This recipe is one of the few family recipes I have tucked away in my notebook. For those of you who are Swedish, I can’t explain why it’s called Swedish Rye Bread beyond the little I know about this recipe. This Swedish rye bread recipe came from a Swedish neighbor of my grandmother’s and ever since then, it’s been a staple in my family. She doesn’t make it anymore but I want to keep the tradition alive because of the stories around this bread (including my great aunt cutting the bread lengthwise, toasting, and lathering it with butter.) This recipe works well with a light rye flour but can be made with any rye. The original recipe calls for Rye and All Purpose flour but I milled some fine wheat flour to replace the all purpose flour.
Swedish Rye Bread
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 2 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup of oil (or melted butter)
- 1/2 cup sorghum syrup
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 cups rye flour
- 2 to 3 cups unbleached all purpose or wheat
- In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the water, yeast, and sweetener- give a quick stir and let sit until yeast becomes active, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Stir in oil, sorghum, salt, and rye flour. Start bread with the dough hook.
- Add 1/2 cup of all purpose flour and continue to slowly add flour (1-2 tablespoons at a time) until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. Let run for 8-10 minutes. This will give you time to adjust flour and let the dough knead. Remember- you can always add flour but you can’t always take it away. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky. Cover with a damp towel and set aside to rise for 1to 1 1/2 hours.
- Once the first rise is over, knead a couple of times into the form of a log. Place in an oiled bread pan, cover again and set aside for about 1 hour. With 30 minutes left, pre-heat your oven to 350˚ F.
- Once the loaf has risen the second time, place in oven. (if you have a bottle of water, mist the bottom of your oven a couple of times to get some steam going.) Shut the oven door and let bake for 20 minutes. Cover with a brown paper bag and continue to bake for another 30-40 minutes. Bread should have a golden crust and sound hollow when you tap on the bottom. Remove bread from pan and let cool before slicing.
by Erin Alderson