Thursday, May 19, 2011

Finnish Farmer Rye Bread

I have not posted in a while. Both of my grandchildren have lost interest in baking bread. I do still bake every Friday but without their involvement, I've felt less motivated to keep up this blog.

Recently, though, I've been experimenting with rye breads and want to share the recipes I am trying.

Last Friday I made Finnish Farmer Rye Bread from The Sunset Cook Book of Breads, published in 1980. (Note my copy says on the front that my mother paid $3.95 for this book - it's available on Amazon today from $22.95 - $118.95!)

I loved this bread and its funny way of tearing into bread sticks!

The recipe calls for:
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp olive oil
2 T caraway seed (I was out so I used fennel seed)
1 1/2 cups rye flour
1 3/4 - 2 cups all purpose flour
2 - 3 T melted butter

First I stirred the yeast, sugar and water together and let them work for about 15 minutes.  Then I stirred in the salt, oil and fennel seed.  Next I added 1/2 cup rye flour and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour and beat the mixture.  Gradually I beat in the rest of the rye flour and finally added 1 cup of the remaining all-purpose flour.

I kneaded the dough with my mixer and by hand on the counter, adding just enough flour to keep it from being sticky.

I put the dough in a pottery bowl to rise until doubled (45 minutes).

Turning the dough out, I divided it into two halves and shaped each into a smooth ball.  Then I patted each ball into a circle of about 8 - 9 inches in diameter.  I placed each circle on a rimless baking sheet to rise and covered them each with plastic wrap.

The dough rose for about 50 minutes this time.  I floured the handle of a long-handled wooden spoon and pushed creases into the circle about one inch apart.  I had to keep re-flouring the spoon handle.

When it was all done, the circle looked like this (I smashed the first "stick" by not understanding what I was supposed to do with the wooden spoon handle):

Both circles were then brushed with melted butter (about half of the amount)

In the oven the bread had some spring, making the individual curved parts rise up and smooth out a little.

When the bread came out of the oven, I brushed it with more melted butter.  It looked and smelled delicious.  I took one of these loaves to my daughter's house for dinner and we ate the whole loaf!

This is a rye that I will definitely make again!

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1 comment:

Mrs. Arrow said...

I'm so glad to see you are still posting! Dropped by to double check a recipe. I'm off the bake bread...and it's all your fault :)
Take care.