Cardamom buns

cardamom buns

almond and sultana buns

almond and sultana cardamom buns


One of my baking friends lent me this book recently.

I didn’t want to give it back.

It was the sort of book that I would quite like to sit on my book shelf and flick through for inspiration now and again. The sort of book I like to bring the pages up nice and close, scrutinise, trying to work out how the devil they made it.

It’s that sort of book, because one- it’s got gorgeous baked goodies in there and two…well I don’t speak a word of Norwegian so scrutinising the pictures is the best way to try and understand what on earth I have to do next.

I reluctantly gave the book back.

With scribbled down notes and mutterings of, more…I must try more, I then did a search for his famous bakery in Lom. The Hairy Bikers visited, and going on the surrounding scenery, the local peoples obvious enthusiasm for the baked goodies and the fact that I’m still having a quiet love affair with all things Scandinavian. Well clearly, I need to go there and eat cardamom buns, probably quite a few. I also possibly need to ask for a short apprenticeship and at the very least, need to keep watching this same segment over and over, so I can get them down pat.

Until then I’ll also keep playing with my own semi sourdough version of them. It’s a versatile dough, that doesn’t mind having things added to it (or eaten just as it is.)

bunss copy

Cardamom Buns

(adapted from Morten Schakenda)

250g sourdough starter

1 tsp dried yeast

600g flour

250mls milk

200mls water

100g sugar

100g softened butter

1 tsp cardamom

1 tsp salt

Add starter, yeast and water together. Whisk and leave for an hour or so. Mix remaining ingredients together and then knead until dough is elastic (I use my mixer)  on a lightly floured surface or until well incorporated and dough is smooth. Leave to prove for a couple of hours, with a couple of knock backs in between.  Shape into rolls and place on a lined tray, allow to prove for another hour or so.

Bake at 180-190 for 15-20 minutes.

blueberry and creme fraiche

blueberry and creme fraiche cardamom buns

This post submitted to yeast spotting

cherry plum and almond wreath

cherry plum and almond

A baking challenge?

You bet.

How could I not. It looked delicious. The taste possibilities were endless, and it looked like just the thing to tickle The Monkeys taste buds.

Make it with local seasonal fruit, even better.

peach and blueberry

For how to make one of these wreaths, pop over to Discovering Sourdough.

I’ve written down the changes I’ve made, but it will make more sense if you check out the original recipe first.

Cherry Plum and Almond Wreath

200mls milk

3 tbls sour cream

50g butter

50g sugar

Warm ingredients gently and then cool a little and add

210mls water

Set aside.

450g starter  (100%)

650g strong bakers flour

Mix together with liquid mixture and let autolyse for an hour.

2 tsp salt

Add the salt, mixing well with dough hooks.

200g strong bakers flour

Then out on to a well floured board and incorporate the extra 200g of flour. Slowly and over about 10 plus minutes.

Prove for 3 hours

Cherry Plum and Almond Mixture

6 blood plums cut up

large handful of fresh cherries, pips out

3/4 cup of sugar

Cooked up for a few minutes until soft, draining any excess juice off and stir through a large handful of blitzed almonds, (or almond meal if you already have it.)

Peach and Blueberry

Peach Punch Jam

fresh farmers market blueberries

This post submitted to yeastspotting.

almond fig and rosemary bread

This one was inspired by the lovely Joanna at Zeb Bakes, who recently made a Roast Hazelnut and Fig Bread. It all sounded a whole lot of lovely, so I wanted to play with the flavours. I didn’t have hazelnuts… or cicely… or whole figs. But hey, I’d give it a crack.

I’d pilfered some Maggie Beer Burnt Fig Jam from my mothers pantry awhile back, and had happily been slapping it on to my sourdough in the mornings. However this was all the figgy-ness I had in the kitchen so the last bit would have to go in, (I was thinking some figgy streaks through out the bread). I only wish I’d made this bread at the start of the jar, as now, I might have to get some more, (at a real shop, not just my mother’s pantry).

The rosemary addition held its own and seemed wonderfully paired up with the fig jam. It wasn’t overwhelming in flavour, but did smell great when I sliced in to it. The almonds, I could have done better. I should have pushed them into the dough before the overnight prove, as in the fridge the dough developed a slight skin and I wasn’t sure just pushing them into the dough just before baking would be enough to keep them in. I think the bread needed some proving time around the whole almonds. Hugging them tight. Once toasted though they added a lovely subtle crunch to the rest of the bread.

I wasn’t the only one inspired by this bread. Heidi from Steps on the Journey also did her version of the same loaf. So it seems like a good one to play with… and play again, yes… I think I will.

Almond Fig and Rosemary Bread

200g starter

375g strong bakers flour

1/2 tsp dark malt flour

200mls water (approx)

1 tbls fig jam

1 tsp finely chopped rosemary

1 tsp salt

whole almonds

Mixed starter, flour, dark malt flour and water. Rest period (40 mins). Added remaining ingredients, mix, (I put the jam in last as I didn’t want it to be thoroughly mixed through, more of those figgy streaks). Leave for an hour or so. Quick knead on a lightly floured surface, and shaped into a boule and popped on a tray- decorate with almonds, covered with a plastic bag and left for about another hour and into the fridge for 12 hours. Brought back to room temperature, slash, and then baked at 240C with steam.

* submitted to the wonderful yeastspotting