I love baking bread. There’s something so satisfying about watching the dough rise as if by magic, and pulling a beautiful loaf of bread or rolls out of the oven gives me such a feeling of accomplishment. I’ve wanted to try making rye bread for a while now, and when I found this recipe in my Farm Journal’s Country Cookbook(revised edition published in 1972) the other day, I decided to give it a go. The intro paragraph states that this recipe came from a farmer’s wife in McPherson County, Kansas, who lived in Sweden until she was of high school age. So I assume this recipe is pretty authentic.
I’m happy to report that this bread turned out really well! The recipe makes enough for two loaves baked in 8×4″ loaf pans. I only have 9×5″ pans so the loaves didn’t rise as tall as they would have otherwise. They had a really nice flavor, though, and while the texture was more firm and dense than normal sandwich bread, it wasn’t too dense and heavy. I did cut back on the molasses a bit because I thought the bread might be too sweet otherwise, and I’m glad I did that. I’ll type the recipe up without that change, though, and let you decide whether you want to do that. This would make a great change from plain old white or wheat bread for sandwiches!
Swedish Rye Bread Supreme
- 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup light molasses
- 1 Tb salt
- 2 Tb shortening(I used canola oil)
- 1 1/2 cups boiling water
- 1 pkg active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water (110 to 115F)
- 2 1/2 cups rye flour
- 2-3 Tb caraway seeds
- 3 1/2-4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
Combine brown sugar, molasses, salt, and shortening in large bowl. Pour on boiling water, and stir until sugar is dissolved. Allow to sit until lukewarm.
Sprinkle yeast on warm water. Stir to dissolve. Let sit until yeast has proofed.
Stir rye flour into brown sugar-molasses mixture, beating well. Stir in yeast misture and caraway seeds. Mix in enough all-purpose flour, a little at a time, to make a soft smooth dough. Turn onto lightly floured surface and knead until satiny and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place dough in lightly greased bowl. Turn dough over to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled.
Punch dough down. Turn onto lightly floured surface and shape into two balls. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Shape into loaves(I rolled the dough out into rectangles and, starting from the short end, rolled them up like I would cinnamon roll dough) and place in two greased 8×4″ loaf pans. Cover and let rise until almost doubled.
Bake in a 375F oven for 25-30 minutes. Turn onto wire racks to cool. Brush loaves with melted butter while warm if you like a soft crust.
Orange-Flavored Rye Bread: Omit caraway seeds and use instead 2 Tb grated orange peel
Anise-Flavored Rye Bread: Omit caraway seeds and use 1 tsp anise seeds.