Along with a talk about Norwegian culture and traditions, I baked a “taste of Norway” for them to enjoy with a cuppa.
Wienerbrød (pronounced Wiener-brer) are one of my all time favourite Norwegian treats…after my mum’s waffles. My mum didn’t make them a lot but it was always a special day when we smelt the yeasty cardamom buns proving slowly on top of the billiards table.
I only recently discovered that Wienerbrød is the Scandinavian name for Danish pastry. Not to be confused with the sad ‘continental breakfast’ pastries you see around bakeries, cafes and hotels. These are the real McCoy.
And every region of Scandinavia seems to have their own variation, particularly with the filling. The Norwegian version I’m sharing with you here has cinnamon sugar rolled up in them. Danish versions are often filled with fruit or nut pastes. And in Sweden, they bake them with lump sugar on top (just like the ones you get at Ikea).
The actual dough is a snap to make if you have a food processor and stand mixer with a dough hook (for the eminently lazy cooks like myself) but I’m told there is something therapeutic about kneading dough.
What makes it Danish pastry is that you create layers of butter in the dough to give it a flaky quality but it is a yeast based dough. It’s actually not that difficult to do – if you can use a rolling pin and are a deft hand at buttering bread, then this is the perfect baking project for you.
The hardest part is waiting for them to prove – they like a cool spot that is draught free to languish for 2 -3 hours.
Quite simply, they are delicious and perfect with a cup of coffee (the national beverage of Norway).
The CWA ladies enjoyed them immensely. Thanks Mum. Hurrah!
- 360g plain flour
- 3 Tblsp butter, chilled
- 3 Tblsp sugar
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 2 tsp (14g) dry instant yeast
- 1 big egg
- 150ml milk
- 3 Tblsp soft butter or margarine
- 2 tsp Cinnamon sugar
- 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
- 2 Tblsp water
- Rub butter into the flour to form fine crumbs (or use a food processor).
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour-butter mixture with cardamom, yeast and sugar. Add the egg and milk and mix together til it forms a soft dough. Tip out onto a lightly floured bench and knead until smooth – this will take 5-10 minutes. Alternatively, use a stand mixer with a dough hook to knead to a smooth, elastic dough.
- Roll out the dough to form a rectangle about the size of a baking sheet (it should be approx 5mm thickness).
- Smear one tablespoon of butter across the dough like you’re buttering a slice of bread.
- Fold over the bottom and top of the dough to meet in the centre, then repeat with the sides of the dough to make a neat envelope.
- Roll out the dough again and smear second tablespoon of butter. Fold again as before.
- Roll out again and smear with last of the butter and sprinkle over cinnamon sugar.
- Roll up into a long roll and cut up into 16 even pieces.
- Place onto two baking trays lined with baking paper or into large shallow paper baking cups and allow to rest in cool, draught free spot for 2-3 hours. The buns will double in size.
- Bake in a pre-heated 200°C oven for 8-10 minutes or until tops are golden.
- Allow to cool and then glaze with simple glaze icing.
- Gradually add water to icing sugar to make a smooth, thin icing.