Norwegians love to bake, and while all countries have their own versions of pretty much any dish in existence, I don’t think there’s anything quite like Norwegian “horn”. The closest would probably be crescent rolls but I will refer to them as “horns” for the rest of this blog post, as there is just something very special about the Norwegian kind.
“Horns” is another example of one of those nostalgic foods that fill my heart with happiness. In appearance these savory pastries are reminiscent of crescents or croissants, but dare I say they are a healthier version, as they contain only a fraction of the butter croissants do. “Horns” are heartier and not as fluffy as croissants, but definitely not as dense as crescents. I think both the flavor and texture of “horns” is what positively sets them apart from any other savory bun or pastry out there.
Sitting down with some type of Norwegian baked goods and a cup of hot cocoa or coffee, is one of the reasons why life is worth living. There is a great satisfaction, perhaps rooted in deep childhood memories, in allowing yourself this luxury every so often and is probably why I too, as many Norwegians, love baking.
It’s typical to fill the “horns” with something like cheese and ham, in fact I remember in high school I would buy these massive sized ‘horns’ in the school cafeteria and I’m pretty sure that was an entire week’s worth of calories but every student loved them.
In Norway, horn are served both for breakfast and lunch, brought on picnics and on hiking trips for that extra special treat. There are endless variations of “horn” – one of my favorites are “pizza horns”, filled with tomato sauce and cheese (vegan in my case, of course). You can pretty much fill them with anything you want, so long the filling isn’t too runny and will spill out.
There are two main ways to make them; with white, all purpose flour, and whole wheat or whole grain flour. The white version is typically is baked with a touch of cardamom, and the whole grain one with sesame seeds or other type of seeds like pumpkin, sunflower or flaxseeds. Black sesame seeds are also common, and in my case, since I only had white sesame seeds, I chose chia seeds and it turned out wonderfully.
No doubt if you visit a Norwegian bakery, you will see some type of these baked, half moon shaped delicacies and I highly recommend you try one. You’d be hard pressed to find a person who doesn’t love them the minute they bite into one.
Now luckily, you don’t have to go to Norway to experience eating one, you can just make my recipe. And might I add that these turned out mouthwateringly delicious? Just ask my husband, a non vegan, picky food snob. So there!
If you want to fill the horns, you will do so as you roll up the triangles before letting them rise again on the baking sheet. I made mine just plain and they were gorgeous just like that.
P.S. You can easily freeze these guys too so I recommend making a double recipe and heat them up in the oven whenever you want to have them – they are delicious just slathered with vegan butter, and perhaps add some vegan cheese or jam too if you wish!
NORWEGIAN BAKED HORNS (not the Viking ones)
1 1/2 cups (3.5dl) plant based milk
1/2 stick (50 grams) vegan butter
2 1/2 tsp dried instant yeast
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
3 1/4 cups (400grams) all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups (200 grams) whole wheat flour
plant based milk for brushing crescents
sesame seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc. for sprinkling on top
Heat up the butter and milk in a small pot until the mixture reaches about 98 degrees Fahrenheit/ 37 degrees Celcius. Pour into the bowl of a standmixer and sprinkle in the yeast and the sugar and let sit a couple of minutes until it starts to foam.
Attach the dough hook on your stand mixer and add in the flours and the salt, and knead for 5 minutes on medium speed until you have a smooth, firm dough. Cover with plastic or a clean towel and let rest until double in size, 1-2 hours.
Grease or line two baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 420 degrees Fahrenheit/210 degrees Celcius.
Pour the dough onto a clean, floured work surface, cut the dough in half, and with a rolling pin, shape each piece into a large circle. Cut the circle into six triangles. Roll each triangle up, starting from the widest point, until you have a crescent shape.
Place the crescents on the prepared baking sheet, cover with a clean towel and let rest for another 30 minutes.
Brush the crescents lightly with some plant based milk and sprinkle on seeds of choice and baking in the oven for about 15 minutes until lightly golden up top. Serve warm with vegan butter, jam or vegan cheese, and your favorite hot beverage.