Rustle up these delicious traditional Scandinavian buns, oozing with lightly whipped cream and marzipan – from Peter’s Yard and Signe Johansen’s new cookbook, Smörgåsbord
IMAGE: ALI ALLEN
Enriched yeast buns scented with cardamom are an essential part of the Scandinavian baking tradition. Semlor (as they’re known), filled with lightly whipped cream and marzipan, are always a crowd pleaser. Try to use an almond-rich marzipan – look for one with an almond content of 50 per cent or more for the best flavour.
Cardamom Buns with Cream and Marzipan
- 50 g (1¾oz) fresh yeast
- 125 g (4½oz) caster sugar
- 150 g (5½oz) butter
- 500 ml (18fl oz) whole milk
- 2 tsp coarsely ground cardamom seeds pods removed
- 425 g (15oz) strong white bread flour plus a little more for dusting
- 425 g (15oz) plain flour
- icing sugar for dusting
For the filling
- 250 g (9oz) marzipan
- 50 ml (2fl oz) whole milk
- 600 ml (20fl oz) double cream
- Crumble the yeast into a large bowl and add a spoonful of the sugar. Melt the butter in a small pan and pour in the milk. Heat to 37°C (98.6°F) or ‘blood temperature’ (when you stick your finger into the liquid, it should feel neither warm nor cold, simply wet).
- Pour a little of the buttery milk into the bowl with the yeast and stir to dissolve. Add the remaining liquid, sugar and cardamom seeds and whisk together.
- Slowly add in the flours, beating together to form a wet dough. Tip onto a generously floured work surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Leave to prove in a clean, lightly oiled bowl, covered with a tea towel, for 1 hour, until doubled in size.
- Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knock back slightly by kneading it briefly. Divide into 25 even-sized pieces and roll each one into a round bun. Place on baking sheets lined with baking parchment, leaving a couple of centimetres (about an inch) between each bun. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for 30–40 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 240°C/220°C fan (475°F), Gas Mark 9. Bake for 10 minutes until risen and golden brown. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
Recipe taken from Smörgåsbord: Deliciously Simple Modern Scandinavian Recipes by Peter’s Yard with Signe Johansen is published by Kyle Books, RRP £18.99.
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