Category Archives: bread

Celebrating Smörgåsbord with a Parisian

One year ago today my 2nd cookbook Smörgåsbord was published by the lovely people at Ten Speed Press. I wrote this book because I think the classic Swedish smörgåsbord is a perfect display of Nordic Cuisine, with dishes ranging from cured fish to small meatballs, including bread, butter, and cheese. It’s also a wonderful, traditional way to enjoy food with friends and family.

This first year has been loads of fun meeting cooks, bakers and serious eaters. For example, last Autumn I hosted a special Smörgås dinner with chef Renee Baumann at 61 Local (Brooklyn) together with Jamie Schler I held a special Orange/ Smörgåsbord potluck party, and at Union Square market I shared bread and taught market visitors how to bake Swedish thin bread. I have also taught a smörgås/ smørrebrød class at Archestratus in Greenpoint and at COOKS in Philly I created a Smörgåsbord Christmas dinner together with cocktail duo Andre & Tenaya DarlingtonAnd my neighborhood restaurant Otway with chef Clair Welle, cooked up a whole smörgåsbord menu to celebrate the book. I have really enjoyed talking and sharing breads and special treats with you all. Thanks everyone for your support and curiosity to learn more about Scandinavian cooking. The 2nd year I will continue with more classes and dinners so please check my event page for updates.

To celebrate, I’m sharing my Smörgåsbord recipe for parisare, which in the book is translated into the Swedish open-faced burger, as it simply is a burger without a top. A parisare (Parisian in English) is a Swedish retro classic with an unclear past. It might be related to something French but nobody seems to know the origin of this dish.

The best parisare is made with the Swedish iconic biff à la Lindström, which are tasty patties spiced with pickled beets, capers, and mustard. Unlike a traditional burger, a parisare is assembled on a slice of toasted bread (preferable a light sourdough) and topped off with a sunny side egg, peppery garden cress (similar to mustard greens or watercress), and sprinkled with freshly ground white pepper.  I also recommend frying the bread together with the patty which unite the bread and the meat into a perfect deliciousness (see recipe below).

Serve parisare with roasted potatoes and condiments such as horseradish relish, pickled cucumber, and mustard. All these condiments are super easy to make and I share my simple recipes of all three in the book.

If you bake or cook anything from the book, I would love to hear about it! Please leave a comment or tag me if you share it on social media. I’m @johannakindvall on instagram and @kokblog on twitter. You can also tag your bakes and dishes with #ArtofSmorgasbord. I will most likely share your post with the rest of my followers.

Cheers!

Parisare
(The Parisian – Open-Faced Hamburger)
From Smörgåsbord: The Art of Swedish Breads and Savory Treats

makes 4 to 8 open-faced burgers

1 pound (450 g) ground beef
2 tablespoons minced shallot
¼ cup (1.5 oz, 42 g) finely chopped Pickled Beets*
2 tablespoons finely chopped capers
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 egg, beaten
½ to 1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper

4 to 8 slices of sourdough bread**
unsalted butter, for frying

topping
4 to 8 eggs, at room temperature
salt and freshly ground white pepper
garden cress (mustard greens or water cress)

In a small bowl, combine the beef, shallot, beets, capers, mustard, and egg. Add the salt and pepper and mix until evenly blended. To check the seasoning, take a small piece of the meat mixture and fry it in a pan; adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

Prepare the ground meat mixture. Shape 4 large or 8 small flat patties. If necessary, cut the bread slices in half to match the patties; the patties will shrink slightly when cooked, so the individual bread slices can be slightly smaller than the meat. Place the patties on top of the bread and press them down a little so the meat sticks to the bread.

In a large skillet, heat some butter and fry the patties over medium-high heat with the meat side down. When the meat is cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes, flip them over and cook until the bread side is a nice color, about 1 minute. Adjust the heat, if necessary.

In a separate pan, fry the eggs in butter on one side, over low heat, for 3 to 4 minutes. Place the eggs on top of each patty and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

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* Smörgåsbord has a simple and delicious recipe for pickled beets but you can also find these type of pickles in many well stocked supermarkets as well as in any Scandinavian or eastern European food shops.

** From the Smörgåsbord book, I suggest to use the Rustic Rye Bread (page 46) or the Cast Iron Whole Wheat Bread (page 43). You can also use this bread or this one (or any other light sourdough bread) .

