With just three ingredients, our Danish Morning Bun recipe may be the best thing since sliced bread. Ironically, slicing bread is the most difficult part of the recipe.
Our exploration of the Copenhagen food scene was sensational. Not only did we enjoy world-class gastronomic cuisine, but we also ate smørrebrød sandwiches piled high with caviar and buttery layered pastries that tasted like heaven.
We also started every morning with cheese sandwiches.
To be clear, those breakfast sandwiches weren’t just processed Kraft singles stuffed inside Bimbo white bread. They were sandwiches born out of a the Danish commitment to producing artisan bread in every corner of Copenhagen. And, due to the latest wave of bakeries in the city, we found racks filled with some of the best natural yeast boules in the world.
It was easy, during our excursions to Copenhagen bakeries like Hart, Collective, Juno and Lille, to eat plenty of kanelsnagels, cardamom buns and spandauers. However, ordering an entire loaf of bread wasn’t on our agenda. Thankfully, these bakeries bake plenty of small rolls – a practical option for those like us who can’t eat a loaf of bread in one sitting.
But Copenhagen’s bakeries offer a bigger gift, otherwise known as the morning bun – a simple creation involving a marvelous flavorful sourdough roll, Comté cheese and local Danish butter (otherwise known as just “butter” in Denmark.)
The morning bun is a fine flavor vehicle – one where funky, French alpine cheese and creamy butter provide a mildly sweet yet funky yin to the wonderfully yeasty, crusty bun’s yang.
Sure, while our dinner at the intergalactically famous Noma wowed us with its extraordinary culinary feats, Denmark’s simple breakfast sandwich stands out in our minds when we think about the terrific food in Denmark.
After connecting to the simple breakfast bun and declaring it “My new favorite thing!” Daryl was committed to recreating it in our home kitchen. Once he did, we both exclaimed “yippee” and promptly gobbled it down.
Seriously, we’re going to be eating Danish morning buns for a long time now that they’re in our lives. We anticipate you will too. How could you not?!!
What Is a Danish Morning Bun?
A Danish morning bun is a portable breakfast sandwich that demonstrates the power of top quality ingredients.
Magnificent artisan sourdough bread provides a stage for excellent aged alpine cheese (in this case Comté from France) and butter. While these three ingredients stand on their own, the morning bun makes them even better.
The Danish morning bun pairs with both with coffee and orange juice.
Danish Morning Bun Ingredients
You only need the following three ingredients to make a Danish Morning Bun at home:
You don’t need any specials tools or equipment. In fact, you probably have most of the following tools for this recipe already:
No power tools are required!
We recommend using high quality aged Alpine cheeses for this recipe since Alpine cheeses taste great with butter. While we typically use Comté, you could use a number of great cheeses like good Gruyere, Appenzeller or Beaufort depending on availability where you live. An American domestic cheese like Pleasant Ridge Reserve would also be an excellent choice.
However, there are certain cheeses that we don’t recommend for this recipe…
Cheddar? Too acidic (a.k.a. sharp). Blue cheeses like Roquefort? Too weird. Brie and camembert? Too mild. American singles? Get outta here!!
The bread or roll you use is the raison d’etre for this sandwich. In other words, one reason why we ate so many of morning buns in Copenhagen was to sample the amazing breads those bakeries were producing.
If you live in a big city with a recent culinary renaissance like Portland, Nashville, or even here in Lisbon, you should have access to artisan loaves and rolls. If not, there are excellent sourdough tutorials and recipes available online.
You can make your own sourdough bread if you’re an over-achiever.
Just like the cheese and bread, you get out what you put in this sandwich.
We won’t say that generic supermarket butter is a no no but there’s certainly nothing wrong with using the best quality Irish or French butter. Since we’re in Lisbon, we usually source Azorean butter. You get extra credit if you use Danish butter!
How to Make a Danish Morning Bun
Making this breakfast bun may be the most easy and satisfying recipe you’ll ever make in your home kitchen and, while we won’t say it’s the healthiest thing you’ll eat, it’s a heck of lot better for you than sugar-filled American cereals.
The key is to make sure you thinly slice your cheese and your roll evenly. You also must make sure that the butter has softened before you start.
Step 2: Slice the roll by placing the flat side of your palm on the top of the roll and slicing it evenly in half with a bread knife.
Step 3: Spread the softened butter evenly on both sides of the sliced roll with a butter knife.
You can soften the butter either by leaving it at room temperature 30 minutes before making the recipe or by swirling and agitating it with a butter knife on a small dish for about two minutes. Here’s a good video with more ways to soften butter.
Step 4: Once your roll is buttered, place the cheese evenly on the bread, close the bun.
All that’s left to do is bite into your tasty sandwich and enjoy a great day ahead.
This Danish Morning Bun is part of a nutritious breakfast. (Those of a certain age will get the joke.)
Danish Morning Bun Recipe
- 1 sourdough bun
- 1/2 ounce butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 ounce Comté cheese, thinly sliced
- Slice sourdough bun in half with a bread knife.
- Smear butter on to both sides of the bun's interior.
- Place cheese slices inside the bun. Close bun.
- Serve with coffee and/or orange juice.
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About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.
Original Publication Date: November 4, 2021