February is the one month a year we eat a lot of Fastelavns buns or Fastelavns boller.
Fastelavn is a kind of Carnival that is celebrated the seventh week before Easter Sunday.
Fastelavn reminds a lot about the American Halloween. Kids will dress up in costumes and gathering treats by walking from house to house.
Fun Fastelavn traditions
The Fastelavn includes a lot of fun and really weird traditions.
One of them is that we “hit the cat in the barrel. That is somewhat similar to a piñata however it’s a wooden barrel full of candy instead. Kids will take turns to hit the barrel with a wooden bat. The person that knocks down the first piece of the barrel will be crowned the “queen of cats”. The person that knocks down the very last piece is finally crowned “the king of cats”.
Another weird or fun tradition for Fastelavn is that kids are given a bouquet of freshly cut branches, decorated with candy and paper cuts of black cats.
This bouquet of branches is said to symbolize fertility. By rubbing the small buds on the branches the heat would make them sprout – it’s said.
Young people would therefore, in the very olden days, sneak into their friends and wake them up, by “slapping” them with this bouquet – transferring some of the fertility to their friends.
Today it’s just a fun activity with the kids, to find the branches outside, take them home and decorate them.
The last tradition I will mention is that kids will compete in eating buns hanging from a string without using their hands. A “bite-the-bun” competition.
Try one of my traditional Fastelavns buns and see if YOU can eat it hanging from a string not using your hands!! It’s more difficult than you believe, and so much fun.
Fastelavns buns or boller comes in a lot of different versions, however they are always covered with icing and always filled with some kind of custard or jam inside.
To make the buns, you start by warming up the milk until it’s lukewarm.
Then you add the dry yeast and sugar.
When you let this mix stand for a few minutes it will begin to bubble slightly. That means that your yeast is activated and ready to use.
Now you add the flour, melted butter and eggs and mix the dough well. I use a stand mixer to knead my dough.
When the dough is well kneaded you let it raise for 45 minutes in a bowl, covered.
After 45 mins you roll out the dough into a rectangle, about half an inch thick.
Cut the dough into 15 squares.
Spread the filling (see custard recipe in this post) and fold the dough over like you make a small, round sack of dough with filling inside.
Place the buns with the nice side facing up on a baking tray with parchment paper.
The buns now need to raise again for 15 min.
Finally you brush the buns with a beaten egg and bake them for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees Farenheit.
Decorate with icing.
To make the custard you start by adding the egg yolks, sugar and corn flour in a bowl.
Mix the ingredients well.
In a pot you bring the milk or cream to a quick boil.
Now you add a little by little of the warm milk or cream to the egg mix.
It is important that you do this slowly, so you don’t cook the eggs.
Finally you give this sugar/egg mix a quick warm up and remove it from the heat.
Stir occasionally until the cream has cooled down.
It is now ready to use.
Enjoy – and have fun!Print
Fastelavns buns or boller comes in a lot of different versions but they are always covered with icing and always filled with some kind of custard or jam inside.
1 tablespoon dry yeast
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons sugar (try using homemade vanilla sugar)
1 stick of butter (4 oz or ½ cup)
1 egg (+ 1 egg for brushing)
2 ¾ cup of flour
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon sugar (or your homemade vanilla sugar)
1 tablespoon corn flour
2 cups of milk or cream
Filling: custard, jam, nutella, marzipan or even chocolate chips.
Keywords: fastelavn, fastelavns boller, fastelavns buns, buns, filled buns, sweet buns, sweet rolls, danish, traditions, baking,