Friday, 16 March 2012

The Bread Baking Babes bake Swedish Rye!

I read a lot of Swedish and Scandinavian murder mysteries and one thing I have noticed - they all seem to live on coffee and sandwiches. So I guess they have great bread!

Bread Baking Babe Astrid challenged us to make a Swedish Rye from The Tassajara Bread Book, circa 1970. I actually have this book, my copy is from 1973 and is well-loved. I was happy to try the Swedish rye, and fondly remembered my first attempts at brick bread baking when I was younger, from this very same book. Somehow I have gotten the hang of this bread baking thing over the years, thank goodness.

I have to admit that I am rather fond of my stand mixer and did my mixing in there for the most part. I just finish up the kneading on the board. I use instant yeast, because I find it blends better, put the whole wheat flour in the dough and used the 1 cup of white for kneading, but otherwise followed the directions.

I sprinkled them with caraway after the egg wash as we really like caraway, and formed them into torpedoes or mini French bread shapes and baked them in my French bread pans for about 30 minutes.

The recipe delivered and the dough was easy to work with. The resulting bread was absolutely delicious. It has a tight crumb and is great with sharp cheddar and cured meats. I also like it toasted with a thin smear of plain peanut butter. Yum!

Check out Astrid's post for step-by-step photos and information on how you can be a Bread Baking Buddy this month!

Swedish Rye Bread
adapted from Tassajara Bread Book by Edward Espe Brown
adaptation by Astrid

3 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons dry yeast (2 packets)
1/3 cups honey
1 cup dry milk
grated peel of 2 oranges
2 teaspoons anise seeds
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
4 cups unbleached white flour

4 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup oil
4 cups rye flour
1 cup whole wheat flour (for kneading)

    Dissolve the yeast in water. Add the honey and dry milk plus the oranges and seeds
    Add the flour to get a thick batter.
    Add one cup of flour at a time, stirring good after each addition. The more flour you add the more you knead to go into a beating mode with your spoon. Best way is to stir up and down in a circular mode from the bottom of the bowl to the surface of the dough. Don't forget to scrape the sides of the bowl from time to time. After the 4 cups of flour you should have a thick mud-like dough.
    Beat well with a spoon (100 strokes).
    Continue to beat until you have a smooth dough. Again pull your spoon under the dough and bring it up to the surface again in a circular mode. The batter will be more elastic while you are doing this as more and more air gets incorporated.
    Let rise for 45 minutes.
    Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place.
    Folding in the remaining ingredients. Do not stir! Do not cut through the dough, this will improve the elasticity and strength of the dough.
    Sprinkle on the salt and pour on the oil. Stir around the side of the bowl working carefully your way towards the center. Rotate your bowl a little with every stroke you do. Repeat until all of the salt and oil is incorporated.
    Sprinkle the flour 1/2 a cup at a time onto the dough. Again fold it in while rotating your bowl.
    Continue until the dough comes away from the sides of your bowl. Now the dough is ready to give it a good knead!
    Plop your dough on your kneading board and scrap all remainings from the bowl onto the dough.  Keep in mind that your surface should be floured enough to prevent the dough from sticking to much on the board.
    Flour your hands and the top of the dough. From the middle of your down stretch it away from you and then fold it back onto the remaining part of the dough. Continue to push down and forward.
    Turn the dough a quarter turn. Again continue with the pushing and folding.
    Turn, fold, push. Rock forward. Twist and fold as you rock back. Be careful not to stretch the dough too much and tear it. Add flour to the boards as needed.
    While you continue with the kneading the dough will become more and more elastic, smooth and shiny.
    When you are finished, place the dough in your lightly oiled bowl smooth side down, then turn it over so the dough ball is covered lightly with oil. This will prevent the dough from forming a crust on the top while rising.
    Cover the bowl with a damp towel again and set aside to rise in a warm place. (50-60 minutes until doubled in size)
    Punch down your dough with your fists steadily and firmly about 15-20 times.
    Let rise again 40-50 minutes until doubled in size again.

    Preheat your oven at 350°F.
    Turn your dough onto the board again.
    Form the dough into a ball. Cut the dough into two even pieces and form smaller balls again. Let rest for 5 minutes.
    Knead the dough and fold it about 5 times, this gives the dough added spring. After the final push turn the dough a quarter turn.
    Roll up the dough into a log shape. Seam at the bottom, flatten the top of the dough. Square the sides and ends. Turn the dough over and pinch the seams all the way.
    Put the dough seam side down into your pan. Press it down into the pan with your fingers.
    Cover and let rise again. This will take 20-25 minutes.
    Cut the top with 1/2 inch deep slits to allow the steam to escape.
    You and brush with eggwash and sprinkle with poppy seeds or sesame if you want!
    Bake for about 50-60 minutes.
    Remove from pan to cool down completely. (On racks)

The Bread Baking Babes
This bread has been YeastSpotted!

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