In the Northwest, which has a large Scandinavian population, May is a very festive time. Why? Syttende Mai is Norwegian Constitution Day. I’m not quite sure what this means historically or whatever, but I know for my community it means we have a huge parade and eat and drink a lot. While I myself am not particularly Nordic, I am happy to join my friends and neighbors in gravlax eating and akvavit swilling.
Although I am not the most confident baker, this year I decided to bake my own cardamom buns, skolleboller. These fragrant, light buns are very delicious and a Norwegian staple, especially around the holidays. I love to eat them with gjetost, brown cheese. (Gjetost is a polarizing cheese: it has a very strong, nutty, caramelly flavor. I think it’s almost reminiscent of peanut butter. To me it is uniquely delicious. Many people hate it though.)
I imagined I would frolic around town with my rolls in a lovely woven basket, handing out celebratory breads to all who crossed my path. Probably some baby deer would be galloping alongside me while little birds chirped along to the traditional Norwegian tune I hummed. It was all quite idealistic. (I don’t even know any Norwegian tunes unless we’re counting this.)
Anyway, with a song in my heart, I started out on my buns using this recipe from the Transplanted Baker, which seems to be very trustworthy. I like her blog and I do not blame her recipe whatsoever. But… something happened. My dough did not rise.