24 Feb '17

Semla love

#Scandilove is cream and blueberry jam in a light bun, with just a hint of cardamom.

At this time of year Scandinavians love to eat Semla, the bun that is traditionally associated with the Lent festival. But such is their popularity that we introduced our semlor buns early.

They evoke happy memories of an afternoon spent cross country skiing, followed by Semla and hot chocolate.

In Finland, it is not unusual to find Semla filled with jam instead of the usual almond paste and Nordic Bakery’s version is filled with blueberry jam and cream and topped with a light dusting of icing sugar.

semla nordic bakery

Here’s our Semla recipe for you to try this weekend – a great alternative to pancakes for Shrove Tuesday.


250 ml milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
85 g caster sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cardamom seeds, crushed with a pestle and mortar
7 g easy-blended dried yeast
500 g strong white bread flour
75 g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 egg, lightly beaten

Whipped cream
80% Nordic Bakery blueberry jam
25g icing sugar

1-2 baking trays, lined with non-stick baking paper

Makes 20

Heat the milk in a large saucepan until lukewarm. Whisk the egg with a little of
the warm milk, then pour into the pan and whisk. Add the sugar, salt and
cardamom to the pan and mix well.

Mix the yeast and flour together. Add a little of the flour mixture to the
saucepan and whisk well to introduce lots of air into the dough. Continue to add
the flour mixture, first by whisking and then, when the mixture gets too stiff,
with a wooden spoon. Finally, add the butter and knead it into the dough with
your hands until thoroughly incorporated.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, or
until the dough is elastic and no longer sticky. Add a little more flour, if
necessary. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave
to prove in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

After 1 hour, punch down the dough and knead it on the floured surface again for
a few minutes. Divide into four, then divide each piece into five again, so that
you end up with 20 pieces. Roll each into a ball between your hands and arrange
on the prepared baking trays. Cover with tea towels again and leave to prove in
a warm place for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 220 Cº.

Brush with lightly beaten egg. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, or
until golden.

Let it cool down.
For a single bun:

Cut a lid from the buns, about 1/3 from the top.
Spoon blueberry jam onto the bottom a tablespoon of jam and add whipped cream.
Then just place the lid on top and lightly dust with icing sugar.