Reprinted with permission from Smörgåsbord by Johanna Kindvall, copyright © 2017, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

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related links

If you want your own copy of
the Smörgåsbord cookbook you can get it here.

Smörgåsbord cover animation

my christmas table + recipe of vörtbröd 

more about the Smörgåsbord book here and here

my 1st book: Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break
by Anna Brones & Johanna Kindvall
(Ten Speed Press, 2015)

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My Christmas Table + Recipe of Vörtbröd

It’s the holiday season and time to get cozy with warming glögg and a stack of ginger cookies. Like many Swedes, I will be cooking up a traditional Swedish julbord. A julbord is a seasonal Smörgåsbord and something that most Swedes prepare for themselves and their loved ones every Christmas. If you’d like to learn more about the Swedish Christmas table, please read Larissa Zimberoff’s smörgåsbord story on NPR Salt.

As I am married to a Pole, we have decided this year to mix up the table with some traditional Polish dishes. We think the mix will work splendidly as both Poles and Swedes share an equal devotion to pickled herrings, dill, horseradish, caraway, and vodka.  I have learned that even if most of their dishes can be very different, they share a great amount of flavors that are very similar. So if you are planning to add some Baltic flare to your holiday, I hope my menu for our Christmas eve table will inspire you:

glögg
(Swedish mulled wine)

mustard herring
herring with apples
hard boiled eggs, and aged hard cheese 
Aquavit 
& Zubrowka

barszcz (clear beetroot soup)
with wild mushroom dumplings 

hot smoked salmon
with fresh pickled cucumber
& horseradish sauce

charcuterie platter:
liver pate, sausages,
julskinka (traditional Christmas ham),
red cabbage, 
pickles, and other condiments

cheese board
specially selected by my friend
Tenaya Darlington 
aka Madame Fromage

pierogi with sauerkraut & mushrooms

my mother’s Joulutorttu
Finnish Christmas Tarts

julgodis
traditional Swedish sweets

Along with everything I will be serving a selection of different kinds of breads that go well with the dishes on the table. One of the breads will be my vörtbröd (malted rye bread) from the  Smörgåsbord cookbook (see recipe below). Traditionally a vörtbröd is baked with wort (malt extract from brewing beer), whole raisins and aromatic spices like orange zest powder, cardamom, cloves, and ginger. My version is baked with porter instead of the wort and, just because I don’t like soggy raisins, I first soak and mash them before adding it to the dough. This method makes an all through fruity flavored bread that is excellent with cured ham or cheeses like blue cheese.

I wish you all a delicious holiday and a happy new year!

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If you are looking for some last minute gifts,
here are a few from my food & art creative friends:

New Cocktail Hour by André and Tenaya Darlington
the guide to crafted cocktails
with both classical and modern recipes.

Istanbul and Beyond by Robyn Eckhardt
and photographed by David Hagerman
amazing cookbook as well as a
terrific culinary travel guide of Turkey

Cult Vinegar & Cult Vinegar Vase
by Jonathan Brown & Billy Lloyd
read more about their beautiful
design and delicious vinegar here

Orange Appeal: Savory and Sweet
by Jamie Schler and photographed by Ilva Beretta
amazing selection of different ways
you can cook with an orange

Kaukasis by Olia Hercules
an amazing culinary journey through
Georgia, Azerbaijan & beyond

And if you need a post-holiday gift I suggests:

Live Lagom by my Fika collaborator Anna Brones
About the Swedish concept of lagom – the balanced way of living
(will be released in US on December 26)

Pan de pueblo by Iban Yarza, Grijalbo (in Spanish)
Recipes and history of Spain’s breads & bakeries
(will be released in US on January 30, 2018)

Soulful Simplicity by Courtney Carver
How living with less can lead to so much more
(will be released on December 26)

and last…

If you are thinking of remodeling your front facade I suggest your hire my friend Katie Merz.

