To me, a bolle just seems like a hot-cross bun without the hot-cross and eaten everyday rather than just Easter. But to a Norwegian the bolle is a way of life.
The small bun is a sweet bread flavoured with cardamom and fits in the palm of your hand. It is enjoyed on its own, with butter and jam, Norwegian brown cheese, coleslaw, and even as a savoury meal with cheese, salami and cucumber. Some boller are made with custard on top with icing and coconut – these are called skoleboller (school Buns). Below is a Bergensk kanelbolle (Bergen’s cinnamon bun).
There are also boller for special occasions. The solboller (sunbun) is made to celebtrate the return of the sun after the long winter. It is coloured with saffron and has a yellow custard centre. The Lent bolle is made during Lent (of course). It is cut in half and a big spoonful of fresh whipped cream is piled on inside before closing the lid and sprinkling icing sugar on top. This one is very fun to eat!
Boller are the cheapest bread you can buy in the store. You can also buy ready-made mix packets but I think the home-made boller are best. There is a continuing discussion of whether the bolle should have raisins in it or not. I think it is really just a matter of taste.
100g fresh yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 kg wheat flour
1 egg to glaze
It tastes also good with a teaspoon of cardamum, but this is optional. You can also mix raisins in the dough before it is rolled.
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. Put the buns on a cooking sheet and let them rise for another 30 minutes. Glaze the buns with beaten egg and bake them at 250oC for 8 minutes.