns.