Huh, I made it – as promised I shall post a recipe before taking off to Lapland. And the recipe is the long promised Finnish Archipelago Bread commonly known as Saaristolaisleipä. It’s a simple bread to make, though the ingredients might not be so simple to find (unless you are in Finland where they sell all those even in the smallest local store). The original version is here (only Finnish, though).
Finnish Archipelago Bread (makes 2 tin loaves)
75g Fresh yeast
420g Dark syrup / molasses
60g Wheat bran
240g Brown malt
180g Rye flour
700g Wheat flour
Butter for the bread pans
35g syrup and 70g water for brushing the loaves during the bake
1. Weight out the dry ingredients into a huge bowl.
2. Warm the buttermilk over a low heat in a pot ’till luke warm. Measure the syrup and yeast into a bowl and pour the luke warm buttermilk over them. Mix ’till combined, with hand or spoon.
3. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix well ’till everything is fully combined. There’s really no room for kneading here, the mixture is really soggy. That’s why one can also use a spoon – as long as you manage to make everything come together.
4. To make sure that the dough doesn’t rise over the edges, divide it into two bowls. Then cover them with a towel and leave to rest for 90 minutes. After 60-75 minutes you can turn on your oven to 175°C degrees.
5. Once the proofing time is somewhat over, butter two equal bread pans, about 1L volume. Divide the dough into the tins. There’s really no need for punching the dough down, just scrape it out of the bowl right into the pans. If you want to be quite exact, it’s best to use scales and measure that both the pans have equal amount of dough. Then both the loaves will surely get the same bake.
6. Having managed to divide your dough into the pans, place them on a baking rack on the very bottom of your oven.
7. Bake the breads altogether for 2 hours. Don’t mind if they take a lot of color, there’s no need to worry. Just let them be and don’t go opening the oven or covering them. After 1,5 hours of baking, take the tins out one by one and brush them properly with some syrup and water mixture. For equal baking result rotate the tins and place back into the oven for another 30 minutes.
8. Take the bread pans out and leave the loaves to cool into their tins. Cut only once cooled, best would be after a day or few. This bread stays good for quite a while – and actually gets more dense and tasty with the time. I store mine simply covered with a cloth in a room about 21°C degrees, but if you really want to be sure they stay alright, fridge is the best option.
So simple and so good, this bread has something to chew on, too! Best with a little bit of butter and some gravlax.
Ps. Been a bit busy for few days, dad and I build a new house for the raccoon dogs. Don’t think they’ll appreciate the central location, though.