Today, 21st January, is soldagen (the sun day) when the sun officially returns to Tromsø (for about 2mins over the mountains). It can be seen from the centre of town, on the top of the island and on the south shore. If the sun can’t be seen due to clouds then the celebrations are held off until the first clear sky.
Tromsø celebrates the return of the sun by leaving their schools, businesses or what ever they are doing to go out and watch the sun rise over the mountains. Kindergartens and schools sing songs to welcome the sun back. They often wear costumes or make papers suns.
An iconic symbol on this day is the ‘solbolle’ or sunbun. This is a yellow coloured sweet bread with a custard centre. This bolle is only found in the shops or at cafés in the few days leading to and after the return of the sun. However, it is much better making them yourself!:
100g fresh yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon of turmeric for colouring (optional)
1 kg wheat flour
1 egg to glaze
icing sugar to dust
It also tastes good with a teaspoon of cardamum, but this is optional.
Melt the butter. Add milk and heat to 37oC. (Any hotter than that the yeast will die.) Mix in the yeast. Mix the dry ingredients together and add in the milk mixture. Mix til a smooth dough.
Leave to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Cut dough into 30 pieces and roll each into a round bun. Make a hollow in the centre for the custard. Put the buns on a cooking sheet, hollow up, and put a table spoon of custard in. Let the buns rise for another 30 minutes. Glaze the buns with beaten egg and bake them at 250oC for 8 minutes or until brown. Allow to cool and dust with icing sugar.