Thursday, April 24, 2008

Lazy Bread


With everything I have going on this week, it's surprising that I've managed to bake bread, too. And possibly one of the best breads ever! Even more surprising, perhaps, is that you can do it without any sort of kitchen machine, and without kneading, at all. And no, this is not that "no-knead bread" from Jim Lahey. I tried that, but it didn't turn out very flavorful, and I thought it was too fiddly and didn't give a strong enough crust.

This one though? Perfect. The idea comes from Swedish baker Anna Bergenstrom, who has had this bread in her cookbooks for years and years. I added some typical bread spices - aniseed and fennel - some crushed linseed, and some sifted rye flour. Rågsikt is a Swedish mixture of 60% sifted wheat flour and 40% sifted rye flour - if you can't get it, you can substitute pretty much any other flour you might want.

Lazy Bread
2 loaves

600 ml (2,4 cups) water
50 g fresh yeast
2 tsp flaky sea salt
1 tbsp aniseed, ground
1 tbsp fennel, ground
1 tsp sugar
900 ml (3,6 cups) wheat flour
300 ml (1,2 cups) "rågsikt", sifted rye flour and wheat flour (see above)
3 tbsp crushed linseed


Crumble the yeast and add all other ingredients in a large bowl. Stir very well - but no kneading, this should be like a thick porridge. (You might want to add a splash more of water if it seems too dry.) Cover with plastic and leave it to rise for an hour. After that, stir it, cover again, and let it rise for another hour. (After which the photo above is taken - look at that gluten development!)

Pour the dough into greased loaf tins and leave to rise for 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your owen to 275°C. When it's good and hot, place the breads in the oven for 12 minutes. After that, lower the heat to 100°C and leave the breads for about 70 minutes.

If you want a strong crust, after 50 minutes or so, you can remove the loaves from the tins, and just have them on the oven rack. You can also experiment with adding steam - I didn't this time, but I probably will on my next try.

Recipe in Swedish:


Anonymous said...

I'm all about anything I don't have to knead.

I always cheat on my crust. I brush it with either egg, butter or cornsyrup >:)

Daniel Roos said...

Härligt med Nybakat. Jag var på mässan i går jag tyckte det var så där, det bästa var Valrhona montern men jag är ju lite skadad må så gott mvh Daniel

Anonymous said...

I too missed the flavour in the no-knead-bread. But this one I'll certainly try to make.

Jeanne said...

Yaaaay - my kind of bread!! I am suck a lazy cow when it comes to kneading, but I do love freshly baked bread, so this is ideal for me :)

Anonymous said...

Hello,I would like to know if the whole grain flour can be replaced by white flour

Anne said...

Amanda, there's no whole grain flour in this as it is.. but as long as you use mostly wheat (all purpose) flour, you should be ok using any flour you'd like :)

Anna said...

I'm wondering (since I'm new to baking bread), whether I could substitute for the spices anise and cardamom together, along with some caraway seeds. What do you think?

Anne said...

Absolutely, I'm sure that'd be tasty!

Anonymous said...

Lower over to 100C ???? Is that correct, not a typo?

Anne said...

Yep 100°C is what I use for this bread. It retains most of the heat from earlier, though.