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Archipelago bread (Saaristolaisleipä)

This dark, dense, malty loaf – a traditional bread of the archipelago off the south-west coast of Finland – is a favourite of the pre-Christmas period.

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The recipe here is adapted slightly. Instead of just syrup, I have added honey (for flavour), and treacle, muscovado and dutched cocoa powder to emphasise the bread’s dark, almost black, colour, and added malt extract to bring out the maltiness a little more than just malted grains do on their own. For the white flour, I used around two-thirds ordinary strong white and one third Canadian strong white, with a teaspoon of vital wheat gluten as well. The bread improves with being left a couple of days before slicing into it.


120g dark rye flour
320g strong white flour
100g bran (wheat or oat)
120g chopped malted grain (rye)
50g muscovado sugar
2 tsp dutched cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
6g dried yeast
75 ml golden syrup (5 tbsp)
15 ml malt extract (1 tbsp)
15 ml treacle (1 tbsp)
15 ml honey (1 tbsp)
600 ml buttermilk


Malted grain: optionally, soak overnight in half the buttermilk.
Muscovado: optionally, liquidise with half the buttermilk (to avoid the tiny hard lumps).
Mix all the ingredients together vigorously.
Spoon the mixture into two small lined panibois or other containers.
Let rise in proofing oven or warm environment until 1½–2 times larger (≈ 4 hrs).
Preheat oven to 175° (165° fan).
Cook for 1 hr in bread cloche, or in bread tins in lower part of oven.
Remove cloche lid.
Brush tops of loaves with syrup water.
Cook for further ¾ hr (without cloche lid).
The loaf should be fairly soft, almost like a malt loaf (but with harder crust).
Allow to cool in oven for ½ hr.
Remove, and leave to mature for at least two days.

Added by: CliveTolley

Tags: Bread Rye Chocolate

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