Finnish bread+

Yield: 2 loaves

Measure Ingredient
2 cups Water
4 tablespoons Butter (or margarine)
4 tablespoons Sugar (or 2 packets Sweet & low)
3 teaspoons Salt
1½ pack Active dry yeast
¾ cup Warm water
4½ cup Rye flour
4 cups All-purpose flour

Heat the water in a small saucepan. place the butter, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Pour the hot water over these ingredients, and stir briefly. Cool to lukewarm. Sprinkle the yeast into a small bowl, mix with ½ cup of lukewarm water, and set aside for 5 minutes. When the yeast has softened, stir it into the water, butter and sugar mixture.

Using a wooden spoon, beat in the rye flour. When the flour has been fully incorporated, mix in 2 cups of the all-purpose flour. Stir until both flours are well blended. Sprinkle a pastry board with ½ cup of all-purpose flour. Work this flour into the dough by kneading for 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and shiny. If the dough seems sticky, add more flour. Grease a large bowl and set the dough in it. coat the top surface lightly with melted butter. Cover with a linen towel that has been slightly moistened with water and squeezed out. Set the bread bowl in a warm, draft-free place and allow the dough to rise until it is just about double in size (about 1 hour).

Punch the dough down. Turn out on a pastry board and knead for 3 or 4 minutes. Divide into 2 equal portions and roll each portion into a ball. Grease a baking sheet lightly. Set the balls of dough on it and flatten them with your hands to 1-inch thickness. Allow them to rise, covered, until nearly double (about 45 minutes). Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes to a golden brown. Remove from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack. To serve in the traditional Finnish way, cut in wedges and spread thickly with butter.

From the New York Times Bread and Soup Cookbook MM format courtesy Mary Riemerman Submitted By MARY RIEMERMAN On 10-06-95

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