Skållat Råg Bröd (Rye Bread)

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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). 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.

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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.

 

Cheese Collection on Society6

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As many of you know, last year Tenaya Darlington (Madame Fromage) and I worked on a series of seasonal cheese articles. We were both dreaming of turning these cheeses into some kind of illustrated products. And today we are finally opening the doors to our cheese collection over at Society6*.

I’m totally over the top excited about doing this with Tenaya and the best thing is, I’m learning so much about cheese.  And don’t you agree that for any cheese loving person, these products makes great holiday gifts?

Our cheese selection includes art prints, greeting cards, iPhone cases, laptop sleeves, tote bags, pillows, mugs, wall clocks, hoodies and T-shirts etc. One of my favorites is this pillow with a Provelone patternIt’s decorative and hilarious at the same time! In the future we hope to add duvet covers and shower curtains to our cheese collection. Or how about some blue cheese leggings? We also hope that Society6 one day will add tea towels and aprons to their standard products.

We really hope you will enjoy our selection.

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See also…
Madame Fromage’s Cheese Lovers Gift Guide

Cheese Calendar by Tenaya Darlington & Johanna Kindvall
Your Spring Goat Cheese Primer (part 1)
Late Summer Cheese Picnic (part 2)
Smoke and Funk: A Fall Cheese Board (part 3)
Winter Blues: A Pairing Party for 8 to 12 (part 4)

Selection of cheeses in my portfolio.

*Society6 is an online print-on-demand shop which offers many different product with printed artworks on them. Which is great as we don’t have to keep everything in stock. The product will be printed and handled just when ordered.  Society6 ships anything almost anywhere in the world.

Warm Pear Salad with Thyme & Feta

© Johanna Kindvall

One of my current favorites is this warm pear salad that’s inspired by Ilva Beretta & Jamie Schler‘s beautiful Winter Pear Salad. This is a warm salad with the fabulous combination of pears, blue cheese and walnuts. A combination that shouldn’t really be changed in any way. But the other day, the blue cheese I thought I had, had miraculously been eaten by a mouse (or maybe it was M), so I needed to come up with a quick substitute. I must say, the Hungarian double cream feta I had on hand did a great stand-in job. Not the same, but excellent in another way.

Serve it as a starter or as I did, with hanger steak (medium rare) and a watercress salad.

Warm Pear Salad with Thyme & Feta
(for two)
Slice one pear thinly (about 1/8 inch, 3 mm) from top to the bottom. Saute on medium to low heat together with some ancho pepper flakes (or red pepper flakes) and thyme (dried or fresh) until nicely brown on both sides. Arrange pears neatly on a plate. Topp with creamy feta, toasted chopped walnuts and chopped fresh herbs (oregano or thyme). Sprinkle some freshly hand cranked black pepper over. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Pssst this illustrated recipe is available as an art print in my Society6 shop.

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related links

get more of Ilva and Jamie’s mouth watering stuff at Plated Stories
Minty Zucchini Salad
 – kokblog recipe
Chickpea Salad with Rosemary & Almonds – kokblog recipe
Spinach Salad with Warm Brown Butter Dressing – Sarah Crowder @ TheKitchn

 

 

Glöggmingel with Madame Fromage

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It’s getting cold out there so it’s time to cook comforting stews, soups with dark rye bread or have tea with cookies crawled up on the sofa. Another combo that works is to host a Fika & Cheese party with glögg. And this is exactly what Tenaya Darlington aka Madame Fromage I did in Philly the other day.

I arrived by bus with loaves of rye bread,  thin crisps with caraway seeds and ginger cookies while Tenaya unwrapped incredibly luscious cheeses that I had been dreaming of for weeks (and still do). Together we fired up some spicy glögg (image above) just before our guests filled the kitchen/ living room with joyful cheese & baking conversations while we were munching away.  One of our guests, cheesemaker Sue Miller from Birchrun Hill Farm came with some of their ‘mind blowing’ blue cheeses. Another guest, Marisa McClellan from Food in Jars brought pickled kohlrabi and honey-sweetened jam that matched our cheese & fika board beautifully.

In Sweden we would call this kind of party glöggmingel (mingle with mulled wine), a party that often is held in December prior to Christmas.

Want to host a party like this? Then you should continue reading about the party over at Madame Fromage’s blog. Tenaya brings you behind the scenes and reveals how to successfully host a party like this.

I especially want to thank Tenaya and Todd for having me in your kitchen. It was wonderful to finally meet you in person. And thanks to everyone who came and made this event into an inspiring and fun party.

Cheers!

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related links

Fika – The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall
Di Bruno Bros. House of Cheese: A Guide to Wedges, Recipes, and Pairings by Tenaya Darlington (I love this book!!!)
Glögg – Swedish Mulled Wine
Lussekatter recipe by Anna Brones with illustrated shapes by me
Pepparkakor (ginger cookies) by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall at Ecosalon
Knäckebröd (thin crisps) with wild fennel – baked in Sicily
Fika & Cheese Party (original invitation)

Fika & Cheese Party with Madame Fromage (Philadelphia)

A Fika Party with Madame Fromage (Philadelphia)

Saturday November 7, Tenaya Darlington aka Madame Fromage will be hosting an afternoon Fika with me at her house in Philadelphia. And we both would love you to join us.
For the occasion, we’re designing a cozy mulled wine gathering with fika treats and cheese. There will be a variety of bread and cookie samples  from the fika book and Tenaya will specially design a luscious cheese board to match the treats. There will also be a baking demonstration and I will show you one of the best ways to make glögg (Swedish mulled wine). Tenaya will give you her personal stories behind the selected cheeses.

We are both super excited to see you there. And I’m also thrilled to finally meet Tenaya, who has been one of my favorite blogger and food writers for years. Last year we collaborated on an illustrated cheese calender, which resulted in four seasonal cheese posts (see links below).  I’m super honored that she wants to host this little cheese salon with me, for you.

The Fika book and Tenaya’s wonderful cheese book will be on sale at the party. You can pre order them to a special price when you purchase your ticket. I will also have a few fika and cheese prints for sale at the party.

If you want to know more about fika and how to pair it with cheese you are most welcome. We have 15 spots for this special fika hour.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 7  4-6 p.m.
price: $20 person
Total spots: 15

SOLD OUT!
Psst did you miss this? Well you can easily host one yourself! Here, Tenaya brings you behind the scenes and reveals how successfully host a Fika & Cheese party at home.

A little background about your hosts

Tenaya Darlington aka Madame Fromage is a cheese blogger and writer in Philadelphia. Her latest book, Di Bruno Bros. House of Cheese: A Guide to Wedges, Recipes, and Pairings. At the moment she is finishing up her next cookbook which is a cocktail collaboration with her brother André Darlington.

Johanna Kindvall is a blogger and illustrator from Sweden who lives in Brooklyn. Her latest book is Fika: The Art of The Swedish Coffee Break, with Recipes for Breads, Pastries, and Other Treats (Ten Speed, 2015), by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall.

The Cheese Calendar 
Winter Blues: A Pairing Party for 8 to 12 (part 4)
Smoke and Funk: A Fall Cheese Board (part 3)
Late Summer Cheese Picnic (part 2)
Your Spring Goat Cheese Primer (part 1)