Semlor

Semla(singular for semlor) is a Swedish dessert.  originally it was only eaten during the last celebratory feast before lent.  It was originally only a bun soaked in hot milk.  It changed to have cream and almond paste added to it and it became a dessert that was eaten every Tuesday between Shrove Tuesday and Easter.  Now you can find semlor in bakeries as near after Christmas as is considered decent.  The earliest use of almond paste as a filling was in 1833.

Back in the 14th century the last celebratory feast was held 3 days before the fast.  Those 3 days were called the law of the fast according to the Swedish Church.  Those 3 days were also for things like costume dress up and games.

Gustave Vasa had a hand in changing the rules of when Semla could be eaten.  They changed it allowing it to be eaten from December to February.  During the 2 months a year, in Sweden, when semlor are sold approximately 40 million semlor are sold in a population of 10 million people.  Starting in 2015 there began a competition for who could create the most unique semla.

This dessert is more time and patients than it is hard.  There are 2 rise times to this dessert.  The first is after the dough has been kneaded to a soft tacky dough and the second is after the dough has been shaped into balls.  Both rise times combined are about 2 hours.  How long it takes to rise depends on the temperature that you are keeping the dough at.  Yeast can be a little tricky if you have never used it before.  The 2 main things to keep in mind about yeast is that it can be killed by heat and by salt.  Make sure that the liquid is not to hot and that it does not come into direct contact with salt.  Other than that just take your time and have fun.