Tuesday, October 6

yeast... what not to kill

My dad used to make Swedish Limpa. The smell would fill the house, and the bread was delicious. Such a different, distinct flavor. I loved it as a kid, and I love it now.

I decided to be courageous today. After shopping at 3 different grocery stores, I finally found rye flour. I also wimped out (sorry Dad, I don't have a mortar and pestle anyway) and bought ground cardamom. After you hear about my "adventure" today, you'll agree with me it's probably better that I didn't use the finest ingredients. haha.

When I took the picture, I forgot to include the best ingredient... cardamom. (And I left out the boring basics... salt, sugar, shortening, all-purpose flour, egg, water.)
I went to work, following the directions exactly. Mix the yeast with the lukewarm water. Got it. Mix the molasses, shortening, spices & orange rind with boiling water. No problem. Ahhhh... the smell... I wish you could have all been in my kitchen then! It's a fabulous smell.
Then that's where things started going wrong. The directions say "cool to lukewarm". I think I didn't let it cool enough. And I'm sorry sweet little yeast buggers... I killed you.

It became painfully obvious as I started pouring the molasses mixture in with the yeast. There might have been a little bit of steam rearing it's ugly head.
Then we started kneading. (That's my son. Check out his awesome fading fire department tattoo.)
Yeah. Something wasn't quite right.
And that's where the pictures end my friend. No pictures of beautiful rising bread loaves. (The recipe makes 3 loaves!!!) No pictures of crusty warm loaves on my pretty cutting board.

I did persevere through, and I did cook it. Mostly because I wanted to taste the sweet flavors. But after one buttered, straight out of the oven slice, my brick went in the garbage. Uck. I will conquer though. I have learned my lesson, and I have more rye flour & spices!!

If you are a bread maker, or just feeling courageous (or more patient for the mixture to cool!) then here's the recipe...

Swedish Limpa
1/2 C. molasses
1/2 C. shortening
¼ C. light corn syrup
1½ tsp. each: anise seeds, grated orange rind
1/2 tsp. each: fennel seeds, caraway seeds
2 pkgs. active dry yeast
¼ C. warm water (105-115ยบ)
1 egg
5 C. rye flour
1 C. sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly crushed cardamom seeds
7-8 C. all purpose flour

Heat 4 C. water to boil. Stir in molasses, shortening, corn syrup, anise seeds, orange rind, fennel, and caraway. Cool to lukewarm; set aside 1/4 C. of mixture to brush on loaves after baking.
Sprinkle yeast over 1/4 C. warm water in large bowl of electric mixer, stirring until blended. Stir in COOLED molasses mixture.
Beat in egg.
Add rye flour, sugar, salt, and cardamom. Beat with electric mixer until blended.
Stir in enough all purpose flour, 1 C. at a time, until dough no longer clings to sides of bowl.
Turn dough out on lightly floured surface; let rest about 10 min. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding all purpose flour as necessary. Put in large greased bowl, then turn greased side up.
Cover and let rise in warm place about 1 hour, or until doubled. Punch down and turn onto lightly floured board. Divide dough into 3 equal parts; shape each into round loaf. Place each in center of greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise in warm place about 1 hour, or until doubled.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes, until loaves sound hollow when tapped lightly or a cake tester comes out clean.
Remove from baking sheet & place onto wire racks. Brush tops immediately with reserved molasses mixture.


Jackie said...

The flavor was lovely, the fragrance was heavenly, the texture was rather dense. Every baker has to do it once...

maryanne said...

My most recent bread disaster was forgetting to add salt - that destroys a loaf about as effectively as leaving out the yeast (which I've also done)...