Tag Archives: baking

What’s it like: Bread

When we first moved here, we would buy the least expensive bread we could find at the grocery store.And then we tried some other types, and we learned that at least with bread, you get what you pay for.

These days, we like to pick up a loaf every couple of days from our local bakery. It ends up being less than what some of the high-end grocery store loaves cost, and it tastes so much better.

The local bakery, Ivar Halvorsen, is a short walk from our house (5-7 minutes). And everything they have is delicious!

Photo cred for this post goes to William. He has begun learning a bit about photography, and I think he has a very good eye for it!

Baker Halvorsen
Chr. Hvidts Plass 3
3210 Sandefjord


What’s it Like: From Scratch

I’ve always enjoyed cooking. It’s almost like therapy for me. I like trying new things and getting creative.
In the US, many things are quick and easy. There is almost always some mix, packet, or machine to cut down on preparation time. Not as much here. While you can find some short-cut items, they are less common and seem to be typically saved for hiking or hytte tur (time spent at a cabin).
Aside from that, it is more affordable – and much healthier – to make things yourself. If you will recall, one of my first friends in Sandefjord gave me a critical lesson in Norwegian baking (see that post HERE). It was a great way to spend time together, and to learn the recipe that is used as the base for many Norwegian baked goods.
My newest from-scratch item is bread. We were buying loaves of bread at the store. We bought the cheapest bread, a store-brand Kneipp. But it lacked flavor and the texture was not great. Norwegian grocery stores have other loaves that are really good, but fairly expensive. So I decided to strike out and find a good, healthy, and easy bread recipe.
I came across a recipe on Pinterest for peasant bread. It is a no-knead recipe that you can bake in a bowl, a loaf pan, muffin tin, or as freeform rolls. I switch around with the types of flour (usually a blend), and sometimes add some seeds or herbs.
And now that I’ve started, I doubt my family will want to go back!
Other homemade items I make include lots of soups (this is typically based on whatever is in the cabinet), pizza dough, flour tortillas, waffles, and pastries.
What are your favorite ‘from scratch’ items?

Norsk Baking Lessons

The breads and pastries in Norway are great. I (Jenn) thought it would be cool to learn to make them, even though I’m not much of a baker myself.Thankfully, I have an outstanding teacher! One of my new friends in our city offered to have me over for the day last Wednesday, and she taught me the basics. There is one dough that can be used for a variety of different items. Her excellent lessons left me feeling confident about my future Norwegian baking attempts.

So we started with the dough. From there, you can make boller, skolebrod, kanelsnurrer, klippekrans, and more. S taught me three of the more common items.

A couple of things to help you along…

  1. A boller is a simple roll. Many traditional Norwegian boller includes raisins.
  2. As I am learning more and more, cardamom is a staple of any baking recipe here!
  3. Even if you think you baked a lot, don’t expect these items to last long. Seems like they were gone as soon as Z, W, & D spotted them!

First up: skolebrød. From what I’ve read, it gets its name from the fact that it used to be packed in lunches for dessert, or sold at bake sales.
A delicious boller, filled with vanilla cream, baked, and then topped with a confectioner’s sugar and coconut glaze.

Kanelsnurrer, or skillingsboller… or for our American friends, cinnamon rolls!
We made a LOT of these. This was a pic I snapped quickly as we were taking them up from the trays.

Finally, we made klippekrans, or kringle. The word klippe is Norwegian for cut, and comes from the fact that you use scissors to cut it before baking. Our variation included a thin layer of vanilla cream, and chocolate.

So if you notice us looking a bit ‘thicker’ around the waist in the coming months, you’ll know why 🙂