A holy grail simply because I've been hunting for a decent recipe for ages and finally I spotted one in one of my Mum's magazines when I visited in September. Since I came back, it has been hanging on the fridge door in preparation for making it. But of course my stint at fermenting dough resulted in not having to bake for several weeks.
This morning we had two small slices left after breakfast, so the time had come to try this recipe. According to the article, this is a very old family recipe of the article writer, Anette Uhlin. She calls them "Mammas segkakor" which translates to Mum's chewy cakes literally. The photos looked very much like the commercially available soft thin bread, which is what prompted me to rip out the page in the first place.
The original recipe is for a lot of these breads and I decided to halve it right off, not the least because I'd end up rolling and baking for the whole day otherwise. Sadly I got muddled up with one of the measurements, which called for half a bottle of sugar syrup, so I had to look up how much a bottle contains, of the kind sold in Sweden, and jotted down half of that amount on my re-calculation. I think this resulted in a very soft dough and I had to add quite a bit of flour in order to make it workable.
Additionally, I didn't have the special cooker plate for this type of bread, so I used a cast iron dish on my gas hob. The recipe said you can bake straight onto an electric hob too.
25 g fresh yeast (or corresponding amount dry)
480 g strong white flour
320 g rye flour
1 ml salt
1 tbsp ground anise seeds
1 tbsp ground fennel seeds
75 g salted butter
5 dl milk (full or semi-skimmed)
150 g golden syrup
white flour for rolling
- Rub the yeast into the white flour. Add the rye flour, salt and spices and mix well.
- Melt the butter on low heat, then add the milk and warm up to around 37 degrees C.
- Pour the liquid into the flour mixture and also add the syrup and work well into a dough. I used my Kitchen Assistent for this, took it out of the bowl and shaped it into a ball, then dusted the mixer bowl with flour, put the ball back in and sprinkled a bit of flour on top as well. Then let rise for 30 - 40 minutes. Note that due to the high rye content, the dough won't really look like it has risen after this, but it is how it should be.
- Now dust the baking surface generously with white flour and take out the dough and fold it a couple of times. Then I recommend the dough is weighed, so you can work out how many pieces it should be divided into. The dough came in at just over 1800 g, so I decided to cut it up in pieces of about 150 g, but in hindsight, 80 g would be better for the size I could do (about 25 cm diameter and about 3 mm thick). Divide up all the dough and line the pieces up around the surface.
- Put the cast iron pan/dish or electric hob on medium-low heat, then roll out the dough pieces, keeping the surface well flowered. This is a good bread to do with the knobbly rolling pin, but I think a regular one will do too.
- Prick with a fork before baking, then bake in the pan for a couple of minutes. If you feel it's not sufficiently baked, turn the bread over and bake for another minute. Then take out and place on a clean kitchen towel and cover up. Keep stacking the breads as they get ready and keep them covered in between.
So, because my dough pieces were 150 g, and I rolled them out to about 25 cm diameter, they were a bit thicker 5 - 6 mm. This meant that it was a bit too thick to just bake on one side (as many of the Swedish breads are), so I had to turn them and bake on both sides. Also, the recipe didn't say anything about the heat level for baking and I put it on the highest, as this is what you do when you bake in the oven, but this is wrong and I did gradually turn the heat down, but all except the last bread were a bit burnt here and there. So this is very important. Again not putting too much syrup in would be good, but it wasn't too bad, actually. The breads ended up a bit thicker and with a heavier texture than the ones I get from IKEA, but overall, they were pretty close, so I will be tweaking this recipe, so that I can get it right. It'll be great with ham or salami or sausages.
I got 12 pieces out of this batch and I let them cool completely as they were stacked and wrapped in a towel. I've now kept a couple for tomorrow's breakfast and have frozen the rest.
Thank you Mum for letting me rip out this recipe!