Saturday, October 16, 2010

"Fake" rye bread

Rye bread - A Finnish thing

I'm a subscriber (and I always struggle with spelling that word!) of a Finnish magazine Kotivinkki that also publishes recipes of really good-looking and tempting dishes. For some reason, however, I have not really tried out the recipes before. Maybe it's because I don't want to get my precious magazine all covered with flour and stains that I usually can't escape when cooking or baking from a cook book or some written recipe. I don't know. Anyway, this month's issue was dropped down to our mailbox and the theme of this month's recipes in the food section was something that finally made me use the magazine as my guideline in the kitchen. Bread.

Not only do we consume a lot of bread and thus I'm always on the lookout for new bread recipes to bring variety to our bread cuisine but what's more today is the 5th World Bread Day, to which I have been wanting to participate. World Bread Day is a blog event: a day to bake or otherwise enjoy bread and post it in your blog. This is my first time taking part and I'm really excited to see the different kinds of bread recipes and pictures and stories about bakeries, from bloggers all over the world!

The magazine had a variety of different kinds of bread recipes to choose from, but having caught a cold, I didn't feel up to trying out something very complicated. Moreover, as I was going to participate in the World Bread Day I kind of wanted to do something little Finnish. And the Finns do love their rye bread. Making it from the scratch would've been the more complicated route, so I decided to make this short-cut recipe, that I friendly call the "fake" rye bread. The magazine, maybe more politely, had named the recipe as Quick rye-potato loaves. 

I really liked these. They looked and tasted just like I think a rye bread ought to. This is a recipe I will definitely make again. Next time I'll probably add a little more caraway, as I really like the taste of it and felt it could've been more intense. These were quick and easy and filled the apartment with such a wonderful smell that once the loaves came out from the oven, I couldn't let one of them to completely cool but had to have a taste. The bread ended up a little too dough-y, probably because of my impatience, but good it was. These worked really well as toasted too.

This recipe contains ingredients that may be hard to come by outside Finland or even to understand what they are, so I'll try to shed some light. In Finland, also the fresh yeast is sold in stores, not only active dry-yeast. If you want to replace the fresh yeast, with active dry-yeast, the ratio is 10 g dry-yeast equals 30 g fresh yeast. Fresh yeast is usually added to liquid, while dry-yeast is combined with flour before adding to liquid. Moving on, I tried googling mashed potato powder and did get results, so I guess that's something you should get your hands on outside Finland too. But rye bread constituent is probably specific to Finland, I didn't find any proper translation for it. It is a flour mix with wholegrain rye as flour and malted and a little bit of wheat flour to improve the texture. In addition, the mix contains sourdough, yeast and salt.

"Fake" rye bread

3 loaves

Time: 1 h 45 mins + leavening time 1 h

8 dl /  3 1/3 cups water
25 g fresh yeast
2 dl / bag / a scant cup mashed potato powder
½ dl / 1/5 cup molasses
(1 tsp caraway)
ca 15 dl / ca. 6 1/3 cups rye bread constituent

Warm the water to a room temperature (or a little warmer if you're using dry yeast). Crumble the yeast in the water. Add the mashed potato powder, molasses and the caraway (I used ground). Mix well.

Knead in as much of the rye bread constituent that the dough becomes soft and is not sticking in your hands anymore.

Cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough leaven for about an hour in a warm place.

Divide the dough into three. Form the pieces as loaves, place them on a baking sheet covered with baking parchment and leaven for 40 minutes.

Sprinkle the top of the loaves with flour and bake in the middle of the oven in 225 C / 110 F for 40 minutes. Cool on a rack covered with a towel.

P.S. I have started a wickerwork course and the photos display a little bit of the first thing I achieved there. I'm really enjoying that too!


  1. I love your "fake" rye bread. I need to try it soon and I'm glad you participated in this year's World Bread Day.

  2. Why is this called "fake" rye bread? It looks quite real to me. And good too.

    What exactly is rye bread constituent? Is that a mixture of flours that you can buy?

  3. Sorry for the late answer. I moved between towns a week ago and these last couple of weeks have been extremely busy!

    The taste of this rye bread is real and the looks of it too, but real rye bread has a "root" that basically is dough from the previous batch and making rye bread from scratch takes more time than this simplified version that I made. And yes, like I actually tried to explain in the last paragraph before giving the recipe, rye bread constituent is a flour mix. It already has the "root" in dried form in itself, so that's why the process of making rye bread is so much quicker with the flour mix. It has some other ingredients too. Unfortunately, I couldn't find out if rye bread constituent is sold outside Finland, or does it actually have a better translation either.

    Thanks for your comment! :)


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