Swedish Peasant Bread


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.


  • 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)


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


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


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

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


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


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



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


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


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.


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.


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


13. Preheat oven to 200 C / 392 F.

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


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


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.

Oat Rolls


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.


  • 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


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

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


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


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



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.



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


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

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


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).


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.


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


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)


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.


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)


Day 1:

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

rye bread-1

Day 2:

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

rye bread-3

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.

rye bread-2

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.

rye bread-6

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.

Whole Grain Pizza


I recently got the magazine Cook’s Illustrated recommended, and the magazine is really interesting. It has fairly long articles on the how and why’s of the recipes, and some of the experimental steps the authors go though.

The latest issue (May/June 2013) had an article on thin crust whole wheat pizza, and it looked really delicious. My mom used to bake a whole sheet pan of pizza, and I have not made it ever myself (not counting providing toppings at a party I held years ago, an Italian friend of mine insisted that she brought the dough when I wanted to make pizza – of course I didn’t get the recipe).

I love thin crust and whole grain stuff, so I thought I would try it out. The recipe also required the use of a pizza stone, and I have been thinking of getting one for baking too. Cook’s Illustrated is great in that it also contains equipment (and ingredient) reviews and recommendations, I got an Old Stone Oven pizza stone, so far I like it.

I cut the recipe in half to only make one pizza, and I made it by hand though the original calls for using a food processor. I prefer doing anything but pie crust by hand, and it was really easy.

Ingredients: (orginal recipe from Cook’s Illustrated, June 2013)

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (120g)
  • 1/2 cup bread flour (75 g)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/4 + 1/8 tsp instant dry yeast
  • 1/2 + 1/8 cup water (150 ml)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


1. Mix together whole wheat flour, bread flour, honey and yeast.

2. Add water until the dough is just coming together, then make it all come together with your hands. Let stand for 10 min.

Adding the water and mixing

Adding the water and mixing

After gathering together with my hands

After gathering together with my hands

3. Add olive oil and salt, knead it in and keep kneading for a couple of minutes.


4. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap (I use a big elastic band to keep it tight) and refrigiate for 18 hours or more – up to 2 days.

Ball of dough

Ball of dough

After 36 hours in the fridge

After 36 hours in the fridge

5. About 1.5 hours before you are ready to have your pizza, take the dough out of the fridge, punch it down and form a ball. Leave it to rest on your work surface with some oiled plastic wrap over for an hour.


6. Mean while, place your pizza stone about 4.5 inches/10 cm from your oven’s broiler and turn oven to 500 F/ 260 C (check you pizza stone instructions to make sure it can take 500 F and broiling).

7. Prepare your toppings while you wait.

8. After the dough has rested an hour, press flat to an 8 inch/20 cm disc. Keep stretching it at the edges, partially by lifting it up, until it is 12 inches/30 cm across. I found this quite difficult, it probably requires a little practice!

Stretching to a small disc

Stretching to a small disc

Working it out to a big disc. It was a little hard not to get it too thin in the middle

Working it out to a big disc. It was a little hard not to get it too thin in the middle

8. Turn on broiler to run 10 min before the pizza goes in the oven.

10. Transfer pizza dough to a well floured pizza peel or cutting board – I used a bamboo one iand it worked ok. Stretch to maintain the shape, but make sure the pizza can move freely on the board.

Not quite perfect round on the board. I found it hard to have it stay in shape when it didn't stick to the surface

Not quite perfect round on the board. I found it hard to have it stay in shape when it didn’t stick to the surface

11. Top your pizza.

I choose goat cheese and pesto

I choose goat cheese and pesto

12. Slide the pizza from your board to the pizza stone. Turn oven back to 500 F / 260 C.

13. Bake for about 8-12 minutes, until well browned and crisp. If your oven is uneven it is a good idea to turn the pizza half way through.

14. Take pizza out by sliding it back on your board or peel, and transfer to a wire to cool a min or two. Enjoy!

Despite my dough-stretching being less than perfect, the pizza turned out really well. I was surprised how filling it was, the whole grain made it hearty in the good way.

Cook’s Illustrated recommended non-tomato based toppings and had a couple of suggestions, we used pesto and goat cheese, others were things like mushrooms and cream sauce or braised onions and gorgonzola. I used a great pesto recipe from simplyrecipes.com.

