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Print this Recipe    Finnish Rye

Suomalaisruisleipa (Finnish Rye Bread)
Yield: 6 servings

1 1/2 c beer, buttermilk, milk, or potato water
2 tb butter or margerine
1 ts salt
1 tb dry yeast
1/2 c warm water

1 tb sugar
2 c dark rye flour or light rye flour or rye meal (rye flour with bran)
3 1/2 to 4 cups unbleached white flour

Heat 1 1/2 cups liquid to lukewarm. Stir in the butter and salt.
Set aside to cool.

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water (a temperature comfortable on
the inside of the wrist) with the sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes
or until the yeast bubbles.

Stir the yeast mixture into the cooled liquid. Add the rye flour
and beat until smooth. Add the white flour, a cup at a time,
stirring after each addition until enough is added to make a stiff
dough. Dust a work surface with white flour. Form the dough into
a rough ball, place it on the work surface, cover it with a damp
cloth, and let it rest for 15 minutes. Generously butter a large
bowl or pot.

Adding only as much flour as necessary to prevent sticking, knead
the bread dough until smooth, about 5 minutes. (The gluten in rye
is more fragile than in wheat. It needs a resting time to recuperate
and reform and does not need as lengthy or vigorous a kneading).
Form the dough into a smooth ball and place it in a buttered bowl,
turning it to coat all sides with the butter. Cover it and let it
rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Punch the dough down, gently knead it for one minute, and divide
it into two parts. Form each half into a round loaf and place the
loaves in two lightly buttered 9-inch round cake pans or on a large,
buttered baking sheet. Press a hole through the center of each
loaf to give it a traditional shape if you wish. Cover and let rise
until almost doubled in size, about 1/2 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Brush the loaves with water and
gently puncture the surface all over with the tines of a fork, in
a design if you wish.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and
sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. While it is hot, brush
it with butter to glaze, and then let it cool on a rack.

Yields 2 round loaves.

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