Skolebrod (Norwegian Custard Buns)
These buns looked like the perfect challenge for me to try and make. They're Norwegian and interesting! And, and......custard!
The finished product is a bread type dough; not overly sweet. It's subtle but so flavourful with the addition of the cardamom. Brushed with an egg wash, adorned with home made custard, and brushed with an icing water to which the coconut flakes adhere to....simply delicious!
1-2/3 cups (415ml) milk
60g unsalted butter
7g sachet dry instant yeast
1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar**
4 cups (600g) plain flour
1-1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup (50g) pure icing sugar, mixed with 2 tsp water
Desiccated coconut, to coat
1-1/4 cups (310ml) milk
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup (75g) caster sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp vanilla extract
**Caster Sugar - Caster sugar is more fine than granulated sugar, but not as fine as icing sugar - you're looking for something in between. Here's a video on how to prepare Caster sugar from granulated sugar; something we all have on hand:
1. In a medium saucepan, heat milk and butter over medium heat, stirring until the butter melts. Remove from the heat. In a separate bowl, combine the yeast and sugar together, and then whisk in the milk mixture. Set this aside for 10 minutes or until the yeast activates and it's frothy. In a separate bowl (I used the bowl of my mixer), combine flour and cardamom, then gradually add this frothy liquid. Use your hands to form a soft dough. Knead for 5 minutes or until smooth. Cover with a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size. (I transferred my dough to a lightly oiled glass bowl, covered with a tea towel to rise in a cold oven).
2. Punch down your dough. Transfer to a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 3 parts, and roll each piece into a log. Divide each log into 5 even pieces, and shape into rounds. Divide between two baking trays lined with parchment paper. Cover with clean tea towels. Set aside for 30 minutes or until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 390°F.
3. Meanwhile, for the creme patissiere, place milk in a pan over medium-high heat. In a separate bowl, whisk yolks, sugar, corn starch and vanilla together until smooth. As soon as milk bubbles on the stove, pour this in to your yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Transfer this mixture back to the pan and place over medium heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon for 1-2 minutes until thickened. Transfer to a bowl. Cover surface with plastic wrap and cool completely. I put mine in the fridge and stirred it now and again to move the warm interior out to the exterior trying to chill it better.
4. After your rounds have risen, make deep indentations in each bun. Using a piping bag (or carefully with a spoon and spatula) fill each bun with creme patissiere. Brush dough on sides and tops of buns with beaten egg. Bake, rotating trays halfway, for 20 minutes or until golden and risen. Cool slightly on wire racks.
5. Brush buns with icing glaze, then roll in coconut to serve.
NOTES: 1. I had to add a little more flour to the dough being worked on in my mixer. I followed the weights to the letter, and found my mixture much too watery. By adding a bit of flour at a time, I was able to generate a wonderfully tacky and sufficiently springy dough.
2. When brushing the egg wash on to the buns with indentations, I would do this step before dropping the custard down on to them.