Nyttigare Sockerbullar: Swedish Rolls With Chocolate And Spelt For “Quanti Modi Di Fare E Rifare”

A year has passed by since I made Jan Hedh’s wonderful sockerbullar with vanilla custard filling (find the original recipe here). The recipe was selected for this month’s challenge by my favorite Italian baking group, Quanti Modi Di Fare E Rifare*, and I am very curious and excited at the idea of seeing all the different versions of this very creative ensemble of home-bakers.

As for me, this time I wanted to see if I could obtain the same soft, melt-in-mouth rolls by replacing the traditionally used wheat with spelt, much of it whole-grain. To healthify this recipe further, I replaced the sugar with organic coconut palm sugar (which is as sweet as regular sugar but has a low glicemic index, a must have). And to make the buns meet  our chochaolic family taste, I added cocoa to the filling. I can tell you that my 4-year old daughter, which is definitely not a lover of whole-grain, said “mamma these are the best rolls you ever made!”. Clearly an overstatement, but a good sign!

A little note about spelt for those of you who are not familiar with this grain. Spelt is a “relic” crop, an ancient type of grain which has been sparsely farmed in modern times and so maintained unaltered its characteristics. Differently from wheat, the spelt we can get nowadays is not very different from the grain harvested 9000 years old and possibly even earlier. Regarding its nutritional qualities, spelt contains 9 percent fibre, 17 percent protein and 3 percent unsaturated fat, as well as several dietary minerals and vitamins. It also contains only a moderate amount of gluten, so it is probably better tolerated by our body (it is likely that even those of us who are not gluten intolerant may be affected by massive amounts of gluten in their diet). SCROLL DOWN FOR THE RECIPE/CLICCA QUI PER LA RICETTA IN ITALIANO.


You Need:

35 g fresh yeast (or 10 g instant yeast)

300 g luke-warm milk

80 g organic coconut palm sugar

12 g vanilla-flavored confectioner’s sugar (or 2 teaspoon vanilla extract)

3 egg yolks

450 g white spelt flour**

150 g coarse spelt flour

100 g butter

1 batch of chocolate custard (about 3/4 liter)***

More coconut palm sugar and butter for coating.

**finally I found white spelt in Sweden! If you are Swedish and you wonder where, write to me.

How to:

1) Dissolve the yeast in the milk, add the sugars and the egg yolks and whisk shortly. Add the flour and knead for 10 minutes at low speed.

2) Add the butter in small pieces and knead for other 10 minutes at medium-low speed.

3) Cover and let rest in a warm place – the oven with the light on is fine, I generally place the dough in my laundry with the drying machine on – until doubled or more in volume.

4) Deflate and divide in two pieces. Make each piece in a elongated log and cut into 9-10 pieces. Flatten each piece in a round and place a good spoonful of chocolate custard*** in the center. Close all the edges on top and seal with your fingers. Turn the bun seam side down and make it rounder.

5) Place the buns in a  parchment-covered oven tray and let rest covered in a warm place for about a hour.

6) Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 250 degrees (Celsius, 482 Fahrenheit). When the buns are ready, bake for 8-9 minutes.

7) Brush immediately with melted butter and sprinkle with coconut palm sugar. They are great if served warm.

***CHOCOLATE CUSTARD (based on a Swedish recipe)

You need: 1 vanilla pod (or 2 teaspoon vanilla extract), 500 g milk, 6 egg yolks, 125 g caster sugar coconut palm sugar, 40 g cornstarch, 25 g butter, 2 tablespoon cocoa powder (my addition).

How to: Divide the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrap the inner flesh into the a pot with the milk (OR: just add the vanilla extract to the milk). Let cook until almost boiling, then put aside and let cool. Whip the egg yolks with the sugar and then add the flour. When the milk is only slightly warm (and not hot) pour it over the egg mixture and whip. Return to the stove, add the butter, and cook on low heat until thickened. Make sure that the custard is not hot when filling the buns.

CONSIDERATIONS: Healthy does not necessarily means funny tasting or tasteless. These delicious buns are actually not only good but also nourishing, if you buy the concept that butter and eggs are better than regular sugar and refined wheat. I was afraid that using 100% spelt would have resulted in very little rise. The rising was just as good as in the wheat version and the shape was just a little more spread out, mostly because of the higher hydration (whole-grains need more liquid in the dough in order to give a soft and highly digestible crumb). Anyway, fluffiness, melt-in-mouth effect and deliciousness were all preserved. They were actually so soft that they seemed fried… but they weren’t! So happy I could give one to my little one without any guilty feelings whatsoever. And the same applies to myself :) Alla salute!

*Quanti modi di fare e rifare is a monthly cooking event devised by Anna and Ornella, two incredibly talented cooks and home-bakers who happen to be expat Italians like me.

This goes to Susan.

Show 53 comments

Hide 53 comments


  1. Grazie di cuore per questa bellissima ricetta, ci siamo davvero trovati bene nella tua cucina e con le tue spiegazioni….io credo proprio che rifarò prestissimo questa ricetta! grazie di cuore!!

  2. ho appena scoperto il tuo blog, proprio grazie all’iniziativa di Anna ed Ornella :-)
    mi piace davvero molto!!!!
    un abbraccione

  3. Mmm, looks delicious. How well do these buns pair well with coffee?

    Anyway, I wish I had spelt in my whereabouts, but I can only one day hope. Have a happy baking. :)

    • virtually every Swedish sweet comes with a built-in coffee cup :) thank you for the visit and hope you find some white spelt soon. it took me a while to find it myself.

