Sunday, 25 March 2012

Daily bread


Bread is the king of baked goods here in Scandinavia and it hits you like a cultural tidal wave when you arrive in Denmark: there is a bakery on nearly every street, a packet of yeast in every supermarket shopping basket and a recipe for bread in every Scandinavian cookery book.

And the bread comes in an array of flavours, textures and loaves: multigrain, wholemeal, muesli, spelt, rye.... To the uninitiated, it can seem daunting but it needn't be and what better way to discover these breads than to learn the art of bread making at home?



Amongst Aarstiderne's recipes are clear and simple instructions for baking some of the classic loaves and a few of the more exotic varieties too. Below, I have translated a batch of three of them to share with you: rye bread (straight from Charlie's bakery at Krogerup), durum wheat bread with pumpkinseeds and slow rise spelt bread. Enjoy.

Let us know how you get on - we'd love to hear from you...

Charlie's rye bread



For 2 loaves, you will need:
800g rye flour
1 portion (from your last baking) sourdough starter*
4 tsp sea salt
600 g cracked rye seeds
1,3 dl water
1 tbsp honey
10 g yeast

* If this is the first time you've baked rye bread, you're unlikely to have a portion of a sourdough starter from 'your last baking'. Here is Aarstiderne's recipe for a sourdough starter:
Mix 1½ dl yoghurt with 100g rye flour and a pinch of salt and leave it in a warm place for 1-2 days. It should start to smell sour and bubble slightly. This is the starter.

To make the bread:
Stir the yeast into the water in a large bowl. Add the sourdough starter and the other ingredients. The consistency should be like solid, thick porridge. Set aside a lump of this mixture to be the starter for the next time you bake and pour the rest of the dough into two large bread tins. Cover the tins with a clean cloth and leave the dough to rise for 4-6 hours. Bake at 160 ºC for 2 hours.

Durum wheat bread with pumpkinseeds

For 2 loaves, you will need:

100 g pumpkin seeds
400 g sifted spelt flour
20 g salt
1 l water
500 g durum wheat
10 g yeast

Stir the yeast into the water. Add the durum flour and stir well. Stir in the salt and half of the sifted spelt flour. Add the pumpkinseeds and then the rest of the flour. Leave the dough to rise, covered in the fridge overnight. The following day, take the dough out of the fridge a couple of hours before baking. Place a baking sheet or stone in the oven and set it to 250 degrees. Dust your hands and a work surface well with flour and turn the dough out onto the dusted surface. Divide it into 2 equal loves with a knife (do not knock the dough back). Place the loaves onto the pre-heated baking sheet or stone and bake them for 10 minutes at 250 degrees. Then lower the oven temperature to 200 degrees and bake for a further 25-30 minutes, until they sound hollow when you tap the bottom. Place the loaves on a rack to cool slightly before slicing.

Slow rise spelt bread



For 2 loaves, you will need:

500 g unsifted spelt flour
2 tbsp salt
500 g flour (hvedemel)
8 dl water
2 tbsp honey
10 g yeast

Dissolve the yeast in the water and stir in the spelt flour, honey and salt. Mix in the hvedemel to make a batter - it shouldn't be solid but rather the consistency of porridge. Pour the batter into 2 greased bread tins. Each should be half full leaving space for the dough to rise. Place the tins in the fridge for 12-24 hours. Remove the tins from the fridge and bake at 200 degrees for about 45 minutes. Take the loaves out of the tins and tap them on the bottom - they should sound hollow. Let the bread cool slightly before slicing.


Tip - you can add different nuts or seeds to the dough. Spices and herbs also taste good in this bread.


And if the home baking doesn't appeal (or there isn't time), Aarstiderne can bring a selection of everyday breads from Høyers Bakery to your door for 98 DKK.


Everyday breadbox


1 x loaf seeded rye bread ca. 500 g
1 x loaf wheat sourdough ca. 500 g
1 x Country style baguette ca. 400 g
6 x seeded rolls ca. 55 g


All breads are part-baked and come with instructions for the baking to be finished by you at home. They are best stored in the fridge and can be kept this way (before finishing) for up to 14 days. After they have been baked, wheat breads can be kept for 1-2 days or rye bread for 4-5 days, at room temperature.


(Katherine Ball)






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