And because I am think everyone should bake bread at least once a year (it's therapeutic), I offer up two glorious recipes. Try either one and you will want to make the other. They are both superb.
Rye Bread (Limpa) (that means loaf. Swedish. Don't ask me)
1 Tbls Dry Active Yeast*
1 tsp Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup real Butter
2 Cups Milk
1/4 Cup Molasses
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Aniseseed
2 tsp Fennel Seed
2 tsps Orange Peel (this is available in the spice section or just grate one you have handy. Both work well
About 4 cups flour Mix (60% plain flour and 40% stone-ground Rye)
Melt the butter in a large heavy bottom pot and add the milk. Slowly warm and add the Molasses, Anise and Fennel seeds and Orange peel.
In a small bowl, (I hold the bowl under running water to warm it) add 1/4 cup blood-warm water and Yeast and 1 tsp Brown sugar. Stir to dissolve (I always use a wooden spoon or knife) and watch it activate. If it doesn't bubble up, the yeast is old and you will not be making any bread today. Go buy more (fresh) dry yeast and try that step again. (no, adding MORE old yeast isn't going to make it work)
If you have a MixMaster or Bread maker, drag it out, use the hook attachment, (not the paddle) and let technology Work For You! You can certainly mix it all yourself and do the kneading on a floured board. It is more physical and therefore healthier for you but I find my KitchenAid is my Friend.
To the flour add the salt and give it a stir!
Pour the warmed milk/molasses/spices mix into the mixer bowl OR leave it in the pot and take the pot off the range/heat. Begin adding the flour to the bowl/pot and turn on the machine/your body and start mixing. It gets more difficult as time goes on. Add a little at a time and mix mix mix. The machine is doing the work (hopefully) all that kneading. If you are using your body, keep in mind that any spoon you use to do all that stirring in going to break under the strain so at some point, you're going to need to pour it all out onto a floured surface and keep kneading and adding the flour.
You will use ALL of the 4 cups of flour mix and quite possibly a little MORE plain flour to get the dough to the desired stage... If you are using that machine the dough will completely pull away from the walls of the bowl and be a firm, unsticky mass slapping as is goes round and round. If you still see doughy residue on the bowl walls or it keeps working it's way up the hook, scrape it down and add a little more flour and mix mix mix. Eventually, it will be one massive ball. When you press on the dough and it remains firm yet springy, you know it's ready to rest.
If you are the Machine, keep kneading all the 4 cups and possibly add more plain flour until the dough is springy, NOT sticky at all, and smooth and pliant. It really is a joy to work with your hands but it takes much more time (nothing wrong with slowing down.) Eventually it will be YOU that's ready to rest!
Place the dough back into and cover the bowl with a tea-towel and let the dough ball rest until double in bulk. This could take an hour or more.
(When I cover my doughs, I always hear my mother say, "go to sleep!"
When it's ready, punch the dough down and turn out onto a floured surface and knead for a minute. Divide into 3 equal pieces and shape into 3 long slender loaves. I use parchment paper when I bake anything, so I put a sheet on top of a cookie sheet and arrange the loaves. If your sheet is large all three will fit. I have to use two. Again, cover and let rest for approx 40 minutes. It will rise again. Now heat the oven to 375 degrees and bake for around 40 minutes. Keep an eye on things. The bread should NOT brown on top but if you turn it over, you will see the bottom browning. Give it a thump! If it sounds hollow, it's done. If not, pop it back in for another 5 minutes.
When I take out this rye bread, I cover it with the tea-towel again to let it cool down and stay moist.
Slice thinly and try not to eat the whole thing in one sitting. EXCELLENT with Jalsberg cheese.
Eric's Best Rye Bread recipe (it is famous)
1.5 bottles of Guiness Stout (drink the other half, no whining, no wasting)
1 Tbls aniseseed
2 Tbls shortening
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 cups flour
2 cups rye flour
2 pkg of yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
Mix Stout, anise, shortening in a saucepan, heat to luke warm
Pour in a bowl,add syrup,orange zes ,& salt, mix well
Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water with sugar and add to mixture
Add flours, beat till smooth
let rise until it doubles in size
do what you do with making a loaf, brush with water
Heat oven to 350 degrees
Heat oven to 350 degrees
bake for 40-50 minutes...
Now, you might be thinking... hey where are the details!!!!???? Okay, if you do all the things I described above in my wordy wordy way, substituting the ingredients you see right there, you will end up with amazing moist delicious Rye Bread. They are similar but distinctly different which is why they are together in this post.
*(Which brings me to a minor gripe. Not a full out vent but why can we not find fresh yeast any longer? The dry yeast works fine, yeahyeahyeah but I have recipes that call for fresh wet yeast; doing the conversions can be a chore)(a real grind)