Charcoal buns or Kolbullar

Today two of our grandchildren, H & H, have come for a sleep over.They are 4 and 5 with much love to run, so with spring in the air we went for a walk along the nearby lake, fed the ducks and then lit a fire and baked some charcoal buns for lunch – or kolbullar as we say in Swedish.

Charcoal buns? Are you going to give the kids black burnt buns?  Are you out of your mind, that’s unhealthy, bad tasting and most likely cancerogenous! No, no, no…, don’t worry. Charcoal buns are not some blackened buns, it’s simply a kind of pancake with salted pork or bacon (the modern version).Heavy and robust food from the time when loggers, navvies, charcoal burners and log floaters had to live away from home for months and work in primitive conditions. This was food containing few and sustainable ingrediens – flour, water and salted pork – and was baked in pork grease in an cast iron pan over open fire.

Today you don’t have to bring along a heavy cast iron pan, nowadays there are special light metal pans with a long handle that you can easily carry in your backpack together with matches, chunks of pork and the in advanced prepared batter (in a PET bottle).

Charcoal buns

Serves 4

  • 300-400 gr of salted pork (or bacon) cut into smaller cubes
  • 4 dl barley flour (replace with wheat flour if you don’t want to buy barley flour for this purpose only)
  • 4 dl  wheat flour
  • about 9 dl water
  • salt to taste
  • grease or butter to fry
  • cast iron pan or a charcoal pan with long handle
  1. Mix flour, water and salt into a rather thick batter, thicker than regular pancake batter.
  2. Brown the butter in a hot pan, add a heaping tablespoon of pork and let it fry for a couple of minutes (you can also fry them in advance at home) and pour the batter over, about twice as much compared to making ordinary pancakes.
  3. When the top is almost dry and flip over the charcoal bun and bake for another few minutes. The charcoal bun should have a crispy, golden brown surface.
  4. Serve with lingonberry sauce/jam (cranberry sauce will do just as well) and enjoy!.

This is very stout food, that’ll keep you going for the whole day, but don’t overeat!


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