A traditional start to a Swedish day can be found in freshly baked rolls, scone-muffins with fruit curd or an autumnal grandola, as STEFFI KNOWLES-DELLNER explains…
The Swedes are pretty early risers, which is admirable given that, for much of the year, they will wake up, have breakfast and go to work in complete darkness. The only way to get through such dispiriting winter mornings is to wrap up (“there’s no such thing as bad weather – only bad clothing”, as my mormor (granny) always says); and to fuel up: a good breakfast is essential.
Autumn granola with hazelnuts, rye, spelt and dates
“Simple, healthy, filling. What more do you want? I make it most mornings before heading off to work.”
Makes one large jarful
75g spelt flakes
100g rye flakes
150g rolled oats
30g sunflower seeds
30g pumpkin seeds
100g blanched hazelnuts, chopped
½ tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp rice malt syrup (or honey or maple syrup)
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
75g pitted chopped dates
Greek yoghurt or skyr and berries of your choice, to serve
1 Set the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6 and line two baking sheets with parchment. Combine all the ingredients, except the dates and yoghurt, in a large bowl with a pinch of salt and stir well, dispersing everything evenly.
2 Divide the granola between the baking sheets and bake for 10 minutes. Toss the ingredients a bit and swap oven shelves.
3 Continue to toast for a further 5‑10 minutes, or until golden and crisping up slightly. Allow to cool completely before adding the dates and transferring to an airtight container. The granola will last for up to a month in a cool place.
4 Serve with yoghurt and berries, such as blueberries and blackberries.
Breakfast rolls with sour cherry and vanilla jam
“These can be made and eaten in the same morning – start at 7am and by 9am you’ll have crusty, fluffy rolls still warm from the oven.”
25g fresh yeast
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
70g wholemeal flour
700g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting and sprinkling
400g fresh or frozen sour cherries (or black cherries), stoned
Juice of ½ lemon
1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways
150g golden caster sugar
1 Crumble the yeast into the honey, add 1 tsp salt, then mix until the yeast dissolves. Add 600ml lukewarm water and mix thoroughly. Add the flours and mix into a sticky dough, but don’t knead. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and allow to rise for about an hour.
2 Meanwhile, make the jam. Put a saucer in the freezer. Combine the cherries, lemon juice and vanilla pod in a small saucepan with 1 tbsp sugar. Bring to a gentle simmer and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add another spoonful of sugar and repeat, continuing until it has all been added. Simmer for 20–30 minutes, or until jammy. Take the saucer from the freezer. Place 1 tsp of the jam on to it and leave for 1 minute or so to cool completely. Push a finger across the jam. If it wrinkles, the jam is ready Otherwise, cook it for a bit longer. Once done, pour into a sterilised jar.
3 Set the oven to 220C/425F/gas 7 and lightly grease 2 baking sheets. Flatten the dough on a floured work surface – sprinkle with plenty of flour to make it easier to handle. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Shape into about 8-10cm rounds. Transfer on to the prepared baking sheets, spacing out evenly.
4 Sprinkle over a little extra flour, then bake for 17–19 minutes, or until risen and golden. Allow to cool a little before getting stuck in, slathering with jam.
Wholemeal scone-muffins with grapefruit and pink pepper curd
“These scone-muffins have a similar texture to a scone with a crustier outside but a softer centre, which makes them perfect for spreading with toppings.”
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g wholemeal flour
1 tbsp light muscovado sugar
1 tsp baking powder plus a pinch of salt
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g butter, melted and cooled slightly
For the curd
50g unsalted butter, softened
75g caster sugar
2 large eggs and 2 yolks, beaten
1 large pink grapefruit, zest and juice
½ tsp pink peppercorns, finely crushed
1 First, make the curd. Beat the butter until creamy, then add the sugar and mix until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs to the sugar and butter, beating constantly. Fold in the grapefruit juice, zest and peppercorns. The mixture may split, but don’t worry, it will come together in the pan.
2 Pour the curd into a medium, heavy-based saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly. As the mixture thickens, you can increase the heat a little until it coats the back of a spoon without dripping off (or reaches about 75C/167F, if you have a sugar thermometer). Pour into a sterilised jar and allow to cool completely.
3 Set the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Line two six-hole muffin tins. Whisk the buttermilk with the vanilla and cooled melted butter in a jug. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda with a pinch of salt. Make a well in the centre then add the buttermilk mixture. Mix into a sticky dough; do not overmix.
4 Divide between the muffin cases. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until risen and golden. Allow to cool slightly before turning out of the tin and serving with the curd.
STEFFI KNOWLES-DELLNER is a food stylist and the author of Lagom: The Swedish Art of Eating Harmoniously.
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This article has also been published in The Guardian.