My Favorite Norwegian Goodie, Skolebrød

My Favorite Norwegian Goodie, Skolebrød

One of the first things I want when I get to Norway, is a delectable treat called skolebrød.  It literally translates to school bread.  It's a sweet, baked roll with custard, icing, and coconut. Yum! If you're not a coconut fan, as some people are (although I really don't understand this), you can just simply leave it off.  I had never actually made these myself.  I always relied on the local baker to have a warm one ready for me. My dad's girlfriend however showed me how to do it myself.  This way I wouldn't have to wait for my annual trip across the Atlantic to get one.

What you'll need:

Roll ingredients

  • 5 tbsp. butter
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp. cardamom
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 packet dry yeast (about 1 tbsp)
  • 4-5 cups all purpose flour

Vanilla custard filling

  • 2 eggs
  •  1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. white sugar
  • 2 cups milk

Icing/Topping

  • 6 Tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • Shredded coconut (unsweetened)

The first step in this glorious recipe is to get the dough going.  Start by melting the butter.  Once it turns into a golden liquid, turn off the heat and add the milk.  Mix it about slowly until it's combined.  Transfer to a large bowl (much like the one above) and add the remaining dry ingredients for the roll, using a wooden spoon. When adding the flour, add it in batches.  You may not need all of it.  The dough should be more wet than dry (a bit sticky). Here comes one of the tricky parts....waiting.  You need to cover the bowl with a tea towel.  You can also use a plastic bag.  Leave it in a warm, dry place for at least one hour, but I highly recommend two (it will be worth it).  It should double in size.

In the meantime, make the custard filling. It's as simple as first whisking it all together in a small pot.  Once it's combined, turn on the heat and whisk continuously over medium heat until it thickens. Don't leave it alone, or it will stick to the bottom and burn.  Once it takes on the consistency of a custard, it's done.  Take it off the heat and set it aside.

Once the dough has risen, divide it into small balls (about the size of a child's palm...vague I know).  Lay these dough balls on either a greased sheet pan or one lined with baking paper.  Once they've been divided, press down into the middle with your fingers to create a delicate crater.  Here comes the tricky part again...waiting.  Cover these puffy clouds once again and leave them to rise so that they double in size.  This should take about an hour.

Once the dough has risen, it's ready to be filled with the sunny yellow custard.  The custard might need to be whisked for a few seconds, since it's been sitting.  Fill in the craters just enough so it's level with the rest of the dough, but not pouring over.

Place them in the oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit (220 Celsius) and bake for about 10 minutes.  I'd keep an eye on them though, so don't wander off too far.  You'll probably end up with a few batches.  Once they're done, place them on cooling racks.

Now, if you're anything like me, you're going to want to grab one, douse it with icing and coconut and place it in your mouth...this is totally acceptable.  I would recommend though, that you let them cool for a bit, not completely, then mix the icing together and dribble it on top.  Sprinkle the coconut on last, so is sticks to the icing.

Don't they look marvelous?  We decided to make some of the dough into cinnamon rolls (why not?). They are so delicious when eaten warm.  Yum! My mouth is watering. Skolebrød freezes beautifully.  Just wait for it to completely cool before placing them in freezer bags. My dad and I decided to pack one bag of these goodies for our trip to the hytte..What's a hytte you ask? Well I'll fill you in tomorrow ;)