Recipe: Swedish bread rolls // Snittsidan Bullar

One of the big things that I miss when I’m not in Sweden is the sandwiches, smörgåsar, that you can get in almost all bakeries and cafes to have with your coffee before you start scoffing cakes. Made fresh every day from proper handmade bread, they knock the socks off what we think of as sandwiches in Britain. Swedes are probably most famous for their open sandwiches, but rolls or ‘bullar’ are widely available too in most cafes, and they are quite commonly seen on the table for breakfast.

This recipe is taken from Jane Mason’s awesome Book of Buns, which you should totally buy, if you don’t already I own it, as well as her other book All You Knead is Bread. Jane is the founder of Virtuous Bread, which is a network of amazingly talented home-bakers that teach bread courses, and taking one of their classes is actually how I first upped my confidence when first learning how to bake bread. I’m a firm believer that you can really never stop learning.

Snittsidan Bullar (as slightly tweaked from Jane Mason’s Book of Buns)

  • 125g wholemeal flour
  • 125g stoneground white flour
  • 70g coarse rye flour
  • 120g water
  • 1 teaspoon dried yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • Seeds (I used fennel, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds)
  • A little oil for brushing

Measure out and mix together all of the flours before making a well, pouring in the yeast and covering with a little of the water.

When the yeast has dissolved and looks like a grey sludge, pour over the rest of the water and mix with your hands until it forms a rough shaggy dough.

Turn it out onto the worktop and knead lightly for about 10 minutes. It will be sticky, but resist the urge to add more flour as when working with dough the usual rule is the wetter the better! Put the kneaded dough back into the bowl, cover, and leave it to prove until doubled in size.

When doubled, take the dough back out of the bowl and roll it into a tight sausage shape. Pour the seeds into a bowl and give them a mix through with your fingers. Use a knife to slice small (3cm) pieces of the dough sausage and roll the cut sides, AKA the wet sides, in seeds.

Place the rolls on a baking sheet covered with greaseproof paper and cover everything with a tea towel and leave it for another 30 mins or so to prove again. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 230 degrees centigrade.

Brush the tops of the buns with a little olive or rapeseed oil and bake them in the oven for approximately 20 minutes.

Leave the rolls to cool, and then enjoy with some thinly sliced cheese and Scandinavian berry chutney.

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