A few years ago I wandered into a large book store in Brisbane while on holidays. While my children were browsing, I made my way to the second floor which held a substantial selection of cookbooks. There I sat a little stool and surrounded myself with beautiful books. I knew our luggage would be heavy so I limited myself to choosing one book.
Little did I know that by choosing that book, on that day, would lead to Greg coming into my life and I now count Greg and his lovely wife Dorothy as dear friends.
On my return from holidays, I poured over that book. I wanted to make so many recipes. Rarely, if ever do that many recipes from one book interest me that much! So I decided to bake my way through the book. By chance, Greg happened upon my blog and made contact. One thing led to another and this year Greg told me that he and Dorothy were making their first trip to Australia and could we meet? So a couple of weeks ago my hubby and I spent a lovely weekend with Greg and Dorothy in the North Queensland city of Cairns.
How lucky am I?
Greg is a wealth of food knowledge and Dorothy is so incredibly accomplished in her field but they are two of the most humble and gentle people I have ever met. For me this was a small sliding door moment - buying a cookbook led to welcoming the author and his wife into my life.
I don't often post personal photos but this is an exception - Greg and myself in the beautiful tropical sunshine.
We talked and talked! We ate great food and wandered around together. We discussed Greg's books. At one stage I turned to Greg and said, "Oooh, I have just made your Swedish Rye Bread! It's delicious!" Greg gave me a funny look. Aaaah, sorry Greg, it was Limpa I was talking about! In my head I had renamed it Swedish Rye Bread. Do you ever do that?
This Limpa which is a Scandinavian Rye bread is adapted from the recipe in A Baker's Odyssey. I have been baking bread for a long time and I would say without a doubt this is one of the most flavourful loaves I have made. Served warm out of the oven with lashings of butter it is irresistible but the next day it slices well and toasts beautifully. This bread will not disappoint!
Limpa ( adapted from A Baker's Odyssey by Greg Patent)
makes one small round loaf
230g bread flour
75g dark rye flour
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
finely grated zest of 1/2 orange
1 teaspoon anise seeds
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
Heat the water, molasses and butter in a small pan over medium heat until the butter melts and the mixture registers around 50C. Remove from heat while you measure and prepare the remaining ingredients.
To make the dough I like to use a stand mixer but it can all be done by hand.
Combine the flours and yeast then stir in the salt, orange zest, anise seeds and caraway seeds. By this time your liquids should have cooled down a little. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix together with a wooden spoon until a stiff dough is formed. Allow to rest about ten minutes. Then if using a stand mixer attach the dough hook and knead for 5-8 minutes. Alternatively knead by hand for 8 minutes. In either case you should end up with a smooth and elastic dough. It will be a little sticky but don't add any more flour.
Form into a ball then place the dough into an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
Lightly flour the work surface, turn out the dough and pat gently to remove the large air bubbles. Form the dough into a ball by cupping your hands around the dough and rotating it. Pinch the underside together to seal and form a ball.
Place on a baking tray which has been lined with nonstick paper and cover loosely with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Allow to rise for a further 30-45 minutes or until doubled in size.
In the meantime heat the oven to 230C. When the dough is ready and the oven is hot, take a spray bottle filled with water and spray the inside of the oven, close the door. Uncover the dough and place into the hot oven which you spray again with water. Shut the door immediately and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the bread is well browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Cool on a wire rack. Serve with lashings of butter!