Sweet • Sour • Savory

Food blog on scandinavian style food done right.


Ciabatta Bread Rolls

Breakfast, Bread, BrunchTove Balle-PedersenComment
Ciabatta Bread Rolls

Ciabatta Bread Rolls

Ciabatta is one of the best breads for sandwiches, and I wonder why it took me so long to bake them. This recipe is made with a preferment (poolish), that you preferably can start the day before you bake the bread, it will give your rolls more flavor. But to be honest starting the poolish in the morning, worked fine today.

Makes 8-10 rolls.



  • 200 g all-purpose flour

  • 200 g water, room temperature

  • 1 g dry yeast


  • Poolish from above

  • 200 g water, room temperature

  • 200 g all-purpose flour

  • 100 g manitoba flour (high protein flour)

  • 8 g salt



Stir all ingredients together in a mixing bowl. The dough should be very soft and sticky, looking like a thick batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 3-4 hours, until the poolish is bubbly. Refrigerate the poolish. The slow fermenting at low temperature will help develop flavor and texture. The poolish will keep up to 3 days in the refrigerator. Remove the poolish from the refrigerator prior to making the ciabatta dough.

I didn’t make my poolish in advance, so I only fermented my poolish for 4 hour on the kitchen counter at about 20℃ (68℉).


Dilute the poolish with the rest of the water, and transfer it all to the bowl of the stand mixer. Add flour and salt.

Using the paddle attachment knead the dough for about 5 minutes, starting on low for the first 60-90 seconds. The kneading is complete when the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Wet your hands when handling the dough, because it’s very sticky.

Oil a wide bowl with some olive oil. Place the dough into the oiled bowl, and let it rise covered for 3 x 45 minutes.

With wet hands fold the dough for 5-6 times, and let the dough rise another 45 minutes and repeat the fold. Let the dough rise for the last 45 minutes.

Gently flour a bakers couche (or a clean flour sac) and the work surface.

Turn the dough out onto the well floured surface, be careful not to deflate it. A simple way to do this is turning the bowl upside down just over the counter and letting gravity help you. Sprinkle a fair amount of flour on the dough, and gently form the dough into an rectangle.

Making the rolls: Divide the into 2 logs using a bench scraper, and divide each into 4-5 pieces/rolls. Sprinkle with additional flour, so you have no bare dough visible. Use the bench scraper to get under the roll and carefully lifting it onto the couche with generous spacing between them. Bunch the cloth in between rolls to make a small wall. Sprinkle with more flour, and cover the rolls with a clean tea towel. Let the rolls rise for about 20 minutes.

Heat the oven with a pizza/baking stone to 445℉ (230℃), Have a jelly roll pan at the lower shelve, so you can pour some hot water into it, to make steam in the oven.

Use a baking peel and parchment paper to transfer the rolls into the oven. Pour about 1 cup water in the jelly roll pan, and quickly close the oven door. Bake 4-5 rolls at a time for about 18 minutes until done and deep golden brown.

Let the rolls cool on a wire rack before serving.


Romsnegle - Rum Rolls

Bread, Breakfast, Brunch, Cake, Holiday, techniqueTove Balle-PedersenComment
Romsnegle - Rum Rolls

Romsnegle - Rum Rolls

Romsnegle is a stable at a Danish baker's shop, much like the regular danish (spandauer). This is much like a cinnamon roll made with puff pastry dough and with another filling and icing. Same, - but totally different. This sweet filling pairs so well with the (imitation) rum icing. Ohh so yummy.

Making these rolls with puff pastry makes for a flakier and softer roll. Of cause this is a time consuming bake. But well worth the effort.

The Danish pastry is a laminated yeast dough much like the French croissant. There are many ways to make this lamination. The amount of layers are different from country to country and from baker to baker. You get the flaky layers by folding sheets of dough with butter. 

One of the more important things in puff pastry is the butter. You want to use a european style butter. The European butter contains less liquid and more milk fats than American butter. Most people opt for unsalted butter, but I always use salted butter in my baking.

