Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Shrove Tuesday! -- Semla Buns

Back at home, my family celebrated the day-before-Lent as Shrove Tuesday. Also known as "Pancake Day," this provides a way for families to use up indulgent ingredients like cream, eggs, and butter. I hope to make some of these later this week (during Lent-- oops!). This recipe is from Favorite Swedish Recipes, edited by Selma Wifstrand.

Semlor-- Shrove Tuesday Buns

3 c flour
1/2 c lukewarm cream
1/2 c lukewarm water
1/2 c butter
1 yeast cake
4 T sugar
beaten egg

1/2 c blanched almonds, ground
2-3 blanched bitter almonds, ground
3/4 c powdered sugar
1 egg white
1 c cream, whipped

Make dough: dissolve yeast cakes in 1/2 c milk. Mix remaining milk, sugar, salt, butter, and cardamom seeds and small amount of flour, beat smooth. Add yeast and remaining flour, beating with wooden spoon until smooth and firm. Sprinkle dough with small amount of flour, cover with clean towel and let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours. Turn onto lightly floured baking board and knead until smooth.

Shape dough into 12 balls. Arrange side by side on well-buttered baking sheet, cover with towel, and allow to rise. Brush with beaten egg and bake at 425 F until brown. Cool on towel.

Mix ground almonds, sugar, egg white, and a little water; work until smooth. Cut tops off buns, spread with paste, and add a tablespoon of whipped cream. Replace tops. Dust with powdered sugar.

Serve as dessert in individual dishes with hot milk, sugar, and cinnamon.


TMP said...

how will you translate the 1 yeast cake? And what will you use in place of the few bitter almonds used to heighten the flavor?

Jolene said...

You can use a tablespoon or one packet of instant yeast. You can add a couple more almonds to the ones that you grind. Heighten the flavor with some almond extract or some cherry extract, which is really just bitter almond anyway.

Jolene said...

Another recipe for Semla buns has you crumbing the bread which you remove from the centers of the buns. These crumbs are mixed with the crumbly almond/sugar mixture you have made. The crumbly mixture is softened by the addition of some cream. When the mixture is a nice consistency, put it into the hollows of the buns and top with the sweetened whipped cream. If you do this, omit the egg white and water.