Christmas Rye Bread (Vortlimpor)
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I share this recipe with my cousin in Sweden. We each make this bread for Christmas dinner. This recipe and Christmas bonds us across the ocean as each of our families break bread together.
12 ounce bottle of ale or dark beer
1 tablespoon anise or fennel seed, pounded fine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
Grated rind of 1 orange
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 cups sifted medium rye flour
1 package dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
Mix beer, anise seed and butter in saucepan and heat to lukewarm. Pour into large mixing bowl and add syrup, orange rind, sugar and salt. Mix well. Add 2 cups all-purpose flour and 1 cup rye flour. Beat until smooth. Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water and add to first mixture. Beat until thoroughly mixed. Add remaining flour. Turn dough out on lightly floured board. Knead until smooth and elastic. (Can use dough hook with mixer.) Place in greased bowl, cover well and let rise until double, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
Punch down and again let rise until double in bulk, 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Shape into two loaves and place loaves in greased pan, 9x12-inches. Let rise until double in bulk, about 1 hour. Perforate each loaf 5 to 6 times with fork.
Bake in moderate over (350 degrees) 45 to 50 minutes or at 300 degrees for 40 minutes in convection oven. Remove from oven and at once brush top of loaves with hot water. Cool on cake racks.
Marion Elizabeth Erickson