A morning in Oslo.
In the calm first hours of the morning, Oslo wakes up with a sweet scent of cinnamon and cardamom. It’s the delicious fragrance of the kanelknuter, sweet knots that are enjoyed for breakfast or in the afternoon for a break. The smell of coffee is spreading in the streets, and it guides people towards the hearty cafeterias of the city. Oslo people love taking their time to enjoy a moment with friends in one of the many coffee shops and bakeries.
But there is someone who brought this ritual home, like Emma, a university researcher who is living in the Norwegian capital. To start the day in the best way, she makes her own coffee with her trustworthy Gaggia fully auto machine, and a soft kanelknuter.
While the sun is projecting its rays on the buildings, the streets are animated by the urban daily frenzy. The trams, icons of the city, slide silently along the rails, moving the citizens with efficiency and elegance.
The passengers, immersed in their books or focused on their electronic devices, constitute an essential part of the urban fabric.
A ride on the tram becomes a visual journey across the various facets of the city, from Grünerløkka to the Royal Palace.
While Emma walks through the hectic streets to reach the university department she stumbles across scenes that seem to be part of an urban fairytales book.
Street artists entertain the crowd with spontaneous performances, while artisanal local markets give a unique touch of color. Oslo is a city that celebrates creativity in all its shapes, from emerging artists to renowned talents who exhibit their works in the many art galleries present in various areas of the city.
The Norwegian capital city is a place where the connection with nature is tangible even in the urban landscape. Along the banks of the fjord, people relax in parks and squares to enjoy the peace offered by the surroundings.
The Ekberg Park, with its outstanding view of the city, becomes a safe place for everyone who wants to chill out, being immersed in a tranquil Northern environment. Here, Emma takes a walk before heading back home, with calm and gratitude.
If you want to make the delicious kanelknuter and take a bite of the Norwegian atmosphere, you can follow this recipe, by the Italian food stylist Livia Sala.
HOW TO MAKE SHORTBREAD
These are the ingredients you need for the dough:
– 3 g of brewer’s yeast • 250 ml (1 cup) of whole milk,
– 400 gr (3 ¼ cup) of all-purpose flour,
– 80 gr (2.82 oz) of room-temperature soft unsalted butter,
– 40 gr (¼ cup) of caster/cane sugar,
– 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom,
– a pinch of salt,
– half an egg (beaten).
And these ones for the filling:
– 80 g (2.82 oz) of room-temperature soft unsalted butter,
– 1 teaspoon of flour,
– 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon,
– 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom,
– 60 grams (⅓ cups) of caster/cane sugar,
– half an egg (beaten, to brush the pastries).
Here’s the procedure:
1. Activate the brewer’s yeast in a bit of lukewarm milk and a pinch of sugar. Let it rest until you see bubbles forming.
2. Mix in the stand mixer first the flour + ground cardamom, then the activated, the rest of the milk, and half a beaten egg. Mix the ingredients well with the hook whisk until you obtain an homogeneous and elastic dough.
3. Now, add a pinch of salt and the softened butter, a piece at a time.
4. When the dough is ready and it doesn’t stick to the sides of the mixer, take it and put it on a working surface. Knead it and make a ball.
5 . Transfer the dough to a big and slightly buttered bowl. Cover it with a film, let it leaven until it doubles its size.
6. Once ready, put it on a working surface on which you’ve spread a bit of flour. Roll it with a rolling pin and shape it into a 50 x 40 cm rectangle. Cover it with plastic film and let it rest.
7. In the meantime, prepare the filling: mix the rest of the butter with a teaspoon of flour, the spices, and sugar.
8. Spread the filling on the dough, then fold it in half (to cover one side with the other) then cut it in vertical small strips with a cutter. You should obtain 16 strips.
9. Twist each of the strip on itself and make a knot by sealing the ends. Place them all on the a baking tray. Let them rest for 30-40 mins, covered with a clean cloth.
10. Preheat the oven at 200 °C / 392 ° F. Brush all the kanelknuter with the rest of the beaten egg and cook them for about 15 minutes.