If You’ve ever been to Sweden, You probably know what’s commonly on offer in the Swedish bakeries. Pick any bakery or cafe, and You are likely to find traditional gorgeous cream-filled, cardamom-scented pastries named Semlor (to be precise, Semla in singular form and Semlor in plural but let’s be honest, any decent pastry lover would have more than one bun so let’s call them Semlor). I promise that once You tried this yumminess, You’ll never forget it’s name! Boy oh boy, I’d love to have one right now!
Now you’re probably thinking ‘How does Semla look like? What should I look for in the bakery?’. Note: special features – cardamon scent, wheat bun with it’s top cut off, mix of almond paste inside the bun, whipped cream layer and a cut-off top that serves as a lid and is dusted with powdered sugar. Somehow I feel that with every word You’re getting more and more hungry, haha. That’s why I decided to share a recipe of Swedish Semlor for Fika (Fika is a Swedish concept that has no equivalent in English language and it basically means ‘to have coffee”, often including pastries or sandwiches).
This was my first time baking Semlor, and boy am I proud of myself. Buns turned out super soft and moist and for the first time I’ve experienced that amazing smell of baking cardamon in my home! It was a WOW! Also, be confident about this recipe because the author is a pastry chef. Oh, I should remind You that the recipe yields 32 buns, so You should either freeze half of the dough for the next time or invite friends and family to drop by.
Swedish Semlor for Fika
- 700 g milk
- 3 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 8 g salt
- 18 g cardamom
- 225 g sugar
- 1437 g bread flour
- 56 g yeast
- 8 oz 227g butter
- 16 oz 450g of marzipan (filling)
- 2 1800ml quarts of cream (filling)
- confectioner's sugar dusting
Mix all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
In a saucepan melt the butter and warm the milk. Whisk in the eggs and yolks. With a wooden spoon mix or a stand mixer, combine the dry and wet ingredients. Turn onto the counter and knead for five minutes or until the dough is supple and well formed. Place into a bowl, cover with a towel and allow to rise for thirty minutes. Punch down the rising dough and once again knead it (2 minutes), before returning it to the bowl and covering until doubled in size (about one hour).
Preheat oven to 180º C. Cut dough in half (save half for later if you wish) and portion dough into 90g pieces. Roll pieces into balls and place 3 inches (7-8cm) apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with towel and let them rise until almost doubled. Brush buns with egg or milk and bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
Allow buns to cool.
Cut the tops off and with a spoon scoop out a basin from the center of the buns.
With a mixer combine equal weights of marzipan and scooped bread. Add enough cream to make the filling slightly tacky but not wet. Distribute mixture amongst the cardamom buns.
Whip the remaining cream with a touch of vanilla and sugar and pipe on top of the marzipan filling. Replace with cut tops and dust with confectioner's sugar.
Adapted from stalvig