May 20, 2011

Wheat buns (varme hveder) for the Great Prayer Day Evening



The Danish holiday called Store Bededag, translated literally as Great Prayer Day or more loosely as General Prayer Day is celebrated on the 4th Friday after Easter. One of the Danish Kings decided to collect a selection of small Christian holy days into one big day called Store Bededay, so the Danes would have more working days.
There was very few traditions associated with Store Bededag. Traditionally, the citizens and students of Copenhagen strolled on the city ramparts on the evening before Store Bededag. The students of of Copenhagen University did this in honour of the many students that died defending Copenhagen during assault on Copenhagen. Another tradition on the evening before is to buy and eat 'varme hveder', a traditional bread. This comes from the fact that bakers were closed on holidays and people bought bread for the following day.

Today we only have the tradition of eating "varme hveder" left and this done Thursday evening before the actual holy day Friday.

So as I was having guest coming for birthday coffee yesterday evening I decided to make my very fist tempt on baking my one wheat buns instead of going to the baker and buy those.

Guess what - they tasted JUST GREAT compared to the baker's version. And the taste of cardamon was perfect.

I decided to use the recipe from the cooking book called "Meyers Bageri" by Claus Meyer with certain adjustments.


 Wheat buns a la Claus Meyer:
  • 2½ dl water
  • 2½ dl milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 10 g yeast
  • 15 g salt
  • 50 g sugar
  • 15 g grounded cardamon
  • 50 g butter
  • 900 g flour - as I use a ration of 700 g liquid to 1000 g flour
  1. Weigh the milk, water, egg and melted butter in the mixing bowl. The amount you need to know in order to calculate the amount of flour need to make the dough.
  2. Add yeast, sugar and cardamon into the liquid part.
  3. Add the flour.
  4. Knead the dough. Here I am also using my interpretation of the Richard Bertinet method. I knead on time - 10 minutes - as I know, that I will to soon otherwise.
  5. Raise the dough cold night over - I always place my dough (in the mixing bowl with a lid on) outside the kitchen door, as it is facing north.
  6. Rework the dough - scale each wheat bun to weigh around 80 g - so you get an even baking time for each bun
  7. Place each bun in a roasting pan - let the buns raise for another 2 hours - and they will "grow" together.
  8. Bake the wheat bun at 220'C for 15-20 minutes, please be aware of, the wheat bun in middle could use more baking time.
  9. Cut the wheat bun into 2 pieces - lets those roast at 200'C for 6-8 minutes
  10. Served hot or cold together with butter - plenty of butter - cheese, jam, coffee and tea.

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