Spiced Christmas Bread

 God Jul is Swedish and means Merry Christmas

This lovely sweet and spiced bread is also eaten on christmas in Sweden, where it is called wort flavored bread. It can be baked with or without raisins, I prefer without since it gets too sweet. This recipe contains no wort, I find the spices the most important!

  • 1000 ml dark beer and coke, combined
  • 100 g butter
  • 100 g baker's yeast
  • 100 ml bitter orange marmalade
  • 100 ml malt syrup
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground anise seeds
  • 1 tsp ground fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom seeds
  • (50 ml raisins)
  • approx. 3500 ml sifted rye flour, or a mix of 2000 ml wheat flour and 1500 ml light rye flour
Melt the butter in a saucepan, pour in the liquid and heat to 37° C or 100° F. Crumble the yeast into a bowl, pour some of the liquid in and stir until it dissolves. Add the remaining liquid as long with syrup, marmalade, salt and spices. Pour in almost all the flour (and raisins) and knead the dough for about 10 min. Let it rise covered with a towel for 30 min.

Put the dough on a floured surface and shape it into three loaves. Place them on a greased baking tray, cover with a towel and let rise for 40 minutes.

Bake loaves at 225°C or 437°F at the lower part of the oven for about 30 minutes. Let cool on a rack with a towel on top.

The bread tastes best with butter and cheese.

Anna's Christmas Red Cabbage

This is a traditional swedish christmas dish that combines well with spareribs. It is usually seasoned with cloves but I never use that, instead I season with a lot of freshly ground white pepper that makes the cabbage slightly hot.

  • 2 kgs red cabbage
  • 4 tart apples
  • 2 onions
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2-3/4 golden syrup
  • 100-200 ml vinegar, light or dark, balsamico or apple cider - it's your choice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper (NOT black pepper)
Shred the cabbage finely, peel the apples and cut them into wedges. Peel and chop the onion. Melt butter in a large pan and fry the cabbage, stirring occasionally. Add apples, onion, salt and vinegar and stir. Put the lid on and let the cabbage cook on low heat until soft, about 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the syrup and white pepper, stir and season to taste. Add more syrup, vinegar, salt or pepper until you think it tastes good.

Tomas's Creamy Pasta Sauce

A recipe my sister got from a neighbour who is a chef. Not suitable for persons who dislike garlic or cream.

  • 1 can of ham
  • a half leek
  • 3-4 fresh tomatoes
  • 3-5 garlic cloves
  • 50 ml plain flour
  • 500 ml of milk
  • 200 ml of creme fraiche or clotted cream or double cream
  • 300 ml of whipping cream

Rinse the leek and slice it. Cut the ham into cubes. 
Blanch the tomatoes by dipping them into boiling water for 20 seconds and cool in cold water. Peel them and cut into cubes.

Fry the leeks in butter in a saucepan along with the pressed garlic. Dust with flour and dilute while stirring in the milk. Add the sour cream and whipping cream and let the sauce simmer while stirring. Add the ham and tomato dices and let the sauce boil up again with gentle agitation. Season with black pepper and salt.

Serve with freshly boiled favorite pasta and a green salad.

Herman - A Wandering Friendship Cake

Herman is a very likeable acquaintance, he is bubbling so cozy in just over a week and then spreads a scent of homemade cake in the neighborhood. In addition, he tastes excellent with a little touch of homemade bread.

Herman is by another reason especially welcome in my home, since Herman is a family name on my father's side. My grandfather and great grandfather's name was Herman in the first name and my father, brother and his son is named Herman as second names.

If you don't know someone who has a Herman, just simply make your own by starting day 1 with mixing the ingredients shown in day 4 and then follow the instructions as usual.

Day 1
You receive Herman from a friend

Day 2 and 3
Stir a few times per day

Day 4
250 ml milk
250 ml sugar
250 ml flour

Day 5 to 8
Stir a few times per day

Day 9
250 ml milk
250 ml sugar
250 ml flour
and then split the batter in 5 parts (approx. 200 ml). Bake with one part, save one part and give away three parts.

Day 10
Bake a cake with one part Herman batter using one of the following recipes.

