Sunday, 19 February 2012

Fastelaven Boller - Shrove Tide Buns

I love Norwegian baking traditions and this is one I've wanted to try myself for a long time. On the evening before lent in Norway you make fastelaven boller, or shrove tide buns as they're easily translated as. They don't have pancake day there (crazy - I know!) but they do indulge in these buns. Now boller, or buns in English is a bit of a national treasure and they come in all different ways, I have the best recipe for classic boller from my nan so I will try to get that up soon.  They also fill vases with birch twigs decorated with feathers which looks really nice and extremely Norwegian. I also received a great cake stand from my brother and his fiance which looks like a cute vintage birdcage (from John Lewis) and I absolutely love it so thought this would be a great reason to try it out straight away!

The tradition is to have these sweet yeast buns with whipped cream and a dusting of icing sugar on top (I forgot to put the icing sugar on for the pictures so use your imagine), to make them a bit more indulgent I spread one some Nutella. While this was amazing I don't get to eat these boller a lot so I made my second helping with just cream so I could really enjoy it.

I wanted to make them last year but completely forgot until the evening so didn't have time with all of the proofing.  I only found out this morning that it was today so straight away made plans to get some fresh yeast. A lot of people don't know this but you can buy fresh yeast at most supermarkets in their own bakery counter, you do have to ask for it as it's where they make their own bread etc. You can get it on the shelves in Norwegian food shops but you do have to hunt for it a bit here but I so prefer it to the dried stuff as I've never got on with it. I would say though...don't freeze it...vom isn't even a strong enough word for the sludge you'll be met with when it defrosts!

I always worry about baking yeast buns as I'm scared they'll taste yeasty and I hate that, I'm also terrified of over baking things but I remembered what Paul Hollywood said to me (shameless name drop), to not be afraid of letting my bakes go really golden. And it worked, they came out beautifully golden and as light as air!


25g fresh yeast
40g butter
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
250ml whole milk
360g plain flour
250ml double cream
another 1 egg, beaten
icing sugar for dusting

  • Crumble the yeast in 1/3 of the milk and set aside.
  • In a saucepan gently melt the butter and add the rest of the milk, heating it until lukewarm and transfer to a mixing bowl. If it's too warm then just let it cool slightly to slightly warm and then add the yeast/milk mix.

  • Now add the first beaten egg, sugar, salt and half of the flour all together, add the rest of the flour and bring together until it forms a ball, you might need to add a little more flour I find these recipes sometimes need a little less/more each time!
  • Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave somewhere warm to proof for an hour.

  • Make 9 small balls on a lined baking tray and leave to proof for another 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 225C(200 fan), brush the buns with the second beaten egg and place in the oven for about ten minutes. They'll rise really quick and go a stunning golden colour. They'll also be really firm when fresh from the oven but will soften up after a few minutes. Leave to cool.

  • While they're cooling whip the cream.
  • Cut the buns in half and spread Nutella on one half and a huge dollop of the whipped cream on the other and sandwhich together. 

  • Dust with icing sugar (unless you forget like me)
  • Eat and indulge...Nom!!

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  1. It's great to hear about other traditions. The buns look delicious and the cake stand is so pretty.

  2. How fascinating (and tasty!) - these look like a variant on the traditional COrnish of my all time faves!

  3. These look amazing and I love your cake stand!! Thanks for the tip about fresh yeast - I never knew you could buy it over the counter. When did you get to talk to Paul Hollywood about breads?

    1. You do have to go to here they slice your bread for you though, and when I auditioned for new for the GBBO got to the stage before a screen test :) x

  4. I'm liking the sound of the nutella on these buns! I did not know about the fresh yeast from supermarkets - top tip thank you :)

  5. You can use the same recipe just with a less sugar for everday boller, these are usually eaten plain or with butter. Another great topping is vanilla cream and jam.


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