...because you thought Sweden was Switzerland!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Gull-Britt's health bread

This recipe comes from Gull-Britt, who is one of Mat's and Margareta's neighbors in the countryside. She actually lives a good 20-minute walk away from where they live, but in the countryside, "neighbor" means anyone within a 3-kilometer radius.

Gull-Britt is a real master in the kitchen so I hear, and this bread really is "hers". She adapted it from a recipe that originally had only flour and wheat bran in it, turning it into a healthy bread with not less than 4 more kinds of seeds and grains. She also succeeded in making this bread fluffy despite all its grain- and seed content – for that, it has to yeast in the refrigerator overnight + 1 more hour outside of it. If you have the ingredients available to you (I know it calls for some exotic ingredients that may be hard to find in other countries), try it! It's actually the only thing labeled "health bread" that Marcus will touch. And eat. He otherwise calls seeds "bird food", so the fact that he will eat these is another way of saying that this health bread is a pleaser.

For this recipe, you need a really large bowl. And space in the refrigerator to fit the really large bowl. We used a 7-liter plastic bowl for this purpose – the kind you wash small laundry in.

You also need:

Wheat bran (vetekli), rye grits or cracked rye (rågkross), wheat flour – preferably the protein-enriched one (vetemjöl special) because it results in fluffier bread, and seeds of your choice like linseed, pumpkin- or sunfloweer seeds, sesame seeds, and fresh yeast.

Here's the complete list of ingredients, with measurements:

13 deciliters cold water
3/4 packet of yeast
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 deciliter oil
4 deciliters wheat bran (vetekli)
1.5 kilograms (about 2.5 liters) flour
2 deciliters rye grits (rågkross)
1 deciliter pumpkin- or sunflower seeds
1 deciliter sesame seeds
1 deciliter linseed
some coffee for brushing them with


1. Start by measuring 13 deciliters of cold water into the bowl. Dissolve the yeast in it, add the honey, oil and salt.

2. Pour down the flour, wheat bran, rye grits plus all the seeds. You can mix the dough with a machine, but we don't have one so I had to rely on my bicep strength and a sturdy spatula. The dough's consistency should be loose. It's not going to be a solid clay-like mass as in other breads, but on the contrary should retain a gooey consistency.

3. Cover the bowl with cloth and let it yeast on the lower part of the refrigerator overnight. By the next morning, the dough had taken up all of the bowl's 7-liter space.

4. On a floured surface, shape the dough into a strip and divide it into 16 buns the size of teacups. Place them on 2 or 3 oven pans lined with wax paper. The dough will still be a bit gooey, but easier to handle.

5. Cover the buns and let rise again for an hour. When almost done rising, preheat the oven to 250 degrees C.

6. After an hour, when the buns are big and the oven is warm, bake the buns in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes, one oven pan at a time. When you take them out of the oven, brush the surface of the buns with coffee.

Your kitchen will smell like a bakery. Wonderful! What's more wonderful is you can freeze them and pop them a few seconds in the microwave when you need "freshly baked" bread one day.

I think one of the buns will be a quick office lunch next Friday after exercise, with ham, tomatoes, bellpeppers, onions and cheese.

See Tags: Food


Anonymous Esther Garvi said...

I LOVE health bread. When I lived in Sweden, I was always putting together different creations, using a good tip of 1/3 moisture and 2/3 "dry material". Here in Niger, I bake bread with sorghum and millet to make it "heavier". Although white bread can taste so good, it's surprising how fast one gets tired of it!

11:37 AM


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