I can’t wait to try some breads on the pizza stone, and maybe also some different pizza dough recipes.


Crackers & Cheese

A friend of mine (who runs Your Child’s Food) mentioned that her mom made homemade crackers when she was little. I admit I hadn’t really thought about making my own crackers, but given that my son often gets fruit and crackers as a snack it made sense to try. Even the nicest crackers I can find in the supermarkets has quite a bit of sodium (salt), and I am trying to not get him addicted to salt too early (the more salt you eat, the less you taste it, causing you to want more salty food). I myself is a fan of salty foods, but even I sometimes feels food is too salty in restaurants – in my opinion there is too much salt in prepared foods.

I ended up browsing around a bit for cracker recipes, and then decided to make 2 different kinds loosely based on some recipes. I made a more day to day whole grain cracker, and a more ‘adult’ cheese & wine type cracker.

Sundried Tomatoes and Thyme Crackers

These crackers are interesting since they are made with yeast – most crackers are made with baking powder. They contain a good deal of oil, not making them super healthy, but they are great with cheese and probably dips too.

Inspiration: Food & Wine Magazine Sunflower Seed and Rosemary Crackers.


  • 2 cups all purpose flour (475 ml)
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, finely chopped (60 ml)
  • 1/2-1 tsp thyme, very finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup warm water (120 ml)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp olive oil (60 ml + 2 tbsp)


1. Finely chop the sundried tomatoes and the thyme, then mix with flour, salt and yeast.

Tomato Crackers-1

2. Stir in 1/4 cup olive oil, and gradually add the water until a dough forms. Knead the dough about 5 min, until smooth.

Tomato Crackers-2

3. Leave the dough to rest in a plastic film covered bowl for about 2 hours. It will not rise much.

Ready to rest

4. Preheat oven to 350 F/175 C. Divide the dough in half. Cut off a piece of parchment paper so it fits your cookie sheet, and place one piece of dough on it, formed as a small rectangle.

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5. Roll our the dough to about 9 x 13 inches (23 x 33 cm), about 1/8 of an inch  (2-3 mm) thick. Try to make the dough as square as possible, you can cut off pieces to add to other places and ‘massage’ it into the sheet of dough. They more even thickness you get, the easier the crackers are to bake.

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6. Cut the dough into strips about 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide on the short side, and cut once across the long side. Brush the dough with a bit of the remaining olive oil.

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7. Bake for about 24-38 minutes, until golden and crisp. Cool on a wire rack, and store in an airtight container.

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Whole Grain Rye Crackers

This is a more traditional cracker made with baking powder, there are many similar recipes with different flavoring if you search for cracker recipe. I wanted to make something whole grain, and I didn’t feel like adding any seeds, so I decided to add some rye flour to give them a more interesting taste.

Inspiration: Alton Brown’s Seedy Crisps.


  • 2 oz whole wheat flour (60 g)
  • 2 oz all purpose flour (60g)
  • 1 oz dark rye whole grain flour (30g)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2/3 cups water (75 ml)


1. Mix together the 3 flours, the salt and baking powder. Add the olive oil and mix well.

Rye Crackers-1

2. Add the water gradually until a dough forms, then turn out the dough on a work surface and knead a few times.

Dough before kneading

Dough before kneading

3. Preheat the oven to 450F/230C. Divide the dough into 4 parts, and let rest of 15 minutes.

Rye Crackers-3

4. Roll out one piece of dough very thinly, about 1/16 of an inch (2 mm or so) to a small rectangle. The more evenly you roll out the dough, the more evenly they bake, and the thinner you roll the more important this is.

Rye Crackers-4

5. Transfer the piece to a parchment lined cookie sheet, and add another piece of rolled out dough if there is room.

Rye Crackers-5

6. Bake the cracker ‘sheets’ in the oven for 3 1/2 minutes, then turn then over and bake for an addition 3-4 minutes until golden and crisp.

7. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

Rye Crackers-6

8. Break into the cracker sizes you want. I found it easiest to mark where I wanted them to break with a sharp knife, carefully cutting about 1/3 of the way through the sheet, then breaking the cracker decisively holding both sides of the cut firmly, but gently.

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9. Store in an airtight container.

With both of these you can definitely add some salt on top before you bake if you want a more salty cracker, I found they both tasted salty enough, but with room for more.

Walnut bread


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.


  • 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)


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.