There are different kinds of folding/turning when it comes to pastry and croissant dough:

Letter fold or Single turn: Dough folded in thirds, like you would do a letter going into an envelope. (I did this for this recipe.)

1. Turn: makes 3 layers of butter

2. Turn: makes 9 layers of butter

3. Turn: makes 27 layers of butter.

Book fold or double turn: Dough folded to the middle and folded again on the middle like a book. This makes 4 layers per fold or turn as they are called.

1. Turn: makes 4 layers of butter

2. Turn: makes 16 layers of butter

3. Turn: makes 64 layers of butter

Some people claim that any more layers than 3 turns using a letter fold, will make the dough like a brioche instead of providing the flaky layers. The 3 turns makes 27 layers. You can mix the folding methods to get the amount of layer you want.


Makes 20.



  • 375 g all-purpose flour

  • 200 ml milk

  • 25 g live yeast or 2 teaspoons dry yeast

  • 45 g sugar

  • 50 g butter, salted and soft

  • 1 egg

Butter block:

  • 350 g butter, cold (use a European style butter, it contains less water, than the American butter)

  • all-purpose flour for dusting


  • 100 g butter, salted and soft

  • 100 g sugar

  • 70 g marzipan

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour


  • 1 egg white (pasteurized)

  • Confectionery (powdered) sugar

  • 1-2 teaspoon imitation rum

multicolored sprinkles



Heat the milk to lukewarm (99℉/37℃). Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk. Add the sugar. If using dry yeast, let the yeast wake up for about 5-10 minutes, until creating a foam on top. Incorporate the egg.

Mix in half of the flour, forming a sticky dough. Mix in the softened butter. Finally mix in the rest of the flour and knead the dough until you have at shiny, slightly sticky and elastic dough, for about 3-5 minutes.

Place the dough on a very lightly floured surface. Using a bench scraper and one hand, work the dough into a round. The tension will build as the dough achieves to the surface as you rotate it.

Place the dough back in the bowl and let it rise until doubled in size, for about 60 minutes.

Butter block: 

Place the cold butter on a well floured surface. With your palms press the butter a little flat. Using a rolling pin pound on the butter to flatten it. Fold the butter into its self, and keep pounding and folding until the butter has the same consistency as the dough. You want to end up with a 15x15 cm / 6x6 inch square of soft but still cold butter. If the butter is too warm or too hard, it will be hard to roll it out in the dough, and it might make holes in the dough, instead of the lamination.




Place dough  on a lightly floured surface, roll 4 wings out from the center, leaving a center (15x15 cm / 6x6 inch), the same size as the butter block.

Place the butter block over the center, fold the wings over the butter, making sure not getting too much flour in between the layers. Turn the dough over, so the seams are facing down.

Roll the dough to a rectangle, 3 times as long as the hight. Keep it lightly floured so the dough do not stick to the surface. Make sure to roll the dough with straight edges. This will ease the folding.

Making a fold.

Making a fold.

1. Turn: Fold the rectangle in thirds, like a letter. Now you have 3 layers of butter. Place the dough in the freezer for about 20 minutes to cool the butter again.

Repeat this 2 times, making 3 turns and ending up with 27 layers of butter. Let the dough rest on the kitchen counter for 10-20 minutes. (If your kitchen is warm, do the resting in the refrigerator.)

Now the dough is ready to use as a puff pastry for sweet or savory dishes.

If you want to make sweet pastries, you want to make the 3. Turn on a surface sprinkled with about 100 g granulated sugar, and sprinkle another 100 g granulated sugar on top. This will make the dough sweeter and more crispy.


Mix the all the ingredients so you end up with a soft fluffy mixture. You want to have a soft mixture, so you won't rip the dough, while spreading the remonce. The added flour will prevent the filling to ooze out of the rolls while baking.

Making the rolls.

Making the rolls.

Making the rolls:

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll it to a large rectangle (16x16 inches/40x40 cm).

