Enriched yeast buns (semlor) scented with cardamom are an essential part of Scandinavian baking. These are a crowd pleaser. An almond-rich marzipan – one with a 50 per cent almond content or more – gives the best flavour.
MAKES 25 BUNS
50g fresh yeast
125g caster sugar
500ml whole milk
2 tsp coarsely ground cardamom seeds (pods removed)
425g strong white bread flour, plus a little more for dusting
425g plain flour
icing sugar, for dusting
FOR THE FILLING
50ml whole milk
600ml double cream
1. Sprinkle the yeast into a large bowl and add a spoonful of sugar.
2. Melt the butter in a small pan and pour in the milk. Heat gently to 37C (until lukewarm).
3. Pour a little of the buttery milk into the bowl with the yeast and stir to dissolve. Add the remaining liquid, sugar and cardamom seeds then whisk together. Slowly add in the flours, beating together to form a wet dough. On a generously floured work surface, knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic then leave to prove in a clean, lightly oiled bowl, covered with a tea towel, for 1 hour.
4. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead it briefly then divide into 25 even-sized pieces and roll each into a round bun. Place on baking sheets lined with baking parchment, leaving 2cm-3cm between buns. Cover with a tea towel and leave for 30-40 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 240C/220C fan, gas 9. Bake for 10 minutes until risen and golden brown. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
6. To fill the buns, grate the marzipan coarsely into a bowl, add the milk and whisk well with electric beaters until you have a thick paste. Whip the cream – not too stiffly. Cut the top quarter off the buns to create lids. Scoop out a little of the inside of each bun then fill halfway with the marzipan. Pipe a generous dollop of cream on top then add the lids. Finally, dust the cardamom buns with icing sugar to serve.
Buy the book with 40 per cent off
All these tasty recipes are from Smörgåsbord: Deliciously Simple Modern Scandinavian Recipes by Peter’s Yard with Signe Johansen, published by Kyle Books, price £18.99 (octopusbooks.co.uk). You can order a copy for £11.39 until 12 July at whsmith.co.uk. Enter the code YOUSMORG at the checkout. Book number: 9780857837776. For terms and conditions, go to www.whsmith.co.uk/terms.