Vörtbröd (Malted Rye Bread)
recipe from Smörgåsbord

makes 1 loaf

sponge
2 cups (8.5 oz, 240 g) rye flour
1¾ cups (420 ml) water
¼ cup (2 oz, 57 g) sourdough starter

soaker
1/3 cup (2 oz, 57 g) raisins
½ teaspoon orange zest powder (see below)
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cardamom seeds, crushed
¼ cup (60 ml) porter (or stout)

dough
2 cups (10 oz, 284 g) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt

To prepare the sponge, place the rye flour in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil, then remove it from the heat, and pour it over the flour. Work the flour and water well together to create a thick porridge like batter. Set aside to cool. When the scalded rye flour has cooled completely, add the sourdough starter and mix well. Cover the bowl with a dampened tea towel and let sit at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight.

To prepare the soaker, in a bowl, soak the raisins, orange powder, cloves, ginger, and cardamom with the porter, then cover and let sit at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight. In a blender or food processor, mix the soaker until smooth and sticky.

To prepare the dough, in a large bowl, combine the sponge and pureed raisins with the all-purpose flour and salt. Transfer the dough to a floured flat surface and knead the bread into a ball, about 1 minute. If the dough sticks to your hands, wet them before kneading the mixture together. The dough will be dense and tacky. Place the dough in a large bowl, cover with a dampened tea towel, and let rise for 3 hours.

Shape the dough into 1 oblong loaf, following the directions on page 21. Place it in a well-floured rectangular proofing basket that is approximately 12 by 5 inches (30 by 13 cm). You can also let it rise on a well-floured tea towel supported with two rolled-up tea towels on either side of the loaf (see diagram below). Cover with a dry tea towel and let rise for another 2 hours. To test when the bread is ready to bake, poke your finger gently into the dough; the indent should slowly spring back, about 3 seconds.

Preheat the oven to 500°F (260°C) 30 to 60 minutes before baking. Arrange a baking sheet or baking/pizza stone on a rack in the middle of the oven. (Please note that a stone will need more time to heat up than a baking sheet.)

When ready to bake, carefully invert the shaped loaf onto the hot baking sheet (or stone). With a sharp knife or razor blade, slash the top of the dough. Mist the bread with a water spritzer before closing the oven door. Lower the temperature to 400°F (200°C) and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 208°F (98°C). The bread should have a dark brown color, and if you knock at the bottom of the loaf, it should have a hollow sound.

Remove from the oven, cover with a tea towel, and let the bread cool completely on a cooling rack before cutting the bread. It’s best if the bread can rest for at least 8 hours or overnight.

The bread will keep fresh for several days, at room temperature, covered in a plastic bag. For longer storage, freeze bread when cool, well wrapped in plastic, sliced or whole, for up to 3 months.

Recipe and related images is taken from my book Smörgåsbord, Ten Speed Press 2017, ©Johanna Kindvall

Orange zest powder is simply made by drying the outer layer of the orange in a sunny spot for a couple of days or in the oven at 200°F (95 °C) for 1 hour. The orange skin is easy to peel with a potato peeler and, to make the drying go faster,  cut the peels into thin strips.  When the peel is dry, place them in a coffee grinder or food processor and pulse until you have a nice orange powder. Use the powder to flavor bread, cakes, and stews.

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other related links

If you want your own copy of
the Smörgåsbord cookbook you can get it here.

my julbord story on Wine Society

Skållat Rågbröd with Anise Seeds
(Scalded rye bread) – a kokblog recipe

pepparkakor (Swedish Ginger Cookies)
by Anna Brones

How to Host a Fika & Cheese Party
by Madame Fromage

upcoming Smörgåsbord events

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skållat Råg Bröd (Rye Bread)

kokblog-scalded-rye-bread-2

This Christmas I’m looking forward to being with my family and friends in Sweden. I will fill the house with the right holiday flavor by lighting candles, bake pepparkakor (ginger cookies) and brew glögg spiced with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, orange and ginger. I will bake dark rye bread (recipe below) and have plenty of mustard herring and slices of aged cheese (with my homemade akvavit). The evenings I will spend in front of the fireplace, crawled up on the couch with a glass of madeira and a handful (or more) of chocolate toffees.

The rye bread is based on a Swedish traditional bread called skållat rågbröd (scalded rye bread). When baking the bread you start by scalding the rye flour with boiling hot water and let it sit over night. This method makes a rich and flavorful bread. Traditionally you bake this kind of bread with mörk sirap (dark syrup) but by using cranberries instead I have given this bread a more fruity flavor.

