Norwegian Skolebrød Coconut & Custard Filled Buns

This Norwegian treat translates to “school bread”. It was my favorite treat that my mormor would put into my lunchbox when I was a boy growing up in Norway.

I was super nervous and held on to my mother’s hand on one side and my grandmother’s on the other side. All the kids were standing in the schoolyard waiting to be assigned their teachers. One of the teachers was a tall blond woman who looked a bit like Liv Ullmann. She was dressed very chic and I thought she was so glamourous. I told my mother that I wanted to be in her class. And I was!

The first day was fun. I had such a crush on my teacher. When I came home that day, I told my grandmother that we needed to make my teacher something that I could bring in the next day. What could be more appropriate than a treat called Skolebrød—translated, it would be something like School bread.

We placed some buns in a pretty box and I gave it to my teacher the very next morning. She opened it and said to me: “Paul, you are such a charming boy!” It was like Lady Gaga was telling me that I am cool.

Hmmm, maybe I should change the name of my magazine to Charming Paul?

Makes 12

You will need:

For the Bread:
3 cups all purpose flour
1⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 cup milk
5 tablespoons unsalted butter

For the Custard:
3 egg yolks
1⁄4 cup sugar
11⁄2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup milk
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 egg, beaten
confectioners’ sugar
sweetened coconut, grated

  1. Place flour, sugar, salt, egg, and yeast in the bowl of a kitchen mixer.
  2. Heat up milk and melt the butter in it. It should be finger warm in temperature.
  3. Add the butter/milk to the mix and combine for at least 5 minutes until you have a smooth dough.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour.
  5. Mix together egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and 2 tablespoons milk.
  6. Bring the remaining milk to a boil with the vanilla and then pour into the egg mixture. Mix well and pour back into the pot.
  7. Stir over low heat until thick, remove from heat, and stir in butter. Combine until all is incorporated.
  8. Pour onto a metal baking tray and cover with plastic wrap. Place in fridge until cool.
  9. Divide the dough into 12 pieces and roll each into a ball.
  10. Place on a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Let them sit for 30 minutes.
  11. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F.
  12. Make an egg-size indention in each bun and fill with custard.
  13. Brush with beaten egg and bake until lightly golden. This will take about 20 minutes.
  14. Cool on a wire rack.
  15. Combine confectioners’ sugar and water until mixture becomes a thick frosting. Frost the buns and sprinkle with coconut.