Mor's boller

By fiveandspice
October 21, 2010
13 Comments


Author Notes: I've been meaning to post this recipe forever, and am just finally getting around to it. Boller are one of the most beloved and delicious snacks in Norway - the other, I'd say, is waffles, oh, and maybe skolebrød, but I digress. They are soft, fragrant cardamom buns with or without raisins (the with raisins version is infinitely superior), and they are available all over from bakeries, to grocery stores, to gas stations. But, obviously the very best are the homemade ones. Specifically the homemade ones my mother bakes. She taught me this recipe, so of course there were no measurements involved to begin with, but this is my best attempt at nailing down quantities. Served slightly warm plain, or with butter and Norwegian goat cheese, they simply can't be beat. (Oh, and for Fat Tuesday you cut them in half and serve them with whipped cream which, I think, is my all time favorite food)fiveandspice

Makes: about 16-24, depending on what size you make the buns

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups warm whole milk, about 100F
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom (preferably freshly ground, if you can)
  • 5 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 cup raisins (this is optional, but recommended)
  • 1 egg white, for an egg wash

Directions

  1. In a standing mixer with a bread hook, or a large mixing bowl, mix together the warm milk, melted butter, sugar, and yeast. Allow to stand for about 10 minutes, until the yeast is good and foamy. Stir in the salt and cardamom. Then stir in the flour until all incorporated, and stir in the raisins at this point too, if using (which you should. I think boller are decidedly best with raisins. My brothers would disagree, though.). The dough should still be a bit sticky or tacky, but not stick too terribly to your fingers if you tap it with a knuckle. Adding flour as needed to keep the dough from being irretrievably sticky, knead with the bread hook or by hand until supple (but probably still slightly sticky!), about 8 minutes. Because the dough should stay fairly sticky (using as little extra flour as possible helps keep the buns fluffy), this is definitely easiest to do in a mixer, but it can certainly be done by hand if you don’t have one.
  2. Cover the bowl with a cloth or plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size (an hour or two depending on the ambient temperature). In the meanwhile, line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. When the dough has risen, scrape it out onto a lightly floured surface and break it into equal size pieces, a bit bigger than the size of a golf ball. Shape each piece into a ball and place them on the baking sheets.
  4. Cover with clean dishtowels or plastic wrap and let rise somewhere warm until puffy and soft, another 30-45 minutes . Preheat the oven to 350F. Before baking, whisk the egg and brush the tops of the buns with it. Bake one sheet at a time until deep golden brown on top, about 20 minutes.
  5. Cool the buns on a cooling rack. They’re best when fresh and still slightly warm, smeared with butter, but boller also toast up deliciously for a couple of days. I love to eat one for snack or breakfast split in half, toasted and topped with butter and a slice of gjetost.

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Reviews (13) Questions (0)

13 Comments

Lisa L. January 15, 2017
This recipe is a real gem, and so forgiving, too! I'm a bit old-fashioned and like feeling the dough in my hands, so I hand-kneaded this with 1 c whole-wheat, 5 c AP flour, and a packed 1/2 c (total) of golden and regular raisins for approximately 30 minutes (at a very leisurely pace). Then for the first rise, I let my oven preheat at 400 F for about 1 minute, shut it off, and stuck the dough in for a little less than an hour. When I took it out, it had essentially quadrupled in size! But I punched it down, kneaded a few times, and got on to shaping it like normal. I also couldn't remember how large golf balls were, but 53-56 g per ball worked out beautifully. Thank you so much for the recipe!
 
Kerry G. September 30, 2015
This worked beautifully! Reminiscent of hot cross buns, but much better. I used cinnamon (and upped the amount) in place of cardamom, but only for kids sake. I used 5 cups flour only and it was fine. Sprinkled large grain sugar over egg wash.
 
mchu March 30, 2014
One of my favorite memories of Norway was getting a giant warm bag of rosinboller at Narvesen and riding the trolley in downtown Oslo, watching the buildings and the scenery pass by while stuffing delicious goodness in my mouth. I've made these twice and it brings me back every time. Thanks for the recipe!
 
Annabelle October 14, 2013
Just made these this weekend and they came out fantastic! I used all white whole wheat flour because that's all I had on hand, and they were great. I also used half raisins, half dried cranberries and then sprinkled a little pearl sugar on them before baking. So SO delicious! And yes, the dough is a little sticky, but resist the temptation to add more flour.
 
Author Comment
fiveandspice October 16, 2013
Glad they turned out well for you! I totally want to try making them with cranberries and pearl sugar now!
 
Dia S. July 19, 2013
Our mother made a braided loaf at Christmas with a similar dough from a recipe by the Michigan Consolidated Gas Co. My sisters and I try to carry on the tradition. Our loaf has apricots and pecans in addition to raisins. We are crazy for the cardamom and the tradition but it is a very dense loaf; dificult to get a good rise. Any suggestions for fluffiness would be greatly appreciated.
 
Author Comment
fiveandspice July 20, 2013
Yes! a lot of the various Scandinavian snack/coffee time/dessert breads are all almost the same with slight variations. I've always assumed it was in part because of the limited ingredients they had and in part because they developed a national/regional taste for this style of bread and a love affair with cardamom! My major advice to keep the bread fluffy is to try to use as little flour as you can get away with and also give it the time to rise that it needs. If it is looking like it's rising slowly and hasn't doubled in size yet on either the first or second rise, just give it more time. You could also try adding a pinch more yeast. In general you only want just enough yeast to do the job in a bread, but with enriched breads, sometimes you need a little extra so they're not too weighted down by the milk and butter and eggs and fruit and the like that is in them.
 
Dia S. July 20, 2013
Thanks! It is always tempting to add more flour because it is a sticky dough, but I will try to exercise restraint and patience, not my long suits.
 
lapadia October 22, 2010
These sounds and look wonderful, and I will definately be making these soon! Thanks for posting!
 
Author Comment
fiveandspice October 22, 2010
Thanks!
 
Author Comment
fiveandspice October 21, 2010
Thanks guys! Please do let me know how you like them.
 
TheWimpyVegetarian October 21, 2010
Me too! I was just thinking about what bread I might want to make this weekend, and think I'll give this one a go!
 
AntoniaJames October 21, 2010
Love it! Will certainly be trying this recipe soon. Thanks so much for posting it! ;o)