Ich bin ein Berliner – The Nordic Doughnut

After the success of Mary-Jane’s princess cake and Anna’s scrumptious Karelian pasties, we’re pleased to keep this regular column of GBBO/Nordic food fusion rolling.


As a result of a national doughnut-frenzy, courtesy of GBBO, we thought some fried pastry comfort might do us good in the café. Consulting Great-Grandma Baltzersen’s recipe book, we found instructions for Berlinerboller – a jam or custard-filled doughnut, originating from Germany (as the name implies; JFK, anyone?) but it remains highly popular in Norway and other Nordic countries, and has become a classic sweet indulgence in Norwegian baking culture.


Once again we’ve employed Mary-Jane for this task – there’s some nervousness at the prospect of having to fry these doughnuts in spitting oil, but let’s handle one hurdle at a time.

The first trick is getting the dough to the correct consistency and making sure the temperature’s right for the yeast to do it’s thing. Flour and salt are sifted together, before adding lukewarm milk mixed with melted butter. Yeast and eggs are then added and mixers thoroughly. Now we can only trust in the observed principles of biochemistry.


Once the dough has risen to a firm, smooth and pliable substance, Mary-Jane rolls it out quite thin, using as little flour as possible (as G.G. Baltzersen specifies). She then cuts out doughnut-sized circles.


Here’s where the magic happens: Mary-Jane places a dollop of either jam or vanilla custard in a circle, before placing an additional circle on top and pinching the edges shut. The doughnuts can then be allotted some more time to raise in their current form.


Finally, the tricky bit. Mary-Jane’s employed a deep-fatfryer for the job, gently submerging each doughnut in the vicious heat, before rolling the results in sugar and setting them to cool on a rack.


Job well done! Preliminary trials in the café have been a great success; perhaps we’ll see a recurrence of these, if we don’t slip into a sugar coma first.

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