Tuesday, September 06, 2005

American Swedish Limpa Bread

Ok, I promised that I would discuss the Swedish Limpa Bread I made with the wheatberry salad, and I know you have all been waiting on the edges of your seats to hear about it...it is pretty good.

I made this from a James Beard "Beard on Bread" recipe, slightly modified for my American taste. The original recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups of rye flour. I'm not big on that sourish rye flour flavor, so I used a mixture of white and wheat flour. Beard's recipe says cardamom is optional. I wanted this because I LOVE cardamom - then I found out I was out of cardamom. Oh well. It turned out great anyway.

1 pkg yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup lukewarm water
2 cups beer, lukewarm
1/2 cup honey
2 Tbsp butter, melted
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cardamom
3/4 tsp aniseed, lightly crushed
Grated rind of one large orange
5 1/2 - 7 cups flour, a mix of white and wheat

Put the yeast and sugar in a large bowl and add the lukewarm water. Let proof for 5 minutes, then add beer, then the butter, honey and salt. It will foam up some. Add cardamom, aniseed and orange peel. Mix flours together. Add 3 cups of flour to the liquid ingredients and beat hard with a wooden spoon til smooth.

Cover and let rise for 45 minutes in a warm place. Stir down and add enough flour to make a firm but sticky dough. Turn out on a floured board and knead, adding more flour, until the dough is tacky but much smoother, about 10 minutes. Shape into a ball, put in a buttered bowl, turn dough until it is coated in a thin layer of butter. Cover and let rise until doubled, 45 minutes to one hour.

Punch down and split in half, form two balls, and put on a greased baking sheet. Put baking sheet in fridge, covered, for 2-3 hours. Longer is better.

Bring out for 15 minutes, then put in 375 degree oven for 45-55 minutes, until loaf sounds hollow when tapped on bottom.

Limpa bread is slightly sweet and delicious toasted with a little butter.

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