Friday, February 21, 2014

Semla, also known as Semlor, Lenten Buns, & Fastlagsbullar

Bun Recipe Adapted from Swedish Food
Almond Filling Recipe Adapted from Swedish Cakes & Cookies

75 grams butter, melted
300 ml warm milk (110°F)
10 grams instant dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
55 grams sugar
500 grams flour, plus more for dusting
1 egg
Almond Filling:
200 grams ground almonds
bun crumbs
1/3 cup hot milk
1/3 cup sugar
500ml whipping cream, whipped to stiff peaks
icing sugar, for dusting

1. In a bowl mix together melted butter, warm milk, and instant dry yeast. Set aside. In another bowl mix together the flour, salt, ground cardamon, and sugar. Make a well in the flour mixture.
2. Add the yeast milk mixture and egg to the well and mix to form a sticky dough. Knead dough for 5 minutes, adding as little flour as possible while kneading the dough. Dough should be sticky.
3. Place dough into a greased bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free, area for 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
4. Punch down dough and divide into 10 equal pieces, weighing about 95 grams each. Form pieces into a ball and place onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
5. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free, area for 30-40 minutes. Bake buns at 375°F for 12-15 minutes or until evenly browned on the top and hollow sounding when tapped on the bottom.
6. Let buns cool completely. Cut the tops off of each bun and set aside. Hollow out the center of each bun and place the crumbs into a food processor and grind them into smaller pieces.
7. For the almond filling mix together the ground bun crumbs, ground almonds, sugar, and hot milk. Mix until well combined. Divide the almond filling evenly between the buns.
8. Pipe or spoon some whipped cream over top of the almond filling. Place the top of the bun onto the whipped cream and dust with icing sugar. Serve & enjoy!

Makes 10 large Semla. These buns are delicious! The bun itself is light and has a strong aroma of cardamom while the almond filling and cream give a nice richness - making it very filling. While I was in Stockholm I noticed these in every bakery and cafe - they are a must try!

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