This bread is excellent with julskinka (salt cured ham that have been cooked in aromatic broth), which is one of the classic spreads on a Swedish julbord (Christmas table which is the most common Smörgåsbord in Sweden). But the bread really works with many other things too, like herring, gravlax, cheese or leftover meatballs.

Last Sunday this bread was part of an food art installation by Ursula Endlicher at Air Circulation gallery in Bushwick here in Brooklyn. Then we topped it with pate, pickled gherkins and fresh pomegranate seeds. I also baked caraway thin crisps and specially created a hazelnut & star anise cookie for her installation.  The show will be on view every Sunday until January 24.

I bake this bread all year around as M and my friends don’t seem to get enough of it. My neighbors have even requested I start selling it as they think it’s the best bread in the neighborhood. (which is quite easy to beat as there is no bread bakery around here that bakes a dark rye bread like this).

Psssst! This bread got listed by Marisa McClellan at Local Mouthful, Philadelphia as one of her favorite things in 2015.  Woohoo!  I’m super honored.

kokblog-ryebreads

Skållat Rågbröd with Anise Seeds (Scalded Rye Bread)
adapted from my Rye Bread recipe in Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break*

2 loafs

1st dough
3 cups (720 ml) water
3 cups (12.75 ounces, 362 grams) rye flour
60 gram (2.125 ounces) starter

overnight soak
handful (about) 1/3 cup dried cranberries
5 tablespoons water

2nd dough
3 cups (15 oz, 426 grams) all purpose flour (plus extra as needed)
2 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoon anise seeds

preparing the 1st dough
Bring the water to a boil and pour it over the rye flour. Work the flour and the water with a large spoon or spatula until even (sticky) dough. Let the dough cool down to about 98°F (37°C) before adding the starter. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel. Leave at room temperature overnight or at least for 6 to 8 hours.

Soak the cranberries in 5 tablespoon water overnight or for at least a couple of hours.

preparing the 2nd dough
Mix the soaked cranberries in a food processor into a smooth sticky mixture. Crush the anise seeds slightly with a mortar and pestle. In a large wide bowl mix together wheat flour, salt and anise seeds. Add the 1st dough together with the cranberries. Work everything well together until all flour is mixed. Transfer the dough to your counter top and knead the dough with as little extra flour as possible. The dough will be sticky and dense. Let the dough rise for 2-3 hours.

Divide the dough into two pieces and shape into 12-inch long loaves. Dust some flour all around and place them on a well floured tea towel. Cover and and let rise for about 2 hours. The bread will have small cracks on the surface.

About 30 – 60 minutes before baking your bread, set the oven to 450°F (230°C). Place a baking sheet or baking stone into the oven. (please note that a stone will need more time to heat up than a baking sheet).

When it’s time, carefully transfer the shaped loaves onto the hot baking surface. Score (as you like) and bake for 40-50 minutes. The bread should have a dark brown color and if you knock at the bottom of the loaf it should have a hollow sound. Let them cool completely on an oven rack before cutting the bread.

The bread will keep fresh in room temperature for a couple of days. For longer storage, freeze, sliced or whole.

* The original recipe from the Fika book, which is equally addictive is baked with active dry yeast and uses prunes instead of dried cranberries. I have also baked this version at a higher temperature which gives the bread a slightly harder crust.

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related links

learn more about the Swedish Christmas table in my book
Smörgåsbord: The Art of Swedish Breads and Savory Treats

 

Sourdough Starter Diagram

© Johanna Kindvall

Currently I’m working on a new design of kokblog. I’m planning to launch the new design next week. In this process I have decided to turn some of my pages into posts. And one of them is my diagram on how to make a Sourdough Starter.

Description: The above diagram is just one way to start a sourdough starter. At the end you will have one rye and one wheat starter. I use either starter for most of my breads. The wheat starter can also be used in a sweeter dough like for e.g. Cinnamon Buns etc. I bake with my starters 1-2 times a week (sometimes even more). I keep them in my fridge and take either of them out one or two days before I want to bake. Depending on how long it has been without ”food”, I feed it once or twice with a few tablespoons of flour and a little water. I keep my starters small, in that way I always have just enough and there is no need to discard anything. I have kept a starter in the fridge (without feeding it) for up to 3 weeks (not recommended). You can also freeze the starter if you are not planning to bake for a longer time. Just give the starter some time to recover by feeding it once or twice every day for a couple of days before baking. When the starter is lively and full of bubbles it’s ready to bake with. My diagram is based on Iban Yarza‘s How to Make a sourdough starter video.

