The Danes are the happiest people in Europe according to the European Social Survey. Don’t get me wrong, Denmark is not perfect. We have our challenges and problems like any other country. Denmark, nevertheless, can be a source of inspiration for other nations to increase their quality of life. There is a lot of media interest right now. The pursuit of happiness, well-being, and quality of life people enjoy in Denmark is getting a lot of attention. Just look at how many books, nine, have come out in the past few months.
It is true the weather is dreadful; it rains on the average of 17l days a year. And yes, we pay some of the highest taxes in the world. Yet, we like our welfare state and feel that by paying high taxes we are investing in our society. One could say that we are purchasing quality of life, a high quality of life.
Hygge is an important part of the Danish happiness. We meet most often with our friends and family. We feel the calmest and most peaceful. What is HYGGE and how do you create it. Right at the moment, I am working on Danish Open-face Sandwiches on my blog, but I would like to insert a few words about HYGGE once in awhile.
Going for a walk on a cold crisp day in one of the many beautiful parks such as this one, and then coming home and enjoying a cup of coffee and a soft roll is an excellent way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon. Lighting candles are one of the best ways to creating intimacy and HYGGE.
This castle was built by King Christian the fourth in 1600-1625. The smaller castle was also built by King Christian the fourth for his mistress. The beautiful barok park was recreated in 1993 and now Danes enjoy walking here both in the summer and the winter.
Danish Soft Rolls makes 30 rolls
4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 50 grams cake/fresh yeast
½ cup of lukewarm water
3 oz. butter
1 cup cold water
1½ tsk salt
1-2 tsk sugar
4 – 4½ cups flour (500 grams or 16 ounces)
1 beaten egg for brushing
Preheat the oven to 440°F (230 °C).
To make the soft rolls, sprinkle the active dry yeast over the warm warm and let sit for 10 minutes.
Melt the butter, pour the cold water in and mix with the yeast and lukewarm water. Add the other ingredients and mix together in a bowl. (If dough is still sticky after all the flour has been added, you can add a little extra flour until dough is no longer sticky). When all the flour has been added, knead the dough for 10 minutes, if you choose to do it by hand (you can also use an electric mixer.) Place dough in a bowl and cover with a clean, dry tea towel. Place in a warm, draft free spot and allow to rise until double in size, 30-45 minutes.
To form the rolls, line a baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Pour dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide dough into 3 equal portions. Then divide each of these portions into 10 equal parts for a total of 30 balls. Roll each piece of dough with between your hands into a small dough ball, and place them on a baking sheet. You may have to use two baking sheets. Cover each baking sheet with a clean, dry tea towel and allow to rise in a warm location for 30 minutes.
To bake the rolls, brush with beaten egg. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.