Recipe A:
  • one part Herman (approx. 200 ml)
  • 150 ml vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 250 ml sugar
  • 300 ml flour
  • 150 ml oatmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Add if you like: 200 grams raisins or 2-3 grated carrots
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Grease and flour a springform pan. Preheat the oven to 175°C or 350°F. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake for about an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Recipe B:

  • one part Herman (approx. 200 ml)
  • 3 eggs
  • 250 ml sugar
  • 150 ml vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 350 ml flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 100 grams chopped dark chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 100 grams chopped nuts, e.g. hazelnuts, walnuts or almonds
  • 2 grated apples
Preheat the oven to 175°C or 350°F. Grease and flour a baking pan. Peel and grate the apples. Chop nuts and chocolate. Beat the eggs and sugar fluffy with an electric mixer. Add the oil dropwise during beating on high speed. Add the Herman batter, flour, baking powder, nuts, chocolate, cinnamon and apples and stir until the mixture is smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the lowest part of the oven 45-50 minutes. Check with a toothpick. Allow to cool.

Note: If you exclude the cinnamon, allow to add another spice, e.g. cardamom, otherwise the cake will taste more like a sweet homemade bread instead of cake.

Jansson's Temptation

This is a very common dish on swedish christmas and easter smorgasbord. It is a potatoe gratin with a slightly salty taste from anchovy fillets.

  • 1 kg peeled potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 200 g anchovy fillets (2 cans), save the liquid
  • 300-400 ml double cream
  • butter
Cut the potatoes in french fries sized strips. Peel the onion, cut it in halves and slice it. Put the potatoe strips, onion and anchovy fillets in layers in a baking tray. Pour the liquid and double cream over and put some pieces of butter on top. You can sprinkle some bread crumbs on top to avoid the potatoes from getting burnt but it's not necessary.

Place the baking tray in center of oven 200°C/390°F and bake for approx. 45-60 minutes. The "temptation" is ready when the potatoes are soft.

Jansson's Temptation taste the best with a glass of beer.

French Toast / Poor Knights

"Poor knights" (Fattiga riddare) is what we call these fried egg toasts in Sweden.

  • 4-5 slices of toast bread
  • 600 ml milk
  • 100 ml plain flour
  • 2 egg
  • 2 tbsp castor sugar
  • 0,5 tsp ground cinnamon
Whisk milk, flour, egg, sugar and cinnamon together in a wide bowl. Cut each bread slice diagonally in two halves, put half of them in the liquid and soak for a couple of minutes.

Heat a frying pan on medium heat with some butter and fry the toasts until golden brown on each side.

Sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar on top on each slice. Serve with strawberry jam.

Hot Carrot Soup

A simple but still very tasty easy-to-cook soup. Serve with some newly grated cheese that each person can sprinkle over their bowl of soup, and bread.

  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 1 finely chopped garlic clove
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp paprika powder
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 liter of vegetable broth
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  • 250 g coarse grated carrots
  • 100 ml red lentils
  • 0,5 tsp sambal oelek
  • 200 ml double cream
  • salt, pepper
Heat butter in a pan (larger than 2 liters) in just over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, thyme and paprika and cook while stirring for a few minutes.
Pour in the broth, crushed tomatoes, carrots, lentils and sambal oelek. Stir around, put on a lid, lower the heat slightly and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir a few times because the lenses like sticking to the bottom. Just before the soup is served you pour in the cream and season with salt and pepper.

Danish Leverpostej

Even as a child, I was very fond of this paste, even though it has a distinct taste of liver. The liver taste can be redused by increasing the amount of sugar.

  • 500 g of pig liver
  • 200 g pork fat back
  • 2 small yellow onions
  • 10 anchovy fillets
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-3 teaspoons sugar
  • Salt, white pepper

  • 150 g butter
  • 4 dl flour
  • 5 dl milk or gräddmjölk

Rinse the liver, cut it and the other in small pieces and grind in meat grinder with the finest disc. Make Panada and let it cool. Work in liver mass, beaten eggs and flavor with spices well. Pour batter into foil molds and turn on lids.

Freeze pate raw and defrost a form before you bake it.

Bake pate in a water bath in oven 250°C for about 45 minutes.

Most delicious is the pate eaten with bread and butter pickles on a slice of bread, preferably made of rye.
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