Swedish Peasant Bread

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My mom sometimes mails me random stuff she thinks I might find interesting, and a while ago she mailed me a Swedish flyer with some baking recipes. The flyer was publish by KF Provköket which seems to now be coop Provkök, a test kitchen for the retail cooperative coop. The flyer looks like it is published in 1985, and I could not find the recipes online.

Swedish is close to Danish, so I could easily figure out the recipes. The one that caught my eye was one for a whole grain ‘peasant bread’. It is using a scalding technique and is made with rye flour and some ground bitter orange (pomerans) rind. I find that quite a bit of Swedish bread is made with some sort of spices, and it is usually a nice touch. I did not, however, have any bitter orange rind or knew where to get it, so I decided to add some ground all-spice for some general complex spiciness, and that worked well.

Though not required by the recipe, I used the opportunity to use my bannetons again, and the breads turned out beautiful.

Ingredients:

  • 500 ml boiling water (2.1 cups)
  • 500 ml whole grain rye flour (2.1 cups)
  • 1 tsp ground all-spice
  • 50 g butter (1.8 oz)
  • 250 ml water (1 cup)
  • 16.6 g active dry yeast (0.6 oz) (50 g fresh yeast cake)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1100 ml bread flour (4.6 cups)

Method:

1. Mix this rye flour and all spice together in a bowl.

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2. Pour boiling water over the mixture, cover with film and let stand for 2-4 hours (until a little warmer than room temperature).

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3. Melt the butter and add the water. Let cool to 90 F/ 37 C.

4. Mix the yeast in the water/butter mixture.

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5. Add the yeast, butter and water to the scalded flour and mix.

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6. Mix the salt and gradually add almost all of the bread flour, and mix until a dough forms.

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7. Knead lightly in the bowl for a few minutes.

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8. Cover with film and let rise for 45-60 min.

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9. Turn the dough out on a work surface and knead lightly. Add more flour if necessary.

10. Divide dough in 2 and form 2 round breads.

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11. If using, dust 2 8-inch bannetons with rice flour and place the breads in them. Otherwise place breads on a parchment lined sheet.

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12. Cover breads and let rest for 20-30 min.

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13. Preheat oven to 200 C / 392 F.

14. Turn the breads out on a parchment lined sheet and transfer to oven.

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15. Bake for 40-45 min, they are done when lightly brown and hollow sounding.

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Since there is not much kneading involved, these are actually quite fast and easy to make. The scalding make it quite moist, and the spice and rye combination adds a lot of flavor. This bread is great still warm with butter, or as sandwich bread. I found it kept very well.

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Oat Rolls

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This is a variation on the oat bread I have blogged about before. The recipe is excellent for rolls, and I enhanced them by added some honey, the sweetness works very well with the oats.

Ingredients:

  • 100 ml water ( 0.4 cups)
  • 500 ml milk ( 2.1 cups)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8.3 g active dry yeast (0.3 oz) or 25 g yeast cake (0.9 oz)
  • 150 g rolled oats (quick cook or traditional) ( 5.3 oz)
  • 150 g whole wheat flour (5.3 oz)
  • 500 g all purpose or bread flour (17.6 oz)
  • oats, milk to decorate

Method:

1. Heat the water and milk until lukewarm, about 30 C/ 90 F.

2. Dissolve the yeast in the liquid in a large bowl.

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3. Add the honey, oats, salt and whole grain flour and mix well.

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4. Add most of the bread flour and form a dough.

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5. Turn the dough out on a work surface and knead it through (5 min), add more flour if necessary.

6. Put the dough in bowl and let it rise to double size, about 1 hour.

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7. Turn the dough out on a work surface and knead well, until elastic.

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8. Let the dough rest for 15-20 min.

9. Divide the dough into quarters, and divide each quarter into 8 pieces.

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10. Form each piece into a ball and form a roll. Put on a parchment covered baking sheets (you will need 2 full sheets for 32 rolls).

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12. Let the rolls rise under a tea towel for about 45 min.

13. Preheat the oven to 395 F/ 200 C

14. Brush the rolls with milk and decorate with oats, pressing them into the rolls.

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15. Bake for about 20-25 minutes and let cool on a wire rack.

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The honey is a great touch and I like these little rolls. They are small in size, but I think that is great  – if you prefer big buns you can make 16 bigger ones.

4 Grain Bread

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My mom sent me this recipe, she originally clipped it from a Danish magazine. It is called ‘a bread that keeps’, and it really does keep well. I made it two times, and I think I have tweaked the recipe to where I like it.

It is started the day before you bake, making a quick ‘sourdough’ – but it still contain quite a bit of commercial yeast, and does not really have a typical sourdough taste, as you get with a fully developed sourdough. It is then made with buttermilk, which I think make it very moist.

