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Posts Tagged ‘caraway’

I’ve been reading The Great Holiday Baking Book  by a woman named Beatrice Ojakangas.  I absolutely love this cook book.  It sits inside my bedside table, waiting for me to continue drooling over recipes each night.

image from Amazon - click to view Amazon page

I know Mrs. Ojakangas lives in Minnesota somewhere with her husband.  She’s been on several television shows, including Martha Stewart Living where I first found out there was a Scandanavian chef out there.  Being half Finnish myself, I was instantly curious.  That curiosity from my late teens did not disappear.  In the last year since I began this blog I have aquired three of Beatrice’s cook books.  The Great Holiday Baking Book is the second one to be poured over with much enthusiasm.  Every chapter has a gem, a recipe that looks too good not to try, and last night I came across the caraway rye bread in the Father’s Day chapter.  She explains in the book that the bread-machine recipes were tested on different brands of machine, and they all turned out great.  My bread machine baked this delicious loaf with ease.

Starting the batch after dinner in my ADD time of night wasn’t the best idea.  I made a bold move to lay down in bed and listen for the timer on the machine to wake me up.  Why not leave the loaf in the machine?  Well, there’s a lot of heat built up that will continue to bake your bread, it may be a dry brick by morning.  I didn’t want to chance it.  I set the timer on the microwave to go off a few minutes later than the bread machine as a back up.  I’m sure Hubby was not impressed, he fell asleep while the bread was baking and I caught a squinting eye upon my return from dumping out the baked loaf onto the cooling rack.  Everyone was back to dreaming about puffy clouds and wooly sheep in no time.

Finnish Caraway Rye Bread

Adapted from The Great Holiday Baking Book by B. Ojakangas

The modifications I made to the original recipe are noted below.

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter 2 Tbsp salted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 cup dark rye flour, stone ground is what I used
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp dry active yeast  1 Tbsp dry active yeast

I found out through Nancy on her blog that I could must use salted butter in my breads to yield a better flavour, I keep the salt measurements the same from the recipe.  This has been the best trick in baking bread since I’ve started making my own bread.  So go ahead, you’ll be glad you did too!

If you own a bread machine, put the ingredients in the canister in the order shown above.  If your manufacturer insists on liquids being on top, reverse the whole list.  Otherwise, read your manual.  I did mix the two flours in a bowl first to get the rye bits distributed evenly.

That’s the hardest part.  All you have to do is set the machine to 1.5 LB and medium crust on its regular cycle.  Push START.  Now try to stay awake to let the little loaf out when it’s done!

Try this bread with some Salmon with Leeks as a sandwich the next day.  All you need to do is mash up the salmon, add some mayo, pinch of salt and pepper… smear it on toasted slices of the rye bread and voilà!  You are set for lunch.

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The 4 hour rise time for my no-knead bread got a bit of an extension.  I forgot the bowl of dough in the oven overnight.  Not to worry, the loaf turned out fine, see…

I’m the only one in my house who enjoys caraway, might be the Finn part of me trying to tell me something.  Because the bread was baked off in the morning, we had an awesome dipper for our lunchtime soup.

If you have rye flour, substitute some of the bread flour for rye.

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp dry active yeast
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp caraway
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Pour in the water and mix until the flour is blended and wet.  The dough will be shaggy and very sticky.  Cover with plastic and let rise for 4 – 12 hours in a warm, draft-free place.

When you are ready to bake, grease your hands with olive oil and pull the dough out of the bowl to a lightly greased baking pan.  Fold each side inwards.  Let the dough rest for 30 minutes while you pre-heat the oven to 450ºF.

Bake for 30-45 minutes until the crust is golden and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

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