Start your day the Scandi way


A traditional start to a Swedish day can be found in freshly baked rolls, scone-muffins with fruit curd, and an autumnal granola, courtesy of new book Lagom

The Swedes are pretty early risers, which is admirable given that, for much of the year, they will wake up, have breakfast and go to work in complete darkness. The only way to get through such dispiriting winter mornings is to wrap up (“there’s no such thing as bad weather – only bad clothing”, as my mormor (gran) always says); and to fuel up: a good breakfast is essential.

Grandma’s recipe for Icelandic kleinur doughnuts

A typical Swedish breakfast combines whole grains with proteins such as dairy, nuts and seeds, along with some fruit or vegetables for vitamins, fibre and sweetness. It should keep you full for hours, but remain simple to prepare. Not much distinction is made between adults and children for this particular meal. The emphasis is on starting the day properly, with a good meal and as a family. As my favourite line in Lukas Moodysson’s cult film Tillsammans (Together) goes: “Better to eat porridge together than beef fillet alone.”

7am breakfast rolls with sour cherry and vanilla jam (main picture)

Makes 8

25g fresh yeast

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp salt

70g wholemeal flour

700g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting and sprinkling

For the jam

400g fresh or frozen sour cherries (or black cherries), stoned

Juice of ½ lemon

1 vanilla pod, halved lengthways

150g golden caster sugar

1 Crumble the yeast into the honey, add 1 tsp salt, then mix until the yeast dissolves. Add 600ml lukewarm water and mix thoroughly. Add the flours and mix into a sticky dough, but don’t knead. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and allow to rise for about an hour.

2 Meanwhile, make the jam. Put a saucer in the freezer. Combine the cherries, lemon juice and vanilla pod in a small saucepan with 1 tbsp sugar. Bring to a gentle simmer and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add another spoonful of sugar and repeat, continuing until it has all been added. Simmer for 20–30 minutes, or until jammy. Take the saucer from the freezer. Place 1 tsp of the jam on to it and leave for 1 minute or so to cool completely. Push a finger across the jam. If it wrinkles, the jam is ready Otherwise, cook it for a bit longer. Once done, pour into a sterilised jar.

3 Set the oven to 220C/425F/gas 7 and lightly grease 2 baking sheets. Flatten the dough on a floured work surface – sprinkle with plenty of flour to make it easier to handle. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Shape into about 8-10cm rounds. Transfer on to the prepared baking sheets, spacing out evenly.

4 Sprinkle over a little extra flour, then bake for 17–19 minutes, or until risen and golden. Allow to cool a little before getting stuck in, slathering with jam.

Recent Posts