The original recipe calls for 2 types of flour I can’t really get here in the US, sigtemel which is a mix of sifted rye and wheat flour with 30%-50% rye. I mixed bread flour and rye flour with about 60% rye, though the result is a little different, as I use whole grain dark rye flour – sigtemel is a white flour. Secondly, the recipe calls for 4-korns mel which literally means 4-grain flour, and that might be what it is. I don’t recall having seen it in stores, and the only thing I could find online was from Norway, where it indeed was a mix of wheat, rye, oat and barley flour. My mom, however, was convinced that it meant some flour with whole kernels in it – though she said she usually just makes it with sigtemel telling me ‘you know how fussy your dad is with whole kernels’. I’m pretty sure it would be a great bread to add some soaked wheat or rye kernels to, but I stuck to adding some whole grain barley and oat flour.

You can play a bit with the ratio, this is a bit of a dense bread because of all the non-wheat flours, they don’t have much (if any) gluten, so the bread does not become that fluffy.

I baked this on the pizza stone, and that worked really well, but you can bake it on a regular sheet with parchment paper just fine.

Ingredients: (original recipe from unknown Danish magazine)

Day 1:

  • 25 g yeast cake (8.3 g /0.3 oz active dry yeast)
  • 250 ml lukewarm water (1 cup)
  • 150 g bread flour (5.3 oz)
  • 100 g rye flour (3.5 oz)

Day 2:

  • 400 ml buttermilk (1.7 cups)
  • 1 tbsp coarse or kosher salt
  • 150 g oat flour (5.3 oz)
  • 150 g barley flour (5.3 oz)
  • 150 g rye flour (5.3 oz)
  • 325 g bread flour (11.5 g)

Method:

Day 1:

1. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water

2. Add the initial bread and rye flour and mix well.

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3. Cover with film and let stand at room temperature for 12-14 hours.

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Day 2:

1. Mix the buttermilk with your dough.

2. Add salt and the barley, oat and rye flours and mix.

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3. Add most of the bread flour in 2-3 portions.

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4. Turn the dough out on a work surface and knead well, add more bread flour if necessary. The dough is a little sticky, take care it doesn’t get too dry, but is should feel elastic and easy to work with in the end.

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5. Let the dough rise for about an hour.

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6. Form 2 breads (or one big one).

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7. Cover and let rest for 20-30 min. Preheat the oven to 200° C/ 395° F. Have your pizza stone in the oven if using one.

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8. Score the breads with a sharp knife, and brush with milk or egg as desired.

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9. Gently lift the breads onto your stone, or put your sheet in the oven.

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10. Bake for 20-30 minutes. 40-50 if you are only making one.

11. They should sound hollow when tapped when done, and be nicely golden on top. Take out and let cool on a wire rack.

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This bread freezes really well, and also keeps well. Even a week old I don’t feel a need to toast it, it is still moist and fresh.

Rye Bread

rye bread-12I wanted to try this Rye Bread which involves boiling some of the flour and some rye kernels. According to the original recipe (from Wenche Frølich’s Brød) boiling part of the flour helps with absorption of liquids and was used a lot earlier when flour didn’t have the high quality we have today. This one also requires you to soak some flour and kernels a day before you bake for extra moistness.

This bread is very hearty and great as both as a sandwich bread or with jam for breakfast. The recipe makes 3 large breads, and I found they freeze pretty well. When I converted this from fresh yeast to dry yeast, I used a little less than I probably should have, so it did turn out less fluffy than I expected. I have given the original conversion here, as I think it would improve the bread to use a little more yeast. Another option would be to let it rise longer, but with all the whole grains and kernels the extra yeast would probably be a good thing.

Ingredients:

Day 1:

  • 200 ml rye kernels/berries (0.8 cups)
  • 225 g rye flour (8 oz)
  • 1.3 L water (5.5 cups)

Day 2:

  • 33 g (1 oz) active dry yeast (100 g fresh yeast cake)
  • 50 ml water (0.2 cups)
  • 50 ml syrup (0.2 cups)
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tbsp vinegar (light tasting such as apple cider)
  • 550 g rye flour (19.5 oz)
  • 600 whole grain flour (21 oz)
  • 300- 475 g all purpose or bread flour (10.5 – 16.5 oz)

Method:

Day 1:

1. Mix the kernels with rye flour and water in a large pot. Cover and let stand for 12- 24 hours.

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Day 2:

2. Bring the rye and water mixture to a boil while stirring, the cover and let rest for 6-8 minutes.

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3. Pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl and let stand until lukewarm. This will take a while!

4. Mix the yeast with lukewarm water.

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5. Add the yeast mixture, syrup, vinegar, salt, rye and whole grain flours and mix well.

Adding the yeast, syrup and vinegar

Adding the yeast, syrup and vinegar

Adding most of the flour

Adding most of the flour

6. Add about half the all purpose/bread flour and mix until a dough forms, add more flour if needed.

7. Turn the dough out on a work table and knead it though, add more flour if necessary.

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8. Let it rest under a tea towel in your bowl for an hour or so.

