Photographs: Claire Bogusz
Text: Claire Bogusz
An adorable take on a Danish classic, these ‘bjørne boller’ (‘bear buns’) use the ever-popular
‘fødselsdagsboller’ (Danish birthday buns) and shape them into a treat children and adults alike will enjoy! You can easily mould these delicious, buttery buns to resemble teddy bears, add small currants (‘korender’) for the eyes and nose, and they will be sure to delight at your next celebration!
‘Bjørne Boller’ (based on Danish ‘Fødselsdagsboller’)
Yields approximately 20 buns
600 ml milk
50 g fresh yeast (gær), or 16 g / 2 tsp dry active yeast
1 kg flour (hvedemel), plus extra flour for the kneading process
4 tsp salt
4 tbsp granulated sugar
75 g butter
1 egg, lightly beaten (for egg wash)
#1 Heat milk to a lukewarm temperature using a small pot on the stove, or a heat-safe bowl
in the microwave. (If using a stovetop, transfer milk to medium-sized bowl after
warming.) Add yeast and whisk to combine. Set aside for 8 minutes. Add sugar and salt.
Stir well until completely dissolved.
#2 Melt butter and allow it to cool off a bit. Then whisk butter into the milk mixture.
Combine the liquid mixture and flour in a large mixing bowl, and stir with a wooden
spoon until combined.
#3 At this point, you can knead the dough using an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook
attachment, or knead by hand. Both methods are equally effective! If you knead by
hand, turn the dough out onto a floured surface.
#4 Before you begin to knead (with an electric mixer or by hand), set aside a large scoop of
flour so you can easily access it during the kneading process. The amount of flour you
add during kneading depends on the flour’s quality. Knead for a couple of minutes,
then gradually add a couple of tablespoons of flour at a time to help the dough come
together as you continue to knead. When you have a smooth mound of dough that’s
tacky to the touch (but doesn’t stick to your hands), your dough is ready to rise. Keep
the dough in your large mixing bowl, cover with a clean tea towel, and place in a warm
corner of your house to rise for 1 hour. Once your dough has risen, tip it out of the bowl
and onto a floured surface.
#5 Preheat oven to 200°C. Using a bench scraper or large knife, divide the dough into 24
equal pieces. Shape 20 pieces into round balls. Use the remaining 4 pieces of dough to
shape pairs of round ears and an oval nose for each bun. Attach two ears and one nose
firmly to the top of each bun. You can dip a finger in warm water to act as ‘glue’ for the
ears and nose if needed. Firmly press two currants at the top of each oval nose for the
eyes, and one currant in the centre of the nose. Place buns on a parchment-lined baking
sheet, leaving around 5 cm of space between each bun. Use a pastry brush to coat tops
of buns with the beaten egg, which will give them a lovely golden colour when baked.
Bake buns for 10-12 minutes.
#6 Remove from oven and let cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack.
HELPFUL TIPS AND HINTS
You can substitute raisins (rosiner) for currants.
These buns are delicious when served warm - you can reheat in the microwave or oven before serving.
Cut buns in half lengthwise and serve with butter, jam, or cheese!
Buns can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days, or in the
refrigerator for up to a week.