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Donal Skehan

Visit To A Swedish Bakery!

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During my visit to Sweden a few weeks ago, I got the opportunity to visit a Swedish bakery! As it so happened it turned out to be the same bakery which supplied the desserts for the restaurant I used to work at when I lived in Sweden.

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They weren't just any desserts mind you, these were delivered in their own metal case, which had shelves built inside, and each cake or roll was placed on individual gold paper plates. Princess Torte and Budapest Rulle were on our menu daily and on rare quiet days, leftovers eventually made their way back to the kitchen at the end of service, much to my delight! 

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I absolutely getting to visit places like this, where you get to see what goes on behind the scenes, it gives you a better feel for a place and means you are left with better knowledge about how food is produced. Apparently when I was much younger, we used to regularly go to a Chinese restaurant where I felt free to walk in and out of the kitchens, watching the chefs as they prepared dishes for the customers.

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As you can imagine, I don't think this would ever be the case nowadays, but I love that I have distinct memories of sitting on the kitchen counter watching the food being prepared with the waitress's while my parents sat outside. They still claim there was no neglect involved! It's experiences like this which I guess formed my love for seeing the process rather than the product.

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When we arrived at the bakery, the first thing that hit me was the unbelievable smell of sweet and sticky breads, we were given white coats to wear and headed straight through to the main work area. The first thing that struck me was the size of everything, all the appliances were at least twice the size of regular home kitchen appliances, as if we had stepped in to a giants kitchen. Unfortunately no giants appeared throughout the whole time we were there. A boy can still dream can't he?!

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There was about five bakers busy at work making variations of Kanelbulle (cinnamon buns).  There was a sort of cake being made by making a ring with the dough and then snipping at it with a scissors to make an amazing pattern the whole way around.  On the other side of the counter chopped apples were being added to make a cinnamon apple pie.

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I was shown how the dough was prepared by a giant machine and then carried to the work surface wrapped around a giant rolling pin.  The dough is then stretched the entire length of a massive board and then spread with cinnamon butter.  The dough is then rolled into a swirl and chopped into cinnamon buns!  We visited on a Friday so the staff had the fridges packed full of cakes and breads.  This was my favourite part and I had to stop myself running my finger along the icing of the cakes and tasting them!  When I grow up I want to be a baker boy! 🙂

Check out the recipe for Swedish Cinnamon Buns here…