Sweet Danish 'Hveder'

Sweet Danish 'Hveder'

Friday 17th is a bank holiday in Denmark, called ’Store Bededag’.  In 1686, it was decided that there was too many religious holidays across the year, so the decision to merge some into one holy day was made, thus making ‘Store Bededag’ (‘The great day for praying’)

It’s an old tradition that the evening before the bank holiday, you eat warm sweet buns called ’Hveder’.
The tradition is believed to be around 200 years old. Back then, no one, not even bakers, were allowed to work on ‘Store Bededag’ so it became a tradition for the bakers to make extra many buns the night before, so that people could then take home and heat at home the next day.
Back then the tradition was to eat the buns on the bank holiday Friday, not the night before! But over the years, probably because the buns are so delicious people couldn’t wait till the morning, the tradition has moved to the evening before. Because who can have delicious warm sweet buns lying around with out eating them…

In Copenhagen there is also a tradition from the 17th century, to walk the cities ramparts, the evening of the bank holiday, to enjoy the budding spring and listen to the bells from the church, Vor Frue Kirke.  When the original ramparts were destroyed in 1850, the tradition became to walk the ramparts around ‘Kastellet’.

2 dl whole milk
40 g fresh yeast / 20 g dried yeast
2 eggs
1 spoon sugar
450 g white flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom  
100 g soft or melted butter
(1 egg, for egg wash before baking) 

  • Warm the milk and mix in the yeast.
  • Add eggs and sugar and mix well.
  • In another bowl, mix flour, salt, cardamom and kneed the soft butter into the dry mix. (If using melted butter it can be added to the wet ingredients instead.
  • Mix the wet and dry ingredients together in the largest bowl. The dough should be firm and shiny.
  • Cover the dough and leave to rise for 1 hour.
  • After rising, place the dough on a table drizzled with flour and kneed the dough well.
  • Separate the dough into 16 small buns and place them close together, but not touching, on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  • Cover the buns and leave to rise again for around 45min.
  • Brush the buns with the egg wash, and bake in the owen at 180 degrees (fan) for about 12-15min.

Once baked, slice and toast and eat with cold butter. Yum.

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