Lunchbox extravaganza pt. 3: Swedish pizza rolls (Pizzabullar)

London has been miserably rainy lately, but it feels like we might finally be moving towards picnic time! So I’m going to attempt (but hopelessly fail) to revise stuff for exams in parks whilst stuffing my face with nibbles and pretend it’s already summer. Pizzabullar are perfect for this: uncomplicated, unsophisticated food from the 90s. When I was about 7 and a half, we’d eat them on days out in the forest with school (or my friends would; they always had way cooler snacks than I did). My friend Natalie’s mum used to make her these and I was really very jealous. They aren’t particularly healthy, or cheap but lovely nonetheless so they are getting a blog post dedicated to them. The technique of making them is identical to that of Kanelbullar, you just change the dough slightly and the stuff that goes in it. You can mix content around wildly, but the classic involves smoked ham, cheese, tomato sauce and oregano. I added finely chopped and fried mushrooms with fresh thyme to mine.

For the dough you need:

  • 12-14 deciliters plain flour
  • 50g fresh yeast
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 5 deciliters milk
  • 1 tsp salt

For the filling:

  • 200 g smoked ham (cooked is also alright and can be found cheaply in many basics ranges in the supermarkets)
  • 300 g cheese (grated or sliced)
  • 1 tube of tomato puree
  • 7 finely chopped mushrooms
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme

Rub the yeast into small pieces in a bowl, heat up the milk and butter together on the stove and pour it into the bowl to dissolve the yeast when it’s finger-warm. Mix in 9 deciliters of flour, the salt and the baking powder, and stir until you have a dough. Knead it for a while, adding only so much flour you need to keep it from sticking to your hands too badly. Leave the dough to rest in the bowl under a kitchen towel for 40 minutes. If you haven’t baked with fresh yeast before, it will shock you how much it grows:

After 40 minutes, wake it up by kneading it and adding more flour as you go (but be careful not to overdo it, you only want as much flour as you need to keep it from sticking). Split the dough in two, and roll out one half on a floured surface. Roll it into a sausage and then shape it into a rectangular piece, roughly 25×40 cm. Spread tomato puree smoothly on top of it like a pizza, and then top off with the cheese/ham/mushroom mix.

Roll it up and cut into 12 pieces

Place with the cut side up on a baking tray with baking paper underneath, brush the top and all sides with a whisked egg and place some grated cheese on top.

Bake in an oven at 250 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until they have browned. Done!

If your pizza buns go a bit stale after a few days (although they keep rather well because of the cheese melting into the dough and sort of preserving them) you can cut them up into small pieces and put in the oven for 15 minutes for little luxury crutons. It looks a bit weird but they taste lovely on soup.

Kanelbulle and pizzabulle, socialising.

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