Lingonberry Bread

September 21, 2016

Approximately 500 million kg of berries grow in Finland’s forests every year. Despite urbanization, the tradition of picking wild berries is a common autumn occupation for more than half of Finns, irrespective of their age or socioeconomic status. 

I love to walk in the woods with my little boy and return home with blueberries, lingonberries, raspberries, cloudberries and mushrooms. I usually put them in freezer boxes and freeze them. 

One thing is for sure, autumn is not an autumn without refreshing lingonberry juice. Luckily, we have forests full of lingonberries, the red gold of the Nordic forests, this year. It was easy to pick 3 kg of berries and it was a blessing I didn't have to put them into the freezer, it was full in September.

The sieved juice leaves some lingonberry pulp behind. I add the pulp to bread doughs, smoothies or porridges within 24 hours or freeze it for use in later. 

If you don't make the juice, substitute the leftover berry mash with mashed lingonberries. The pulp is not as dry as the sieved mash from the juice, but the recipe will still work just fine. 

Lingonberry juice

about 4 L (17 cups, US) 
3 kg lingonberries 
1,5 kg water 
1 tbsp tartaric acid 
400–450 g sugar per 1 kg juice 

Clean, rinse and mash the lingonberries. Add the water. Stir. Cover and leave at room temperature overnight. 

Sieve and measure the juice. (Put the mashed lingonberries aside for further use.) Add tartaric acid and sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. 

Bottle in clean bottles. Serve cold with water or mineral water. The juice will last for up to 4 months in a cool, dark place like your pantry or the refrigerator. 

Lingonberry bread

2 breads 

5 dl (500 g) water 
50 g fresh yeast 
1,5 tsp salt 
1 dl (140 g) Scandinavian dark syrup (or light molasses) 
3 dl (1,2 cup, US) lingonberry mash (leftover juice lingonberries) 
2 dl (70 g) rye flakes 
50 g melted butter 17 dl (1100 g) wheat flour

Stir the yeast, salt and syrup into lukewarm water. Add lingonberry mash, rye flakes, melted butter and wheat flour. knead the dough for 8–10 minutes. 

Cover with a tea towel and let rise for 30 minutes.

Pour the mixture into the prepared 2-liter baking tin and level the surface. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Bake for 50–60 minutes. 

Let cool on a wire rack.

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