Before rising

Before rising

After rising - should have left it a little longer or used more yeast, probably

After rising – should have left it a little longer or used more yeast, probably

9. Work the dough through on your work surface.

10. Form 3 breads and place them on a parchment covered sheet, brushing the sides with oil or melted butter to prevent them from sticking together.

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11. Preheat the oven to 200 C/ 390 F

12. Let the breads rise for 30-45 minutes more.

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13. Bake the breads in the lower part of the oven for 45-60 minutes. They should sound hollow when tapped.

14. Let them cool on a rack, and enjoy!

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The rye and the syrup together makes this bread a little sweet, even if it is a whole grain bread. I think it has a great flavor, and I will definitely be making it again – with a little more yeast next time, and probably only 1/3 or 1/2 portion.

Walnut bread

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This delicious bread is adapted from Wenche Frølich’s Brød (yep, another one). It is great with dinner, or with lunch meats or cheeses.

The original recipe calls for rye flour, I have made it both with that and with whole grain (wheat) flour, both ways turn out delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 500 ml water (2 cups and a bit)
  • 50 ml oil, preferably walnut oil (0.2 cups)
  • 25 g yeast cake or 1 dried yeast envelope
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 225 g dark rye or whole wheat flour (8 oz)
  • 500g all purpose flour (17.5 oz)
  • 75g chopped walnuts (2.5 oz)

Method:

1. Heat the oil and water to lukewarm, about 90 F/ 30 C. Pour the liquid over the yeast in a large mixing bowl (pull the yeast cake apart first if using fresh yeast).

Heating oil and water.

Heating oil and water.

2. Add the salt and the flours. Mix the dough well and knead for a short while.

3. Let the dough rise under a towel for 45 min.

Risen dough

Risen dough

4. Knead the dough well, until elastic. Add a bit more all purpose flour if necessary. Add the walnuts and knead them in until well mixed.

Adding the walnuts

Adding the walnuts

5. Spilt the dough into 2 parts and shape each to a round bread. Place the bread on sheets and score the breads in crosswise pattern.

shaped breads

Shaped breads

6. Let rise under a towel for 30 min. Preheat the oven to 200 C/390 F

7. Brush the breads with water and bake for about 30-40 min, until the sound hollow. Cool on a rack.

All done!

All done!

I made these to eat with some soups we made this week, I made a great artichoke soup and my husband made carrot soup – modernist cuisine style. The recipe makes 2 breads, and 1 bread feed about 4 adults as a side to a dinner – probably 6 people if you have more sides.

Oat bread

oat breadsThese are one of my favorite white breads, they are very moist and easy to make. Containing whole grain flour and oats, they are also a little healthier than plain white bread.

The recipe comes from a Danish book by Norwegian author Wenche Frølich: Brød, an excellent book with many great recipes. Unfortunately her books are not available in English, so this is the translated and adapted recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 200 ml water (scant 1 cup)
  • 1 L  milk (2 1/4 cups)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 50 g yeast cake or one dried yeast envelope
  • 300 g rolled oats (quick cook or traditional) (10.5 oz)
  • 300 g whole wheat flour (10.5 oz)
  • 750g- 1kg all purpose or bread flour (26- 36 oz)
  • a little bit of neutral tasting oil, such as canola oil.
  • oats, milk to decorate

Method:

1. Heat the milk and water to lukewarm, about 90 F/ 30 C. Pour the liquid over the yeast in a large mixing bowl (pull the yeast cake apart first if using fresh yeast). 

2. Add the salt,  oats and whole wheat flour, along with most of the all purpose flour. Knead the dough until smooth, elastic and easy to release from the bowl.

Mixing the dough

Mixing the dough

Kneaded dough

Kneaded dough

3. Let the dough rise under a tea towel for about an hour somewhere warm.

Nicely risen

Nicely risen

4. Turn the dough out on your work surface, and knead until elastic – add a little more flour if needed.

5. Split the dough in 3 parts and make 3 breads. Put the breads on a greased or parchment covered baking sheet, and brush a little oil on the sides that face each other (so they don’t stick together).

6. Let the breads rise under your tea towel for another 45 min. When about done, preheat oven to 395 F/ 200 C.

7. Brush the breads with milk and scatter oats on top, press the oats lightly into the breads.

Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven

8. Bake the breads in the lower part of the oven for about 45 min. When done, they should sound hollow when tapped.

9. Let the breads cool on a rack.

Yum! I also sometimes make them into small rolls instead of breads, in which case the bake time is about 20-25 min.

These are great for freezing too, wait until they are cooled completely before putting them in the freezer. We can’t eat 3 breads before they go stale, but it is great to be able to pull a loaf out of the freezer.

If the bread gets a little dry after a couple of days this is great sliced and toasted too.