Baking

Baking

By
Steffi Knowles-Dellner
Contains
13 recipes
Published by
Quadrille Publishing
ISBN
9781787130371
Photographer
Yuki Sugiura

My earliest baking memories are of my maternal grandmother, or mormor. Whenever she came to stay with us in the summer, she would get up at her usual 4a.m., turn the oven on and start making cinnamon buns. The smell would lead me to sneak down to the kitchen sometime around 6 or 7 to watch her sprinkling, folding, twisting and rolling before finally being allowed a first taste before everyone else was awake.

The Swedes love baked goods with a passion that is manifest in the countless konditori and cafés that line our streets. The windows bulge with cakes and confectionery with names like Tosca, Tiger, Radio, Hoover, Napoleon and Budapest. Slices of cream cakes, jewel-like marzipan, chocolate bites and, of course, piles of soft cinnamon buns, all to be consumed with copious amounts of coffee – Swedes are among the most voracious coffee consumers in the world.

For us, the act of sitting down to a cup of something warm and a little something sweet is a basic human right. It is such an important part of life that we have even given the act a name – fika. This is a not-to-bemessed-with institution, one that is preferable in the company of others (either colleagues, family or friends) but can be grabbed in haste on your own, too. It is often an excuse to slow down and get together, used either as a noun “let’s meet for a fika” or as a verb “we can fika after our walk”.

Fika can consist of a cinnamon bun or a couple of cookies, maybe a muffin or a slice of cake if you have something to celebrate. For kids, cordial is often on offer instead of coffee – fika covers all tastes and doesn’t exclude anyone. And while it could be assumed that with so much preoccupation with baked goods, Sweden is an unhealthy nation, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Super-indulgent cakes are not a daily occurrence and treats are set against a backdrop of healthy, balanced eating.

This section is full of recipes, some new and some old, inspired by some of these traditions and principles but also by our favourite ingredients – whole grains, spice, nuts, hearty seasonal fruits and even vegetables.

Featured Recipes in this Chapter

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