Boller (Norwegian for “buns”) are in every bakery and coffee shop in Norway. They are eaten as a sweet snack or treat at all times of the year such as birthday parties, the last day of term, as a snack when skiing, in the forest or on the beach – or simply alongside a coffee. Usually plain or with raisins, these cardamom buns can also be jazzed-up with whipped cream, jam or even marzipan. They are ubiquitous in Norway and bring back lots of memories of summers spent with my Norwegian relatives.

I love the taste and smell of boller and can eat a lot more than I should, but I had an overwhelming sense of disappointment when having raisin free ones, so always include them when I try to make them. Boller should be really, really soft. Up until now, I haven't managed to achieve this but I’m very happy with this recipe because it delivers that traditional delicious soft texture. The recipe uses glycerine for extra dough softness that will last more than a day (when covered). It also uses osmotolerant yeast, which is especially developed for enriched dough. Using this yeast ensures that the dough rises to make the buns very light. The Manitoba flour is specifically for enriched dough that needs to rise well (both the yeast and the flour can be used in other recipes such as panettone). The result is really close to the buns of my childhood memories. Try them - hopefully you will enjoy them as much as I do!

Part of my job is to develop, test and photograph bread so when Patrick asked me to bake these I was quite nervous about the amount of cardamom in them, especially as cardamom is a strong flavour. Patrick’s buns, as you can see from the pictures rose like a dream. They were light, bouncy and tasted amazing, but ultimately my children decide if a recipe is a hit or a miss. They are brutally honest, and these buns were a huge hit in our house. It’s a straightforward recipe, and my only real advice is to trust the measurements and to follow the instructions about popping the buns into a bread bag while they are still warm to keep them soft, and hide a few. Take a look at the recipe on our blog or download the pdf.

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