Magnus Nilsson celebrates the comforting food and baking traditions of his Nordic heritage.
Some years ago I wrote a book about Nordic food. The Nordic Cookbook is a documentary book in the sense that the recipes weren’t my own – I simply collected and compiled them in a way that made it possible for people to understand and use them. An important aspect of that was to make the recipes and my own food culture understandable to those who didn’t grow up in the Nordics. Most people never see past the flurry of recipes and variations of a handful of dishes such as gravlax, herrings and meatballs. Or articles about very ambitious Nordic restaurants like my own (Fäviken), which are all fantastic at what they do, but don’t reflect the food culture of people inside their homes. I wanted to help people to easily gain a deeper insight into what we eat in this region and hopefully by doing so, inspire many to cook dishes from the region.
The Nordic Baking Book is very much a continuation. I wanted it to be a snapshot of what people actually bake today. I decided to include anything and everything that intuitively made sense to me to have it there, as long as people in the Nordics cooked or baked it, and as long as it served a purpose for the book.
It contains pretty much all the dishes of the Nordic region containing grains: from porridge to pasties, as well as recipes for breads, cakes, cookies and pastries. But it also provides you with all the information necessary to understand why those recipes are actually important to us. It also includes the supporting recipes you need to make every part of the dishes and recipes described throughout the book.
Because of this approach, there is a whole chapter on making jams and cordials, as well as a large basic section that tells you how to make pastry cream and chocolate sauce, and all kinds of things that aren’t strictly baking but which are referred to and used in many of the dishes in the book. It should really be called The Nordic Grain-dishes-baking-pasties-pastries-desserts-sweets-jams-andcordials-and-anything-else-vaguely-associated-with-the-aforementionedsubjects Book. Imagine the poor designer commissioned to figure out what the cover would look like.
I hope that you read the book and that you bake and cook from it. That you dare to make the recipes your own and not just follow the instructions but adapt them to your preferences and the circumstances in which you live.