Friday, March 1, 2013

Flashback Friday: Swedish Rye Bread

Flashback Friday: Revisiting a recipe from long ago

What can I say, I felt like baking bread again.  After Tuesday's citrus soup and Wednesday's casserole with caraway a loaf of bread featuring both citrus and caraway seemed appropriate.  A few weeks ago I shared my Great-Grandma's Rye Bread with you.  There are several rye bread recipes in the family all of which are fairly similar.  One can almost piece together the recipes, tracing the transformations created by passing the recipe from one family member to the next.

Rather than try all the variations, I decided to combine the overlapping features for an all-inclusive loaf.  What is boils down to (errr, bakes up to) is a rye loaf sweetened with molasses and laced with orange, caraway and raisins.  Orange takes center stage in this sweet loaf while caraway lingers in the background.  Raisins make an occasional appearance as well thanks to my Great-Aunt Irene.

All the recipes called for cakes of yeast.  I applied what I learned from the last loaf and went with 2-1/4 tsp active dry yeast.  While the last loaf fell on the dense side this amount of yeast gave the loaf a better rise and lighter crumb.  To be honest I can't quite decide which texture I like better.  As for the caraway, I'm always up for more.  The orange flavor, however, was just right.  Raisins could be increased if you're in the mood for toast with orange marmalade or left out if you're going the sandwich or soup route.  It appears I've just pieced together a recipe only to pick it back apart.  My mom watched my grandma do that all the time so it must run in my veins.  Enough chit-chat, have a great weekend.

Swedish Rye Bread
recipe pieces trace back to my Great-Grandma, Great-Aunt, Grandma and Mom

2-1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp warm water
1/2 cup milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm
1/4 cup molasses
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp shortening
1-1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp caraway seeds
1-1/2 tsp finely grated orange peel
1/4 cup raisins
1-1/2 cups rye flour
1-1/2 to 2 cups all-purpose flour

* In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in milk, molasses, brown sugar, shortening, salt, caraway, orange peel and raisins.  Beat in rye flour.  Stir in 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour and as much as you need to form a stiff dough. Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.  This will take about 10 minutes by hand.  Form dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
* Punch down dough and shape into a loaf. Place in a greased 8-1/2 x 4-1/2-inch loaf pan. Cover and let rise until nearly double in size, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Bake loaf 40-45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F.  Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Food for Thought: "The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled.  For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers." -M. Scott Peck 

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