We had a lazy Sunday! We were meant to clean the construction dust from Hilde’s little brother, Ola’s, house. When we arrived, it wasn’t ready for our bucket and mops, so we happily retired to making bread, watching Midsomer Murders, taking naps, and drinking buckets of tea.
I made two loaves of a very plain spelt bread. It’s just white spelt flour, yeast, salt, and water. It was really tasty with the local “brunost,” or brown cheese which I’m so thoroughly found of. It is made from goat whey, the leftover liquid from making cheese, which is then enriched with goat cream and boiled down. Brunost, gjetost, or mysost as it is also called, is technically not a cheese, but a caramel. The sugars and proteins in the creamy whey caramelize into a thick brown paste, which is poured into moulds, and cools to a solid. It’s nutty, sweet, creamy, rich, looks like earwax, and I highly recommend picking up a hunk at the supermarket!
The lighter, traditional brunost, is my favorite. They also make a dark special variety. It’s much much sweeter, and slightly less creamy. Although traditionally made from goat’s whey and cream, they have cow’s milk varieties nowadays which have a much milder flavor. It’s a wonderful Norwegian product.
Hilde made the dough for the sweet breads. It was a highly enriched spelt dough, with butter, eggs, milk, and sugar added. She added some ground cardamom, which is very often added to breads in this part of the world. I’m a HUGE fan of the little green pods (don’t buy the bleached ones please!), and I thought it added a lovely perfume to the final product. Hilde had wanted to make these breads because she had got her hands on some pre-made fillings that she wanted to try. One was apple, which we concluded would be better homemade, and one was the cinnamon, which was pretty okay.
I helped with the shaping and the glazing of the two little yummies, and they turned out lovely, if I do say so myself! Wreath shaped sweet breads, like the one we made, are called kringle in Norway. They are sometimes more like pretzels, but all of the ones that I’ve been seeing look a whole lot like what we made. Now all we have to do is start a tradition where people put a nail in their front door, and neighbors have to hang a kringle on it regularly. Delicious bread delivered, quite literally, to my door? That’s my kind of should-be tradition!
The braided apple bread is not a Norwegian shape. It’s often referred to as a Danish braid. I might just have to go to Denmark one of these days to find out! For now, I’ll have to take the word of the internet. The shapes are both much easier than they look. I’d be happy to post a video on different bread shapes if people express interest. I’m always looking for ideas and requests. Don’t be shy about posting comments.
We enjoyed tea and watched the gorgeous sunset as we waited for our little yeasties to eat, fart, and make our bread rise!