February and the winter’s first heavy snow can’t discourage Danes standing in queues at Copenhagen’s array of outstanding bakeries ordering their favorite versions of Fastelavnboller, (Fastelavn Buns). These popular pastry gems, pumped with creme with a variety of flavors ranging from nougat to rhubarb, topped with glazing, are baked and sold leading up to the Sunday before Ash Wednesday. The Swedes may have their delicious Selmas and we Brits are known to toss a pancake or two on Shrove Tuesday, but this cannot compete with the Dane’s impressive appetite for these innocent looking buns. For 34 years, my mother-in-law, a daughter of a baker, kept her own recipe religiously secret before succumbing to my persistent pleas and she generously enriched me with once in lifetime bakery workshop focusing just on baking Fastelavnsboller. They were delicious.
Copenhagen’s bakery scene has evolved miraculously over the past 20 years, producing quality breads and pastries and successfully exporting their brands to a curious international customer base, such as Meyers in New York. However, back in a corner of Vesterbro in Copenhagen, a small local independent bakery, Bageriet Brød (Bread) is building a healthy reputation for its organic artisan breads and pastries. The interior and atmosphere is as far away from your average French patisserie as it possibly could be. But for the last 4 years Bageriet Brød, has been producing Copenhagen’s finest bakery produce, including Fastelavnboller. My advice, beat the crowds and get there early.
Photo credits: Phillip Mills