Joululimppa (Finnish Holiday Rye Bread)
2 c buttermilk
1/2 c molasses
1/4 c butter or margarine
2 ts salt
1 ts fennel seeds
1 ts caraway seeds
2 tb dry yeast
1/2 c warm water
Grated rind of 1 orange
1 c rye flakes or wheat germ
2 c dark or light rye flour
3-1/2 to 4-1/2 cups unbleached white or whole wheat flour
1 tb molasses
2 tb water
Heat the buttermilk, molasses, butter or margarine, salt, fennel seeds, and
caraway seeds until the butter melts. Set aside to cool.
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let it stand for 5 minutes until the
yeast bubbles. Add the yeast to the cooled buttermilk mixture along with the
grated orange rind, rye flakes or wheat germ, and rye flour. Beat well
until smooth. Add 3 to 3-1/2 cups of wheat flour, stirring in a cup at a
time, until the dough will not readily absorb more flour. The dough will
Flour a work surface with the remaining wheat flour and turn the dough out
onto it. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for 15 minutes.
(The gluten in rye is more fragile than in wheat. It needs a resting time
to recuperate and reform and does not require as vigorous or lengthy a
Gently knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes until smooth. Form the dough
into a ball and place it in a large buttered bowl or pot, turning it to
coat all sides with butter. Cover it and let it rise, in a warm spot,
until doubled in size, about an hour.
Punch down the dough and gently knead it for one minute. Form the dough
into three round loaves and place in lightly buttered 9-inch cake pans or
on buttered baking sheets. Cover and let rise until almost doubled in
size, 45 minutes to an hour.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the water and molasses, brush the
tops with half of this mixture to glaze. Then lightly pierce the loaves all
over with a fork.
Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the bread sounds hollow when tapped on
the bottom. While the bread is hot, brush it with the remaining glaze.
Remove the loaves from the pans and cool on racks.
Yields 3 loaves.
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