Norwegian people do bake breads and their love of bread baking is supported by the long history. When we go to a super market, there are many kinds of grains and flours for bread baking. Barley, oats rye and wheat are easily available. Darker and coarse wholegrain type of breads are more popular than white bread, rolls with crushed grain either inside or on top are very popular to make a sandwich too. There are some sweet varieties as well and we love to bake them at home. They are not so sophisticated or fancy type as you see in Paris or Tokyo, but this one, called Skolebrød, is one of more “fancy” type in Norway with custard cream and icing and coconuts flakes on top. Fresh homemade Skolebrød are so good and many Norwegians have fond memories of mom’s Skolebrød baked at home. Yes my little family agrees, it is their favorite.
There is a small cabin in the north of Oslo in the thick forest, it is open only in the winter time when people go for a walk with ski and will stop by at this cabin where ladies sell fresh handmade Skolebrød to the visiters. It is a very well known Skolebrød in winter time. Just imagine, it is cold outside and you stopped for a rest, a warm cup of coffee and a fresh sweet Skolebrød in a warm cabin… That is Norway and the Norwegian hospitality!
When I bake Skolebrød at home, I always use fresh yeast.
A pack like this, 50g fresh yeast, is available in any store here in Norway and it is cheap. (2 Norwegian kroner a pack, about 40 US cents) but do you get hold of fresh yeast in your town? If not, you can use dry yeast. The ratio is generally 3:1 (30g fresh yeast = 10g dry yeast), but if it does not work please adjust.
Ingredients for 6 large Norwegian Skolebrød rolls
* Sweet rolls *
25g fresh yeast or 8g dry yeast
1/4 tea spoon salt
1 egg for egg wash
* Custard cream *
Egg yolks 3
* Icing *
1. First we make bread dough. Put milk in a small sauce pan and warm it up slowly. Put butter in and melt it. Do not boil it but just warm it up so that butter melts in it. Take it off from the heat and cool it down to 37-38C.
2. Put 1 table spoon luke warm water in a bowl, add yeast and let proof for 3 minutes.
3. Mix sugar, salt and flour in a bowl. Add milk+butter and yeast. Mix well and knead for 6 minutes by a stand mixer or 10 minutes by hands. Let it rise in a warm place for 45 minutes to an hour depending on the temperature where the dough is. If the dough gets double in size, it is ready.
While we wait, make custard cream.
Warm up milk in a small pan to bring almost to a boil. In another small saucepan, mix egg yolks and sugar. Mix it very well. Add Cornstarch, mix very well. Put the pan over a medium-high heat and pour warm milk little by little while you are whisking constantly. The mixture will gradually thickens and getting more heavy to whisk but just continue. Put the heat down after you have poured all the milk. When it gets glossy and good custard thickness, take it off from the heat. Pour it into a flat plate and cover and cool.
4. Back to bread. When the dough has doubled in size, divide into 6 balls. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Flaten it and make it like a disk 9cm diameter. Let it rise again for 20 minutes.
5. Turn on the oven, 225C. Make an indent in the middle, brush with egg. Fill each hole with custard cream. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
6. Take them out of the oven and place them on a wired wrack to cool.
7. Make icing. Mix powdered sugar with a tiny bit of milk. The thickness should not be too thin as it will be too runny and wont stay as the base for the coconuts flakes. Using a small tea spoon, glaze the bread with the icing around the custard cream, sprinkle coconuts flakes with your fingers.
Serve with good coffee or a glass of cold milk, a cup of tea.
Choice is yours. Just enjoy this Norwegian sweet delight.