Skolebrød: Norwegian School Bread

Thanks to my sister I am now aware of this bread’s existence and of its ability to lure you into eating it when you’re not even the slightest bit hungry.  It’s evil.  Thanks a lot, Lisa…

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Lisa had this pastry at Epcot when she and her family were at Disney World on vacation recently.  She asked if I’d try it out and let her know if it was worth the time and effort.  As I began searching the internet for recipes I found that many people have developed an obsession with the bread as a result of visiting Disney.  But as far as I can tell it’s not a Disney invention, but really a Norwegian pastry, a bun filled with custard and iced then covered in coconut.  You can maybe understand now why it’s so evil.  I love all of those things and when you put them together it becomes irresistible.

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These are a labor of love.  And they will take you the better part of an afternoon (or morning) to complete.  BUT they are worth it, as long as you have someone (or many someones) to share them with or an event to make them for.  The recipe makes 20-24 buns and they are best eaten the day they’re made or the day after.  I didn’t try to freeze any, but am unsure how the custard would freeze and am fairly certain it wouldn’t be the same after it’s thawed.  So I suggest making these for a breakfast, brunch, baby or bridal shower where you’ll be serving quite a few people.  That way they’ll all be consumed at their peak of deliciousness and you’re guaranteed to make friends for life.

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This recipe for skolebrød came from a blog I’ve just discovered, Five and Spice.  It’s a lovely blog with delicious sounding and amazing looking food.  I’m so glad to have found it!  I didn’t change a thing from the original recipe and wouldn’t in the future.  The bread is amazing on its own.  I’d consider making it into rolls or a braided bread and serving with butter and lingonberry jam some time.  The custard is pretty simple and has good flavor and consistency.  Make sure to use good vanilla.  The coconut on top provides a terrific crunch.  I used unsweetened coconut chips, but ended up running out and using sweetened flaked coconut for the last few.  It was not only more difficult to put on the buns, but wasn’t as good.  Stick with the unsweetened stuff.

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Consider making these.  You will feel like you’ve accomplished something great when you’re done…because you have!  It’s a lot of work, but again, well worth it.

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Skolebrød

From Five and Spice

Ingredients

Buns

  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 3 cups whole milk, warm
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
  • 2 teaspoons cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6-7 cups flour

Custard

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • unsweetened shredded coconut or coconut chips

Directions

Buns

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together milk, butter and sugar then check the temperature, it should be between 100 and 110°F.  Sprinkle the yeast on top, stir once, then let sit for about 10 minutes, until mixture is foamy.
  2. Stir in the cardamom and salt.
  3. Add in flour, 1 cup at a time, until you’ve mixed in 6 cups.  At this point you will probably need to add in 1/2 cup flour.  The dough should be fairly loose and sticky, not dense like a bread dough.  If it still seems too loose, add in 1/4 cup, mix again.  Add the additional 1/4 cup if you have to.
  4. Transfer the dough into a large greased bowl, cover with a clean dish towel and let rise for at least 1 hour, until doubled in size.

Custard

  1. In a small bowl whisk egg, egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch.
  2. In a saucepan heat cream and milk over medium heat just until it begins to simmer.  Temper the eggs by adding 1/4 cup of the warm milk to the eggs, whisking while you add it, then another 1/4 cup.
  3. Now, with the heat on medium-low, whisk the egg mixture back into the milk and cook, whisking constantly to keep it from getting lumpy, until the mixture thickens to a pudding-like consistency.
  4. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla, transfer to a bowl and let cool.

Form the buns

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line 3 (maybe 4…) cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Flour a clean surface and turn dough out.  It will be sticky!  have extra flour on hand!  Divide the dough into 20-24 pieces, as equal as you can get them.
  4. Roll each piece into a ball and place them on the cookie sheets, 5-6 per cookie sheet with enough space between for them to rise when baked.
  5. Cover with clean dish towels and let rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Form a crater in the center of each bun and fill with custard using a spoon or a pastry bag.
  7. Bake each batch for about 15 minutes, until the edges of the buns have browned a bit.
  8. Let cool completely on wire racks.

Top the buns

  1. Whisk together the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.  You want a consistency that isn’t too thin, but not too thick.  You don’t want it to drip off the sides of the buns.
  2. With an offset spatula or spoon, spread some glaze onto  the top of the bun, around the custard.
  3. Press some coconut onto the bun, gently shaking off any excess.
  4. Repeat with the remaining buns.

 

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