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Skoleboller, or school sandwiches, got their name from the Norwegian tradition of including them in children’s school lunch boxes as treats.

Coconut school sandwiches

Makes 12 sandwiches

  • 3⅔ cups (458 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • ½ cup (100 grams) of granulated sugar
  • 1 (0.25 oz) (7 gram) package of active dry yeast*
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) ground cardamom
  • ½ cup (120 grams) hot whole milk (49°C/120°F to 54°C/130°F)
  • ½ cup (120 grams) hot unsweetened canned coconut milk (49°C/120°F to 54°C/130°F)
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature and divided
  • cup (76 grams) unsalted butter, cut into cubes and softened
  • Coconut custard (recipe follows)
  • 1 cup (120 grams) icing sugar
  • 2 spoons (30 grams) water, room temperature
  • Decoration: sweetened coconut flakes
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 2 cups (250 grams) flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt, and cardamom. Add the hot milk and beat on low speed until combined. Add 1 egg (50 grams) and beat until smooth. Gradually add remaining 1 ½ cups (208 grams) flour, beating until dough comes together and stopping to scrape down sides of bowl.

  • Switch to the dough hook attachment. With the mixer on low speed, add the butter, one cube at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Beat until the dough is elastic and smooth, 8 to 10 minutes.

  • Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (24°C/75°F) until doubled in volume, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. (Alternatively, cover and refrigerate the dough overnight. Allow it to come to room temperature and then let it rise in a warm, draft-free place [75°F/24°C] until doubled in size, 2 to 2 1/2 hours, before proceeding.)

  • Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Spray 2 large sheets of plastic wrap with cooking spray.

  • Lightly tap the dough. Cover and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 12 portions (about 74 grams each). Using the palms of your hands, gently shape each portion into a smooth, round ball, lightly flouring your hands as needed. Place 3 to 4 inches apart on prepared pans. Cover with plastic wrap, sprayed side down, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (24°C/75°F) until doubled in size, 1½ to 2 hours.

  • Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F).

  • Place the coconut custard in a piping bag fitted with a medium round nozzle.

  • Using your fingers or a ¼-cup measuring cup, gently press an indentation in the center of each sandwich. Pipe the custard into the indentations. (Do not overfill; the custard will expand as it bakes.)

  • In a small bowl, beat remaining 1 egg (50 grams) until well combined. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash all over the surface and sides of the dough, avoiding the pastry cream.

  • Bake until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted near the center registers 190°F (88°C), 9 to 11 minutes. Let cool completely on pans on wire racks.

  • In another small bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons (30 grams) room temperature water until well combined. Using a pastry brush, brush glaze over sides of buns and immediately garnish with coconut flakes, if desired. Serve immediately. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

*We have used Red Star active dry yeast.
professional suggestion

Shake the can of coconut milk well before opening as it will naturally separate a bit.

Coconut Custard

Makes 2 cups

  • 1 cup (240 grams) whole milk
  • ½ cup (120 grams) unsweetened coconut milk
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 large egg yolks (74 grams)
  • spoons (26 grams) corn starch
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoons (6 grams) vanilla extract
  • teaspoon coconut extract
  • 2 spoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar over medium heat, stirring frequently, until steaming. (Do not boil.)

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch, salt, and remaining ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar. Slowly add the hot milk mixture, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture into the saucepan; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbling, 4 to 5 minutes. Beat in the extracts.

  • Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl. Beat in the butter until melted and well combined. Cover with a piece of cling film, pressing the cling film directly onto the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until an instant-read thermometer registers a temperature of 65°F (18°C) to 70°F (21°C), 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

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