Fettisdagen and Semlor

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Happy Fettisdagen! Aka, Laskiainen, Fastelavn, Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday, Mardi Gras, etc., and the main reason to eat Semlor.

Semlor (singular, “semla”) are sweet buns, sometimes flavoured with cardamom, filled with marzipan (almond paste) and whipped cream. They are delicious and are traditionally eaten on this day before the fasting days of Lent, in Scandinavia. Wiki has an entry on Semlor here.

If you haven’t made some already, we’re including three recipes here: one in Swedish, one in English, and a gluten-free recipe for those of us who must avoid wheat but would love to have a nice yummy semla with our fika today (or any day!).

When you’re done, sit back with an aromatic cup of coffee or a soothing cup of tea. Soak your freshly baked semla in a bowl of warm milk and dig into its rich deliciousness, enjoying its warming goodness from the inside out!

Leila’s Semlor:

18 semlor
1 sats vetedeg

1 msk kardemummakärnor
3dl mjölk
50 färsk jäst
1 1/2 dl strösocker
1/2 tsk salt
150 g mjukt smör
1 ekologiskt ägg
11-12 dl vetemjöl special

Fyllning

400 g mandelmassa
1 skvätt mjölk
8dl vispgrädde
Ägg till pensling
Florsocker

Hemgjord mandelmassa, 1/2 kg

250 g sötmandel
2 1/2 dl strösocker

1 sats vetedeg

Stör kardemummakärnorna fint i en mortel och värm med mjölken tills den är fingerljummen, 37 grader.
Smula ner jästen i en bunke och lös den med mjölken, strösocker, salt, smör och ägg.
Tillsätt lite vetemjöl i taget och arbeta samman till en smidig deg.
Jäs degen i en bunke under bakduk till dubbel storlek i 45-60 minuter.
Stjälp upp degen på ett mjölat bord och baka ut till önskade bullar.

Hemgjord mandelmassa

Skålla och skala mandeln.
Mixa mandlarna till ett fint pulver i hushållsmixer.
Tillsätt strösocker och mixa i 5–7 minuter tills det blir en slät och varm massa.

Semlor

Dela degen i 18 bitar och forma dem till runda bullar.
Lägg bullarna på plåtar med bakplåtspapper med skarven nedår.
Sätt ugnen på 200 grader.
Jäs under bakduk i 45-60 minuter.
Pensla bullarna med uppvispat ägg och grädda dem i mitten av ugnen i 6-7 minuter. Låt svalna.
Skär av topparna på bullarna och gröp ur innanmätet.
Rör innanmätet krämigt med riven mandelmassa och en skvätt mjölk.
Fyll semlorna med mandelmassa, spritsa över grädde och lägg på locket. Pudra med florsocker.

Du kan köpa det fantastiskt fina brödgallret på Leilas General Store.

(source: http://www.leila.se/leilas-semlor/recept/bakverk/index1,23.htm?id=2853)

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Lenten Buns

Semlor

10-12 buns

Buns:
2 ¾ Cup Butter 75g
1 ¼ Cup milk 3 dl
1 ¾ oz fresh yeast 50g
½ tsp salt ½ tsp
½ Cup sugar 1 dl
1 egg
1½ tsp baking powder 1½ tsp
about 3 ¾ Cups all-purpose flour about 9 dl
1 egg for brushing
Filling:
4 oz or ¾ Cup almonds 100 g
crumbs from inside rolls
½ Cup sugar 1 dl
about ½ Cup milk or cream 1 dl
Garnish
¾ Cup whipping cream 2 dl
1 TBSP confectioner’s sugar 1 TBSP

Directions:

Melt butter, add milk and heat to 98°F (37°C). Crumble yeast into some of milk mixture and stir until dissolved. Add remaining liquid, salt, sugar and egg. Combine baking powder with some of the flour. Kneed in enough flour to make a smooth and elastic dough that cleans bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, 20-30 minutes

Turn dough onto floured board and knead in remaining flour. Form into 10-12 smooth, round rolls. Place on greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm place about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 475°F (250°C). Lightly beat egg and brush on rolls. Bake 5-10 minutes. Transfer to a rack. Cool covered.

