May 1, 2010

Swedish Beer Rye Bread

This is a very pretty bread, with a unique shape. It tastes good and works well for holiday or special occasions.

Swedish Beer Rye Bread

1 1/3 cups dark beer
2 tsp. yeast
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. aniseed
1 tsp. orange zest
2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. butter
1 cup light rye flour
3 cups bread flour
2 Tbsp. gluten
1 Tbsp. molasses
1 Tbsp. water

Heat beer until warm, between 105ºF and 115ºF. Pour into warmed mixing bowl, and add yeast and sugar. Let stand 5 minutes. Add aniseed, orange zest, salt, butter and rye flour. Beat well. Cover and let stand 15 minutes.

Slowly add bread flour and gluten. Mix until dough forms. Knead on medium speed until dough is smooth and springy but soft to the touch. Cover and let rise one hour.

Punch down dough, and remove a 1-cup piece of dough. Lightly grease 9-inch round cake pan. Shape a round loaf with large section of dough, and place seam side down into cake pan. Divide reserved dough into two equal pieces. Shape each part into a 10-inch long rope. At the end of both ropes, cut a 4-inch vertical slit, leaving the middle 2 inches of each rope uncut. Place ropes in cross on top of loaf, and roll the slit ends into curlicues.

Cover and let rise until doubled
, about 60 minutes. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Mix molasses and water. Bake 15 minutes, and then brush with half the molasses mixture. Bake 15 to 20 minutes longer, until wooden skewer comes out clean and dry. Brush with remaining molasses mixture. Cool on wire rack.

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