I grew up in Wisconsin. People know about the cheese, beer, and bratwurst. Scandinavian bakeries are a really big deal there, too. Everyone’s got strong opinions about which bakery is the absolute best to get kringle and Danishes for holidays, gatherings, and weekends. Oh, I miss those bakeries! When I have a craving, I love to make them at home now. One of my favorite Scandinavian cookbooks is Scandinavian Comfort Food: Embracing the Art of Hygge by Trine Hahnemann. A huge thank you to Quadrille for letting me share her recipe for Poppy Seed Danishes with you! They are so delicious! (And yeah, she has a recipe for Kringle in there, too!) My review of the book is right after the recipe. Amazing book.
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Recipes excerpted with permission from Scandinavian Comfort Food: Embracing the Art of Hygge by Trine Hahnemann, published by Quadrille October 2016, RRP $29.99 hardcover. Photograph credit: Columbus Leth
Poppy Seed Danish
If you go to a bakery in Denmark and ask for a snail, you will get a Danish with a swirl of cinnamon filling. I can’t get enough of poppy seeds in any form of pastry, so I make poppy seed swirls instead. This is perfect in my world.
For the dough:
25g/generous ¾ oz fresh yeast (If you’re not familiar with fresh yeast, it’s sold in little cubes in the refrigerated section, usually by the feta and blue cheese. -Jen)
150ml/ ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp lukewarm water
1 egg, lightly beaten, plus an extra beaten egg to glaze
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp ground cardamom
1 tbsp caster (granulated) sugar
325g/11 ½ oz “00” flour, plus extra for dusting
300g/1⅓ cups cold butter, thinly sliced
For the filling:
75g/5 Tbsp soft butter
75g/scant ½ cup caster (granulated) sugar
100g/3 ½ oz raisins, chopped
75g/2 ½ oz poppy seeds
Crumble the yeast into the water, stir to dissolve, then add the egg, salt, cardamom and sugar. Stir in the flour and knead the dough with your hands until it is even and combined. Put it in a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into roughly a 45-cm/18-in square. Arrange the butter slices in a square in the centre of the dough, at a 45-degree angle to the corners of the dough so it forms a smaller diamond inside the dough square. Fold the corners of the dough over the butter to encase it fully and seal the joins well. Roll out the dough again carefully, this time into a rectangle, making sure that it does not crack and expose the butter.
Fold a short end one-third over into the centre, and the other short end over that, as you would a business letter. Wrap in cling film and rest again in the fridge for 15 minutes. Repeat this rolling and folding procedure three times in total, remembering to let the dough rest for 15 minutes in the fridge between each.
Now make the filling. Mix the ingredients together until combined. Line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface to a rectangle about 60 x 40cm/ 24 x 16in. Spread the filling evenly over the dough and, with the longest side facing you, roll it up like a Swiss roll. Cut the roll into 1.5-cm/ ½ -in pieces and place, cut side up, on the lined baking sheets. Cover with tea towels and let them rise for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/ gas mark 7.
Brush the snails with beaten egg and bake for 15–18 minutes.
My review of the book…..
Scandinavian Comfort Food: Embracing the Art of Hygge
by Trine Hahnemann
This is an excellent book of Scandinavian comfort food! It’s beautiful! Her recipes are absolutely delicious! The recipes are very modern and surprisingly healthy. Well, with the exception of her very decadent baked goods. 😉 Lots of measurements are given by weight, so you need a kitchen scale to prepare these.
1) Summer Frikadeller (meatballs with an herbed yogurty dip) – p67 and Classic Potato Salad – p163. We loved this dinner. Terrific meatballs and the best potato salad I’ve ever had.
2) Poppy Seed Danish – p278. Delicious! They’re wonderfully flaky and buttery. They make the house smell lovely. And they’re on the table in about 1 hour and 45 minutes. –It calls for fresh yeast. If you’re not used to that, those are sold in little cubes in the refrigerated section, usually by the feta and blue cheese.
3) Fishcakes with Herb Sauce and Mint Fried Potatoes – p68, with Cucumber Salad. Fabulously tender fishcakes, and we loved the unusual addition of mint in the potatoes. She advises to serve with cucumber salad, but doesn’t provide a recipe, so I just dressed them in white wine vinegar, salt and pepper, sugar, and fresh parsley.
4) Kale and Pancetta Tart – p194. Delicious! And there’s a huge bunch of kale in it!
5) Meringue Layer Cake – p246. Divine!
6) Nordic Quinoa Salad – p168. Delicious. The apples and honey mustard bring a lovely sweetness to the quinoa and kale.
7) Spicy Pumpkin Soup with Croutons – p134. Yum! Extremely flavorful!
8-9) Danish Burger – p 26. This is a delicious burger! Open faced on toasted sourdough with nearly a quarter pound of wilted lettuce under each burger. Then it’s topped with a spiced apple/onion/chile relish, onions, buttery capers, and fresh horseradish. The recipe didn’t mention salt and pepper in the relish or spinach, but I seasoned them anyway. I doubled the burger recipe for 4 of us. I did not double the relish. It made enough for 4 burgers and another quart to spare! Great flavor!
10-11) Slow Juices – p 21. I went ahead and made them all since I was getting the juicer out. Left to right: Spinach and Pineapple Juice (with ginger), Root Vegetable Juice (beets, carrots, mint, apples, and lemon), and Cucumber and Tarragon Juice (with pineapple). These were all delicious. I’ll double the 1st and 3rd next time to make a quart of each. The root vegetable recipe already does.
12) Roasted Chicken with Rhubarb and Tarragon – p 75. This is a great dinner. We all loved the addition of sweet tart rhubarb. The pop of red is so pretty, too. I just made herb and garlic roast potatoes and creamed spinach to go with it.
13) Beetroot Patties with Horseradish Cream – p 94. Great earthy taste and a lovely punch from the fresh horseradish.
14) Spinach Dumplings in Tomato Sauce – p 104. These are really delicate spinach and ricotta gnocchi. I felt like extra tomatoes, so I doubled the tomatoes in the sauce.
I can’t wait to try the rest!
— This book has me very curious about her Christmas and Baking books. They both have great reviews. If you have both, please leave a comment for me letting me know which you favor. 🙂
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