NOTE: Since I published this last year, I have discarded my rye starter (I simple baked it up). It was just easier to keep one. If I ever want to use a rye starter I feed one part of my all-purpose starter with just rye flour for a couple of days.

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Links to my sourdough breads

Sourdough Bread with Rye

Plain Sourdough Bread

Wild Fennel Knäckebröd at Case Vecchie


Madame Fromage’s Semolina Crackers (book review)

© Johanna Kindvall

Another cookbook that’s become one of my favorites is Di Bruno Bros. House of Cheese: A Guide to Wedges, Recipes, and Pairings by Tenaya Darlington, aka Madame Fromage (Running Press, 2013). I have mentioned the book here several times but I think the book is worth it’s own post. First of all the book is not just a cookbook it’s an introductions to 170 different cheeses. The book is a collaboration with Di Bruno Bros., a well known cheese shop in Philadelphia.

In the book Tenaya simply tells stories around the selected cheeses, includes several ideas and tips on how to serve, what to drink and pair them with. Tenaya also teaches you how to buy a cheese and how to talk to a cheesemonger. The main purpose of the book is to help the reader find the cheese of their dreams. Unfortunately I want them all!

The book has several recipes for treats that works well with cheese, such as Lavender Mustard, Balsamic Poached Figs and Semolina Crackers (see below). There are also many cheesy recipes, for e.g. Manchego & Marcona Almond Pesto and mouth watering Grilled Peaches with Quadrello di Bufala

I’m so looking forward to her next book, which is a cocktail collaboration with her brother André Darlington. When ever I read something by Tenaya, the book or something on her website I end up hungry with a big smile on my face. Tenaya has loads of humor. Chapters as Baby Faces, Stinkers and Pierced Punks is just a few examples of her excellent wittiness!

I’m dreaming that one day Tenaya will have me over for dinner…
© Johanna Kindvall

Madame Fromage’s Semolina Crackers

(I didn’t counted them but there were plenty to serve with a cheese plate for 4 people)

As you know, I like to bake, so after receiving the book last Spring I almost immediately baked Tenaya’s Semolina Crackers (that are adapted from Heidi Swanson‘s recipe).  I like the way Tenaya bakes them, just simply rolled out on a baking sheet, baked, cooled and then “cracked” with your hands before serving.  You can also roll them out with a pasta machine, like I suggest here below. I have halved the recipe and changed the method slightly, otherwise it’s pretty much the same as in the book.

dough
¾ cup (123 grams) semolina flour cup
¾ cups (106 grams) all purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
one teaspoon flaky sea salt (more if you like saltier crackers)
½ cup (about 120 ml) warm water
about 2½ tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for brushing

flavour
fresh rosemary

Mix together the water and the olive oil in a large bowl before adding the flours, sea salt and chopped rosemary. Work together well with a wooden spoon or spatula.  Transfer the dough to a floured flat surface and knead for about 5 minutes. The dough should feel smooth and not sticky. Shape the dough into a ball. Place in an olive oil greased bowl. Let the dough rest in the fridge for one hour.

Cut out small pieces (size depends on how long crackers you want) and flatten them out slightly with your hands. Roll them out about 2″ wide with a rolling pin or pasta machine. Roll them out as thin as you can and desire. (I roll them out to level 5 in the pasta machine which is less than 1/8 inch thickness). Dust with more flour if the dough feels sticky.

Grease a baking sheet with olive oil. Place the long crackers on the sheet and bake at 350°F  (175°C) for about 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown. Let the crackers cool completely (not stacked) on a flat surface. Store in airtight containers. My crackers never lasted that long, but according to Tenaya they store well up to a week.

© Johanna Kindvall

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Tenaya will have some book signings (around Philadelphia) in December (2014).

More with Tenaya Darlington on Kokblog

Your Spring Goat Cheese Primer (part 1)  collaboration between Tenaya & me
Late Summer Cheese Picnic
(part 2) collaboration between Tenaya & me
Smoke and Funk: A Fall Cheese Board (part 3) collaboration between Tenaya & me
How to Turn Your Desk Into a Cheese Board – guest post by Tenaya