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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Gotland bread--Gotlanninleipä

The next in my series of rye bread is from the baking book, Parhaat Leivonnaiset, called Gotland bread.   My husband took one taste and said that it tastes exactly like the limpa made by the bakery in his home town between Kokkola and Jakobstad.

On the first day, boil 4 cups of water and let it cool to lukewarm.  Add 1 1/2 teaspoon vinegar and 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, then stir in 3 3/4 cups (9dl) rye flour. 

Cover the bowl with plastic and let it stand over night.

On the second day, I sprinkled on two packets (4 1/2 teaspoons) of dry yeast.  If you use 50g fresh yeast instead, dissolve it in a little water before adding it.  Add 4 teaspoons of fresh ground anise or fennel seed.  This is some from my garden last year, we've had it for 7 years now, and it grows like a weed, reseeding itself freely.  I probably could have ground it a little better than I did (maybe with a food processor), but it was fine in the finished bread.

I didn't use my stand mixer this time, the bowl was being used for the hedgehog birthday cake.  I added 2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar and about 3 3/4 cups of bread flour (you could substitute all purpose flour if you need to) (this would be about 9 dl).  I mixed in the flour 1/2 cup at a time, with a spatula as long as I could still stir it, then I switched to kneading it with my hands.  You have to do it by hand once in a while to really appreciate how easy it is to knead it with the stand mixer!

A little flour on top, then I covered it and let it rise in a warm spot until about double (it took a little over an hour).

After rising, I punched it down and made it into two round loaves.  I placed these on parchment covered cookie sheets and covered them to rise again, about 40 minutes.

After the second rising, I dissolved a couple tablespoons of brown sugar in a little water and brushed it on top of the loaves.  The original recipe calls for 1/2 dl of coffee and 1 Tablespoon of syrup.  If I had had some coffee left in the pot, I would have used a couple of tablespoons of that instead of the water, but unfortunately I didn't.  Next time I'll plan ahead better...

The loaves baked in the bottom of the oven for about an hour at 400 F (200 C).

I've noticed that all of the rye breads taste better the second day.  I keep them in plastic bags, and the crust softens and the flavor improves overnight.  



  1. Hi!
    That bread looks delicious. I love to read about all your cooking. I have to ask where your husband is from. I am a Finn married to an American (my husband was the one who asked for pictures of your sauna a while ago). My hometown is also between Kokkola and Jakobstad, a little village just south of Kronoby. It's a small world we live in! :)

  2. Hi Kristina, we've looked at your beautiful blog, too. My husband is from Kronoby, but we like to go to the bakery outlet in your village!! Last time we were there, we bought a big tray of jelly rolls.

  3. I love that bakery! It's run by some of my relatives. My favorites are their cookies and donuts (grisar). We are going to spend the summer in Lepplax, so I'm looking forward to making a few trips there. Is your husband Finnish or Swedish speaking?

  4. As Kristina's wife, I can attest that we will be making many more than "a few" trips to Boström's. Those farsk grisar are the greatest! We stocked up on many spices before we came back last summer, and will need to do so again this year. We have been pleasantly surprised by finding good vanilla sugar and beet syrup at IKEA.

  5. Yes, I made a trip to Ikea this weekend, too! Dansukker brand, just like in Finland! I have both light and dark syrup and vanilla sugar, along with a lot of candies that we didn't really need.

    I try to only use things that are readily available when I bake for this blog--I want other people to be able to use the recipes. Although I've noticed that now almost half of my readers are from outside the U.S. I'm going to be more careful to include metric and substitutions when possible when I translate recipes.

    My husband speaks Swedish...but thanks to wonderful host families when I was a teenager, I speak Finnish. I've also had the "immersion course" in Swedish dialect, but Finnish is much easier for me. I was an exchange student in Jalasjärvi. I think I learned most of my vocabulary because of 6 months with a (then) 5-year-old host brother who never tired of telling me the name of things! A lot of dialect words are similar to Finnish words, that really helps.

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