  4. They are a perfect tea accompaniment!~

  5. Grazie cara Barbara, della squisita ospitalità. E’ stato un piacere spignattare insieme.
    Ottima ricetta, il successo riscosso oggi è tutto meritato, ci sono state ben 32 versioni.
    Alla prossima in Germania per una ricetta napoletanissima :)

  6. sono stati buonissimi!! da rifare! la prossima volta con marmellata :D ciao cara grazie!

  7. Mamma mia che colore fantastico che hanno questi dolcetti! Mi fanno veramente gola. Grazie per questa ricetta li voglio fare molto presto. Ciao!

  8. beh, innanzitutto grazie per avermi fatto scoprire quest’impasto meraviglioso! e poi devo assolutamente provare anche questa variante!
    buon proseguimento

  9. Bellissimi e sicuramente buonissimi…solo tu che hai proposto la ricetta originale potevi proporre una variante così particolare e golosa…complimenti…adesso vedo come fare per seguire il tuo blog perché tiri fuori delle idee davvero interessanti..
    A presto!!!

    • ma non si vede l’opzione segui via mail? mi sono sempre chiesta se i blogspottisti la vedessero… cmq grazie mille per le tue parole gentili, mi hanno fatto davvero tanto piacere. passo da te al piu’ presto! baci

  10. Ciao Barbara, sono impazzita anch’io per i tuoi bomboloni, davvero una ricetta che non si può dimenticare. Un bacione e grazie (sai che quel polpettone ligurian style è proprio interessante?)

  11. Ciao Barbara,
    grazie per la tua golosissima ricetta, proveremo anche la versione con farine alternative… buona serata!

  12. Grazie milla cara Barbara per la golosissima ricetta!
    Avevo sentito parlare dei bullar svedesi, ma non immaginavo tanta bontà!
    I miei uomini hanno apprezzato tantisimo i sockerbullar e sono certa che li rifarò ben presto!
    Un abbraccio!

  13. cara Barbara, grazie di questa bellissima ricetta, un caro abbraccio

  14. With that chocolate filling leaking out I just could grab one out of the screen….. luckily we have spelt flour in all varieties available round here, even the bakeries have a lot of baked good out of spelt.

  15. Ciao Barbara! la tua nuova versione della tua ricetta è INCREDIBILE!!! S’hanno da rifare allora e con cioccolato! La crema originale era strepitosa già da sola, quella al cioccolato deve essere sublime. La tua cucciola me la immagino con un mega sorriso mentre si gusta questi bomboloni! In bocca al lupo per il lavoro, un pat pat sulla spalla da precaria a precaria e arrivederci a prestissimo! Hai un bellissimo blog!

  16. Fabiglutenfree sono sempre io Fabi di Fabipasticcio :-D

  17. Oh…my!!!! These look so delicious, and so much better than any doughnut I could imagine! I love baking with spelt and have always gotten great results. So good to see that these turned out well for you with the spelt. I often actually prefer whole wheat in desserts due to the added flavor complexity, which I think would really shine here. What a GREAT recipe!

  18. Looks amazing! Must try

  19. Coconut palm sugar?? This is a new to me (I live in my GARLIC world…). Chocolate and buns is always a great combination and I am sure that the white spelt flour enhance the flavour of these Swedish buns. Since I follow your great blog I am always tempted to buy all sort of flours when I go shopping…

  20. hi barbara,
    fantastic as always….

    Just letting you know i have nominated you for Super Sweet Blogging award………..enjoy your recipes…
    please follow link to accept….no pressure:)


  21. OH MY! I am most definitely going to make these. I’ll make them tomorrow if I have the ingredients!

    I’m confused with the flour, though. In Germany, we have “spelt” which I think is what you call white spelt. It’s like all-purpose wheat flour, but with spelt. So not whole grain at all. Then we have “whole grain spelt.” Is this what you call coarse spelt? Or is coarse spelt like you take the spelt berries (or whatever they’re called) and put them through a grain mill at a medium setting?

    Or what are the two types of flour called in Swedish? I think that’ll help. :)

    Thank you! Sorry for all the questions. I really want to make these!

  22. I keep scrolling up and down this post…

    Can’t wait to make these!

  23. sister. i cannot believe some of the stuff you conjure up over there. i am constantly amazed. i wish i had your fire in the kitchen!



  24. Your baking is always so inspired…love how you try to find a healthy alternative.

  25. Ah, I never submitted my comment. So sorry!

    I made these but completely messed them up (because of my stupidity, mind you!) and will have to try them again! They were still delicious and I can’t wait for my re-do. :) I’m still wondering about the spelt thing I mentioned above. I’d like to do it completely correct the next time.

    I hope you’re feeling better!

    • thank you Erin, yes I am feeling much better. Even missing blogging which is a good sign.
      you got it right: white spelt is refined and coarse is whole-grain. They need to be baked at high temperature so they come out very soft, as if they were fried…

  26. Excellent! Thanks for the reply. I’ll have to see if I still have some white spelt around. And that’s very interesting about the temperature! I learn the best bread tips over here. I’m happy that you’re feeling better! :)

  27. WOW!!! I can see how your daughter loves these. I would, too… :-D Can’t wait to try them.

  28. How did I miss this post? I love how you healthified these, yet they still look plenty decadent, and so soft. Your daughter has good taste!

  29. Anything with chocolate gets my attention and these buns look great. I am very intrigued by your substitution of white sugar with palm sugar. When I use it, I do a partial substitution, because palm sugar has a rather strong flavor. I love the story of your daughter :)

  30. I baked a lot of Jan Hedh’s breads (from “Swedish Breads and Pastry”), but haven’t seen this one, yet. Looks very appetizing, and chocolate is pure medicine, anyway.

  31. What can I say? Love, love love!

  32. Where can I buy coconut palm sugar in Sweden?

Leave a Reply