Sunday, December 4, 2011

'Sisu': Finnish Rye Bread

This is my favourite bread at the moment, I got the recipe from a bread course but it is a traditional Finnish loaf. 'Sisu' translates as guts and perseverance, which is surprising really. After having spent two days making Panettone last weekend, this loaf is incredibly simple to make in comparison! And as it uses rye flour which is naturally low in gluten, it does not require any kneading. Just mix, prove and bake.

It is quite a dense bread but is delicious topped with cheese and gherkins, smorgasbord style. 


Makes one large loaf or two smaller ones


-150g light rye flour
-350g dark rye flour
-300g sourdough starter (see step 1.)
-1 tbsp treacle
-10g caraway seeds
-15g fine salt
-350g luke warm water
-Sunflower oil for greasing

1. A day before you wish to bake, take 100g of your starter and mix with 200G rye flour (light or dark) and 100g water. Cover and leave to ferment overnight.
2. The day you wish to bake, mix all of the ingredients together. You will get a cement like dough. Grease a 400g loaf tin with sunflower oil (for one large loaf) or two for two smaller loaves. 
The mix

3. Wet your hands then form the dough into a smooth shape and drop into the tin(s). Sprinkle with some rye flour and caraway seeds. Cover and leave in a warm place to prove for 3 - 4 hours. When the surface has cracked it is ready to bake.
Ready to go in the oven

4. Heat oven to 250C and bake for 40 minutes for two loaves or up to an hour for one large loaf. Reduce the heat to 200C after 10 minutes. When cooked, remove from the tin and cool completely on a wire rack.

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