04/02/2008

Icelandic style choux buns - Vatnsdeigsbollur (edited to add a photo)

In Iceland, the last Monday before Lent is called Bolludagur, or Bun Day. On this day, we stuff ourselves with delicious, sweet buns, and many families eat meatballs or fish balls for dinner (bolla can mean both "bun" and “ball”). Two kinds of buns are made, one recipe uses yeast for rising, the other uses eggs. My mother always makes the egg kind, which are made with choux dough. As a result, I have never been able to acquire a taste for yeast buns.

Choux buns


125 g margarine or butter
250 ml water
125 g flour
4 eggs
400 ml heavy cream or whipping cream

Put the water and margarine together in a saucepan and heat until margarine is melted. Sift the flour into the mixture and stir until the dough is smooth and thick. Keep the saucepan on the hotplate while stirring. Remove from the hotplate and allow to cool a little. Break the eggs into a glass, one at a time, and stir to break the yolk. Pour into the dough and mix well. Drop on to an oven-plate with two tablespoons, keeping a good space between the blobs, as they expand quite a lot. Bake at 200°C, in the middle of the oven, for 20-30 minutes, or until the buns are a pale golden colour. Do not open the oven for the first 12-15 minutes, or the buns will fall. Allow to cool before slitting open and filling with whipped cream and jam, and top with cocoa glaze (icing sugar + cocoa powder + warm water) or melted chocolate.

Variations:
-Mash fruit or berries, such as strawberries, bananas, blueberries or peaches and stir into whipped cream and use as filling.
-Add small chocolate chips to the whipped cream before filling the buns. Leave out the glaze.
-Experiment with different flavours of icing, such as maple syrup, caramel, lemon or vanilla.
-Put a piece of creme-filled candy inside the bun for a burst of flavour.

Party treats: Make tiny buns (use teaspoons or a pastry tube instead of tablespoons) and fill with flavoured cream-cheese or tuna dip (mash tuna into mayonnaise and flavour with garlic and pepper). Make a small hole in the side of each bun and fill, using an icing tube. Serve as nibbles or appetizers.

7 comments:

addy said...

Thanks for posting this recipe. I just made them and they taste great. We're a little behind schedule but oh well...

Addy

p.s. It's not clear in the directions that the oven door should not be opened 15 minutes *after* baking -- not at the beginning of baking. Learned this the hard way ;-)

Anonymous said...

How many buns does this recipe make, approximately? They sound delicious.

Bibliophile said...

Anon, I couldn't say - it has been ages since I last baked these. At a guess, it could be between 20 and 30, depending on size, but don't take my word for it.

MikeInOhio said...

My daughter and I used your recipe as part of a school project on Iceland. We ended up with about 20-22 buns.

When we bake together, it is often an opportunity to use some math. Converting the metric measures to English added to the experience!

Bibliophile said...

It's great to know someone is using the recipes.

Anonymous said...

I have a question. What on earth do you so with the heavy cream.

Bibliophile said...

Anon, it's in the recipe, but easy to miss: You whip the cream and use it for filling the buns.