Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Laskiaistiistai: Shrove Tuesday Buns

So instead of Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday! Ok, so it might not be as exciting as a parade with plenty of semi nude drunken people, but it's still a fun holiday nonetheless!

Reminiscent of most cultures' 'Fat Tuesday' preceding Lent, food on Laskiaistiistai was meant to be fatty, to symbolize the fattening of the pigs and a good harvest for the coming season. But since Reformation, Lent is not so strongly recognized or practiced in Finland. Instead, we make a point to go sledding with families or friends, eat pea soup, and eat Shrove buns.

I did go sledding with friend in Coffinpuisto off of Bulevardi, nearby a friendly yet trendy cafe, Fanny goes to Hollywood. We had a little picnic of 'pulla' (or buns), drank some warm beverages, and took turns sledding down the hill.

Shrove Tide Buns

  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 25 g dry active yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3-4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cardamom crushed coarsely (cinnamon is an acceptable, yet non traditional substitute)
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 1/2 cup soft butter
  • almond flakes or sanding sugar for garnish (optional)
  • Whipped cream
  • Jelly or sweetened almond paste (marzipan)
  1. Preheat the oven to 175C. Proof the yeast in warm water with sugar for 10 minutes until foamy.
  2. Add the butter, egg yolk, cardamom, salt and 2 cups of flour and mix well.
  3. Add more flour, gradually, until the dough is still soft and somewhat sticky, but comes off the bowl easily enough.
  4. Knead for several moments to firm the gluten in the dough and eliminate lumps.
  5. Let the dough rise for about an hour covered in a warm place, or overnight in the refrigerator.
  6. Punch down dough and form into approximately 12 small balls, and place evenly on a baking sheet. Brush with egg whites for the glaze, and sprinkle on any additional garnish. Let rise for about another half an hour.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown on top.
  8. When cooled, cut off top third of the bun and layer jelly (strawberry or raspberry work best) or marzipan, then whipped cream.
  9. Replace top third of the bun.
Hyvaa ruoka halua!

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