hello from norway!
right now, i’m in the mountains of bergsdalen, just a hop from bergen.
the land here is covered in colorful mosses, berries, and sti- little trails made by the local wildlife. sheep roam the hillsides while rain and melted snow keep everything green. people drop by neighboring cabins after hikes to drink the home-brewed beer that fills every cellar.
i’ve had a great past few weeks filled with family, hiking, and of course, eating.
i’d forgotten how good the food is here. breakfast and lunch consist of nutty cheeses, goat or cow, and homemade jams over thick-sliced, whole-grain, homemade bread. dinner is typically meat or fresh fish with boiled potatoes, carrots, and lingonberry jam. a dessert of sugared waffles, vanilla ice cream, rhubarb pie, or cake, all topped with berries, is paired with black coffee and aquavit.
i’ve taken these past few weeks here as an opportunity to learn family recipes from my grandmother. school rolls- skoleboller -have been my dad’s favorite pastry since childhood, so i was compelled to make them before anything else.
Skoleboller- A Norwegian Sweetroll
makes 2 dozen
a family recipe translated from norwegian
- 4 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tbs yeast
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
- 1 cup melted butter
- 1 egg
- 1 3/4 cup milk
- 2 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup + 1 tbs milk
- 3/4 cup + 1 tbs heavy cream
- 2 tsp potato flour
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 vanilla bean stalk, seeded but reserved
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
shaved coconut to top
method of preparation:
whisk together dry ingredients, but yeast, and set aside.
prepare yeast by dissolving in 1/8 cup warm water.
whisk together all wet ingredients, including yeast. combine with dry ingredients.
knead dough until shiny, adding milk/flour as necessary. allow to rise for one hour.
to make the custard, whisk together all ingredients until thick. set aside.
to make the icing, whisk together all ingredients. the icing should be thick, so add milk/sugar as necessary. set aside.
divide raised dough into 12-24 even balls. many norwegian bakeries make hand-sized skoleboller, but homemade rolls are often smaller.
make an imprint, where the custard will be poured, in the center each ball. pressing your thumb down, while rotating the dough yields good results.
place rolls on a lined baking sheet.
allow to raise for 30-60 additional minutes.
preheat oven to 425°F.
proportionally scoop custard into the wells bake for 12 minutes.
once cooled, pour icing around custard well and sprinkle with coconut shavings.