Monday, September 2, 2013

Semlor (Swedish pastry bun)

I found this lovely small pastry bun few days back surfing on a food porn site and bookmarked it to try. Today after little research and trying several recipe sites I am here with best of this authentic Swedish pastry. Semlor consists of a cardamom-spiced wheat bun which has its top cut off, and is then filled with a mix of milk and almond paste, topped with whipped cream. The cut-off top serves as a lid and is dusted with powdered sugar. Today it is often eaten on its own, with coffee or tea. Some people still eat it in a bowl of hot milk. In Finland, the bun is sometimes filled with raspberry jam instead of almond paste, and bakeries in Finland usually offer both versions. The semlor was originally eaten only on Shrove Tuesday, as the last festive food before Lent. However, with the arrival of the Protestant Reformation, the Swedes stopped observing a strict fasting for Lent. The semla in its bowl of warm milk became a traditional dessert every Tuesday between Shrove Tuesday and Easter. Today, semlor are available in shops and bakeries every day from shortly after Christmas until Easter.

Makes:                           12-15 buns (medium size)
Preparation time:             3 hours


All purpose flour:             2 1/2 - 3 cups
Active dry yeast:              7 grams
Butter:                             75 grams
Milk:                               1 cup
Salt:                                1/4 teaspoon
Sugar:                             3 tablespoon
Cardamom powder:        1 teaspoon
Egg:                                1 (for egg wash)
Almond:                          200 grams
Heavy cream                   2 cups
Powder sugar:                 4 tablespoon (some more for dusting)
Vanilla essence:               1/4 teaspoon


1) Melt the butter in a saucepan; add milk, sugar, salt, and cardamom powder. Keep the liquid warm and add to the active dry yeast. Stir well.
2) Mix 2 1/2 cups of flour with the liquid to make sticky dough, add more flour if required. Cover it with a kitchen towel and let it stand at a warm place for about an hour to rise.
3) Work the dough on a floured surface and make about 15 round buns. Arrange it on a baking sheet and cover it with a kitchen towel again to rise for about 45-50 minutes.
4) Preheat the oven at 200 degree celsius.
5) Brush the buns with a lightly beaten egg. Bake it on the middle rack for about 30-35 minutes until it is light brown in color. Let it cool.
6) Cut the top of the bun using a sharp knife and make a small hole in between. Mix the inside bit if the buns with almond paste and 2 spoons of milk to make a smooth paste.
7) Whip heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla essence together to soft peak.

8) Fill each bun with almond paste filling. Pipe or spoon the whipped cream over it and cover it with cut lid. 9) Dust the sugar over it and enjoy this Swedish delicacy with a glass or milk or some hot coffee.

BON APPETIT..       

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