Sunday, March 17, 2013

Hearty Homemade Bread

How do you spend your "lazy" weekend mornings? I began mine yesterday with my favorite coffee mug full of strong coffee with a “touch” of real coffee cream. It is a weekend morning ritual I look forward to all week. I like to sit and drink it while I catch up on my girl nerd blogs and other social media sites. Then after I was sufficiently awake and ready to face the day, the real work started. I baked two loaves of bread, washed three loads of laundry, painted the two already prepped walls in our guest bedroom, one coat on each wall, went out to shop for Easter björkris (birch twigs with feathers attached to the tops to celebrate Easter and the coming of spring), as well as a couple of bunches of ranunculus, a small pot of tulip bulbs, a bunch of pussy willow branches, and a few flowering cherry blossom branches. Needless-to-say, it is looking quite Easterly around here now. I also bought a few other Easter-related items but those will be revealed later this week. So stay tuned...

But what I really want to tell you about however is the bread that I baked. It is quite possibly the best bread I have ever eaten, not to mention the best bread that I myself have ever baked. I am not exaggerating when I say that I ate three slices, two of them as soon as it had cooled down enough to slice without it crumbling to pieces. The original recipe was given to me by one of my work colleagues and I am so glad that she did. If I remember correctly, the recipe comes from a local restaurant called Magasinet, which is just north of Stockholm. If you like a hearty bread full of earthy textures and a slight hint of sweetness, this bread is for you. It is deliciously moist and tastes wonderful slathered with butter, but it is also fantastic with a thin layer of almond butter drizzled with honey and a light dusting of cinnamon. Did I mention that it “helps” with your “digestion” as well? One more reason to get out those baking pans and head to the grocery store right now! 

Adapted from Magasinet’s Recipe (Swedish ingredients in parenthesis)

500 ml whole wheat flour (fulkorns vetemjöl)
200 ml graham flour (grahamsmjöl)
300 ml sifted rye flour (rågsikt)
200 ml cracked rye berries* (or cracked wheat berries, or steel cut oats) (rågkross)
100 ml wheat bran (vetekli)
150 ml wheat germ (vetegroddar)
1 Tsp. salt
4 Tsp. baking soda (bikarbonat)
1 liter light buttermilk, or light, plain yogurt (lättfil)
200 ml dark syrup (mörksirap)


*Soak the cracked rye berries in water for 15 minutes, then drain and use in recipe.

Heat oven to 350 F (175 C). Mix all dry ingredients, including the presoaked cracked rye 
berries. Add wet ingredients and blend well. Pour evenly into two prepared loaf pans 
(buttered and coated with bread crumbs) and bake for 100 minutes. Cover pans with 
parchment paper or foil after 70 minutes and continue baking the remaining 30 minutes.

Helpful tips:

Freeze what you cannot eat within a couple of days. I slice both loaves in half and 
freeze two of the halves. They thaw beautifully when you are ready to eat them. Simply take 
the frozen bread out of the freeze and allow to thaw at room temperature.

Eat with lots of butter (or jam, or both, or with cheese and a handful of sunflower sprouts, or almond butter with honey and cinnamon... or your own favorite creations).

(Ps. Happy St. Patrick's Day by the way...)


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