Spread the filling in a thin layer onto the dough, leaving a thin edge closest to your self, without filling.

Line 2-3 bakings sheets with parchment paper.

Roll the dough into a large log. Cut the log into 20 slices. When you place the slices on the prepared baking sheets, tuck the lose ends under the roll, and give the roll a little press.  Leave a good spacing between them, so they can spread out without "growing" together. Cover the rolls with a tea towel to rise for about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 355℉ (180℃).

Bake the rolls for 14-16 minutes until deep golden brown.

Let the rolls cool completely, before icing.



The unbaked pastry can be frozen just, after shaping, individually, and can be baked straight out of the freezer, just add about 5 more minutes to the baking time.

Artichoke Parmesan Sourdough Bread

Bread, BrunchTove Balle-Pedersen2 Comments
Artichoke Parmesan Sourdough Bread

Artichoke Parmesan Sourdough Bread

This bread is a take on the garlic artichoke bread from Pescadero's Arcangeli Market, but in a sourdough version. The original bread is really yummy. My neighbor introduced the bread to me, and it paired perfectly with cheese, charcuterie and some red wine. But I felt it could benefit from the sourdough texture. And boy was I right?

I baked my test loafs last Friday, being the first sourdough bread baked in my 'new' oven. (I have had this oven for almost a year, but who is counting??).

I decided to share the great bread with my neighbors, who introduced me to the original, as a thank you. I do believe they liked it. 

Makes 2 loafs.



  • 2 tablespoons mature sourdough

  • 200 g warm water (80℉/26℃)

  • 100 g whole wheat flour

  • 100 g all-purpose flour


  • 700 g warm water (80℉/26℃)

  • 200 g leaven

  • 900 g all-purpose flour

  • 100 whole wheat flour

  • 16 g salt

  • 50 g warm water (80℉/26℃)


  • 340 g well drained artichoke hearts in water, quartered

  • 100 g grated parmesan


  • italian spiced

  • chopped garlic

  • olive oil


Draining the artichokes.

Draining the artichokes.


Day 1, morning: The morning before you plan to make the dough, feed the sourdough starter. Mix the sourdough starter from your refrigerator in water, and add flours. Mix well so you don't have any lumps of dry flour. I do this in the container that I keep my sourdough starter in. Let rest on the counter for 8-10 hours.

Day 1 - night: Mix 200 g leaven with water and flours. Mix well so you don't have any lumps of dry flour. Let rest overnight on the kitchen counter. 

Drain the artichokes:  quarter them, and place them on paper towels, to dry them as much as possible. Keep them in the refrigerator overnight. 

Day 2, morning: To test leaven's readiness, drop a spoonful into a bowl of room-temperature water. If it sinks, it is not ready and needs more time to ferment and ripen. If it floats, it's ready to use. As it develops, the smell will change from ripe and sour to sweet and pleasantly fermented.

Make the Dough:

Pour the warm water into a large mixing bowl, adding leaven, stir to disperse. Save your leftover leaven.  It will be your sourdough starter for next time you bake. Add flours and mix dough with your hands until no bits of dry flour remain. Let rest covered with a tea towel on your counter for 30 minutes. Add salt and remaining 50 grams warm water. Transfer to a medium plastic container or a glass bowl. Cover with kitchen towel. Let rest for 30 minutes.

Adding small amount of filling, when folding the dough.

Adding small amount of filling, when folding the dough.


I use the folding technique from the basic country bread a la Tartine during the fermentation. Instead of kneading the dough I stretch and fold the dough, which helps build up the gluten network. The rise is temperature sensitive. As a rule, warmer dough ferments faster. Robertson tries to maintain the dough at 78℉ to 82℉ to accomplish the bulk fermentation in 3 to 4 hours. I ferment my dough in my oven on the proof setting, 85℉/29.5℃.
Fold dough, repeating every 30 minutes for about 2½ to 3 hours. To do a fold: Dip one hand in water to prevent sticking. Grab the underside of the dough, stretch it out, and fold it back over itself. Rotate container one-quarter turn, and repeat. Do this 2 or 3 times for each fold. After the first fold, let the dough rest covered for 30 minutes. Add a little of the cheese and artichoke on top of the dough, before the next 4-6 foldings, to incorporate the filling into the dough. After the 3 hours, the dough should feel aerated and softer, and you will see a 20 to 30 percent increase in volume. If not, continue bulk fermentation for 30 minutes to 1 hour more.