Blanch, peel and grind almonds. Cut top off each roll. Remove most of centre, but do not go through crust. Combine centre crumbs with almonds, sugar and milk or cream. Filling should be quite loose. Divide filling among rolls.

Whip cream and divide among rolls. Return tops and sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar.

Filled buns should be eaten the day they are made. Plain buns can be frozen 3-6 months.

It is possible to use purchased almond past in the filling. Count on 3 ½ -5 oz (100 – 150 g) almond paste for one batch of buns. Grate almond paste and combine with crumbs and milk or cream.

These buns are meant to be eaten during Lent, but now everyone in Sweden enjoys these delicious treats from January through Easter.

(Source: Served from the Swedish Kitchen: Fifty Classic Recipes from Sweden. ICA Bokförlag)

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Gluten-Free Semla

Makes 24 buns

Ingredients

Butter……………………………………….. 6 Tbsp
Milk………………………………………….. 1 ½ cups
Dry yeast…………………………………… 2 tsp
Psyllium husks* (see below)……….. 2 tsp
Sugar………………………………………… 1/2 cup, plus 1 tsp for the yeast liquid
Honey………………………………………. ¼ cup
Kosher salt………………………………… 1 tsp
Guar gum………………………………….. 2 tsp
Gelatin, unflavored……………………. 1 tsp
Large eggs, whisked…………………… 2
Ground cardamom……………………. 3 tsp
Corn starch………………………………. 1 ½ cups
White rice flour,plus 1/3 cup for rolling the dough… 1 cup
Tapioca starch…………………………… 1 cup
Egg Wash:
Large egg, whisked…………………….. 1
Water……………………………………….. 1 Tbsp
Filling:
Gluten free almond paste……………. 7 oz
Milk (enough to blend with almond paste)……………………………. 1 -2 Tbsp
Whipped Cream:
Whipping cream………………………… 1 ¼ cups
Confectioner’s sugar…………………… 1 Tbsp

Directions:

Melt butter in a medium sauce pan. Add the milk to the melted butter and heat until about 110-115 degrees F. Pour the heated liquid into a medium-sized bowl.

Add the yeast, psyllium husks, 1 tsp sugar and whisk together until yeast has dissolved. Let sit for 10 minutes to proof and activate the yeast. The liquid should expand.

Pour the yeast liquid into a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the sugar, honey, salt, guar gum, gelatin, the whisked eggs, cardamom, and gluten-free flours to the mixer. Beat on medium speed for 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl occasionally. The dough will be sticky, do not worry, this is normal.

Remove the mixing bowl. Drape a clean kitchen towel, or plastic wrap, over the bowl. Place the mixing bowl in a warm part of the kitchen, and let the dough rise for 75 minutes.

Shape the dough into 3″ balls by scooping the dough out with a large spoon. Using wet hands, gently press into shape. You might need to wet your hands in between each roll, to prevent the dough from sticking and to create a smooth surface. But take care not to make the dough soggy.

Place the rolls onto parchment-lined cookie sheets. Allow the rolls to rise, loosely covered with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel, for 40 minutes.

During the last 20 minutes of the rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Remove covers from the baking sheets. Using a pastry brush, brush each roll with the egg wash.

Bake near center of the oven for about 15-18 minutes, or until golden.

Transfer the rolls to a wire rack, cover with the kitchen towels, and let cool to room temperature. The buns are also delicious on their own, sliced and spread with some butter.

Once cool, cut a slice off the top of the bun. Scoop out the center of the bun.

Blend the almond paste with the milk until smooth. Add additional milk if needed until the filling is nearly as soft as pudding.

Whip cream with the confectioners’ sugar to soft peaks. Fill each bun with a spoonful of the almond mixture. Pipe whipped cream on top of the filling to about 1/2 inch over the top of the bun. Replace the top onto the bun, and dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

*Psyllium husks are the same as Metamusil, which is gluten-free. Get the unflavored variety. This adds fiber, texture and elasticity to the dough.

(Source:

http://cookinggfwithanna.blogspot.ca/2012/02/heavenly-cream-filled-bun.html

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