Seville Orange & Caraway Bread

May 25, 2016

Finland is a great power, a great power of caraway seeds. Finnish farmers grow almost one third of the world's caraway production. The crop is mainly exported to Europe, USA and India. It's easy to cultivate caraway in northern latitudes. And what's more, long hours of sunlight in the summer and cool growing season ensure fruits that contain higher levels of essential oils and taste than those produced in other main growing areas.

Caraway arrived in Finland early and it was most commonly used in the kitchen in the west of Finland and was almost unknown in the east of the country. It's a strong tradition here in Southwest Finland to put caraway seeds to bread dough. It's no wonder I like the aroma too. That's why there are lots of caraway seeds in this recipe. If you don't like them, 3 tbsp is enough. Or, just leave the seeds out and the lovely taste of Seville orange stands out. 

By the way, the dough is very heavy. Use a food processor to mix and knead it.

2 breads

First day

5 dl (275 g) rye flour
1 tbsp Seville orange peel powder (bitter orange peel powder)
5 dl (500 g) boiling water

Combine rye flour, Seville orange peel powder and boiling water in a mixing bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave at room temperature overnight.

Second day

5 dl (500 g) lukewarm water
50 g fresh yeast
1 tbsp salt
the starter dough from the evening before
10 dl (550 g) rye flour
6 tbsp caraway seeds
1,5 dl (210 g) Scandinavian dark syrup (or light molasses)
3 dl (170 g) rye flour
7-8 dl (450 - 500 g) wheat flour

Dissolve yeast and salt in the lukewarm water. Mix in the starter dough. Gradually mix in 10 dl rye flour and knead the dough about 8 minutes. Cover and leave to rise at room temperature for 4 hours. 

Knead in the seeds, syrup and the rest of the flour. Cover and leave to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes. 

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, shape the pieces into two long loaves and put them into two oiled bread tins.

Cover and leave to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Bake for about one hour on the lower rack of the oven.

Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Use a spray bottle and mist the breads lightly with water and wrap the breads in a tea towel. When totally cooled, wrap the breads tightly in a plastic bag and let set 1–2 days before you slice them.

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