Gently pull the dough out of container using a dough spatula onto an unfloured surface. Lightly flour the top of the dough and use a bench knife to cut the dough into 2 equal pieces. As you cut the first piece, use the bench knife to flip it over, so the floured side now rest on the work surface. Do the same with the second piece of dough.

While working with the dough you want to incorporate as little flour as possible. Work each piece into a round using scraper and one hand. Tension will build as the dough slightly anchors to the surface as you rotate it. By the end, the dough should have a taut, smooth surface. Dust tops of rounds with flour, cover with a tea towel, and let rest on the work surface for 20 to 30 minutes. During this stage, (bench rest), each round will relax and spread into a thick pancake shape. The edges should appear fat and rounded, not flat or "dripping" off the edge. If the dough is flat or the dough is spreading too much, the dough has not developed a strong enough gluten network during the bulk fermentation. To correct this, shape the dough into a round for a second time and let it sit to rest covered once more. 

The final shaping:

To form the loaf's, carefully turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface with the floured side down, using the bench knife. Now the underside is facing up. Be careful not to deflate the dough. This final shaping builds up tension inside each loaf, so it holds it's form and rises substantially when baked. This is called "oven spring."

Fold the third of the dough closest to you up and over the middle third of the round. Stretch out the dough horizontally to your right and fold this right third over the center. Stretch the dough to your left and foldt this third over the previous fold. You are now starting to get a neat package. Stretch out the third of the dough farthest from you and fold this flap toward you, over the previous folds, and anchor it in place with your fingers. Then grab the dough nearest to you and wrap it up and over, while rolling the whole package away from you, that the smooth underside of the loaf now is on the top and all the seams are on the bottom. Let the shaped loaf rest on the counter for a minute. Fold the other loaf the same way.

Line two baskets with clean tea towels generously dusted with flour. Using the dough scraper, transfer each round to a basket, smooth side down, with seam centered and facing up. Let rest at room temperature (75℉ to 80℉), covered with towels for 3 to 4 hours before baking.

Baking the Bread:

20-40 minutes before you are ready to bake the bread, preheat oven and dutch/French oven to 500℉ (260℃), with rack in lowest position.

Flip one bread into heated dutch/french oven. Score top twice using a razor blade matfer lame. Cover with lid. Return to oven, and reduce oven temperature to 450℉ (232℃). Bake for 20 minutes.

Carefully remove lid and continue to bake until crust is deep golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes more.

Transfer loaf to a wire rack. It will feel light and sound hollow when tapped. Mix the topping and spred it on top of the hot crust, then let the loaf cool. Letting the bread cool, is the hardest thing.

To bake the second loaf, raise oven temperature to 500℉ (260℃), wipe out dutch/French oven with a dry kitchen towel, and reheat with lid for about 10-20 minutes.




Pullman Sandwich Loaf

Bread, Breakfast, BrunchTove Balle-PedersenComment
Pullman Sandwich Loaf

Pullman Sandwich Loaf

We have all bought sandwich bread in the stores. And you might ask why spend so much time baking this simple loaf. But this loaf is not your average sandwich bread. This is a feather light sweet soft loaf. And compared to most store bought loafs, this bread is filled with ingredients you actually can pronounce. We used the bread to make simple sandwiches in a panini press. And compared with store bought, the slices of the bread didn't flatten under pressure. Well worth the effort.


  • 450 g all-purpose flour
  • 100 g Ølandshvedemel (you can use all-purpose flour or bread flour)
  • 6 g dry yeast
  • 32 g sugar
  • 11 g fine salt
  • 285 ml water
  • 1 egg
  • 25 g butter, salted and room temereature
  • 80 g cream cheese
  • egg wash 


Spray a large bowl and the pullman loaf pan with non-stick spray, set aside.

Combine all the ingredients except the egg wash in the bowl for a stand mixer. Knead 4-5 minutes on low speed to form the dough. Keep kneading on medium low for another 15 minutes. 

Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Stretch the dough by making 2-3 letter folds* turning the dough a quarter each timer, building up the surface tension on the dough. Place the dough seam side down in the sprayed bowl. Let the dough rise covered for 15-20 minutes.

Gently turn you dough out onto a lightly floured surface, seam side up. Weigh the dough, so you only shape 1 kg (a little over 2 pounds). Gently pat it to remove any large air bubbles, and form a rectangle. Make another letter fold, but only in one direction. You want to build up the surface tension, that will help you get a better ovenspring. Elongate the loaf, so it fits the length of the pan.  Make 1-3 folds, until you have a tight loaf with a good surface tension, ending up with a loaf shaped as a cylinder. Place the loaf in the pan, seam side down. Brush the top with egg wash. Slide the lid onto the pan, leaving ad slid open, so you can peek inside. Let the loaf proof for 2-2½ hours until the loaf barely reaches the top. 

Preheat the oven to 375℉ (190℃). 

Close the lid of the pan. Bake the loaf for 25 minutes. Carefully remove the lid of the pan, and bake the bread for another 10 minutes until the top is deep golden brown, and the loaf is baked through. 

Turn the bread out onto a wirerack to cool completely.

Slice the bread thinly.


* Letter fold: Dough folded in thirds, like you would do a letter going into an envelope.



Focaccia - Take 2

Bread, Brunch, DinnerTove Balle-PedersenComment


It is no secret that bread is my kryptonite. Well, it's bread, cheese, coffee and red wine. But bread is a magic thing. It is magical that you can get so much flavor from a mixture of water, flour, yeast and salt. The fermentation makes all the difference. 

Last time I made a focaccia I opted for a more complex dough. It felt more greasy. This time I used the classic No-Knead Bread recipe, transforming it into a focaccia, and it turned out perfect.

Makes 1 bread.


  • 400 ml water finger-warm

  • 5-10 g live yeast (or little under 1 teaspoon dry yeast)

  • 500 g all-purpose flour or a high protein flour.

  • 2 teaspoons sea salt


  • sea salt

  • olive oil

  • rosemary like spices (or jalapeño)

  • cherry tomatoes


Dissolve the yeast in the water. Add a teaspoon sugar if you are using dry yeast, and wait until it starts to foam. Mix in most of the flour, befor adding the salt. Mix the rest of the flour in, mixing it until you are sure you have no lumps of dry flour. You do not have to knead this very sticky dough. 

Let the dough ferment covered on the countertop for 8-12 hours. The longer you ferment it, the more flavor you get. 


Gently scrape the dough out onto a well-floured surface. The dough will be very soft. With a spatula or bench scraper fold the 4 "sides" of the dough unto it self 3 times, to stretch the gluten and to build up the surface tension on the dough. Place the dough on a large parchment paper lined baking pan. Gently pat the top of the dough with a little olive oil, to prevent the dough from drying out. Let the bread rise for 60-90 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 425℉ (220℃). 

Pour some good olive oil on top of the dough and gently poke your fingers into the dough, making holes for the filling to rest in. This will spread the loaf out making it more flat and ready to receive the filling. Sprinkle rosemary and more oil over the loaf and press it into the holes. Gently press the tomatoes into the dough.  Sprinkle with a little more oil and a good amount of salt.

 Let the focaccia rise for another 30 minutes before baking it for 20-25 minutes at 440℉ (220℃). I baked mine on a baking stone, but still on the parchment paper for easier handling.

Let the bread cool in the pan before serving.