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The Öland wheat bread

The Öland wheat bread is my favorite bread – and our customers seem to feel the same way. We sell an awful lot of Öland loaves in our bakeries; in fact it is our most popular loaf of bread. Something we are quite proud of because the bread encapsulates our entire bread philosophy: good natural leaven and plenty of whole-grain flour made from tasty Nordic heirloom wheat, which gives the bread its specific characteristics. And it’s tender because the gluten quality in Öland wheat allows us to sufficiently hydrate our dough. At the same time, Öland wheat imparts a nice, sweet flavor to the bread, which goes incredibly well with the sour notes contained in natural leaven. The combination of plenty of water and Öland wheat ensures a tasty crust and tender crumb, soft as the inside of a doughnut – complemented by that lovely taste of Öland wheat.

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Sådan gør du

Young leaven

Refresh your stock-leaven approx. 8 hours before use. Mix the ingredients in a small bowl with a removable lid and leave on the kitchen table at room temperature. The bit of young leaven you don’t use will now become your stock-leaven, so safe it for the next time you want to bake bread.

Dough - three kneading methods

You can choose to knead on a machine or by hand - see the procedure for the different methods in the sections below.

Food mixer

A food mixer will knead your dough relatively fast – in approx. 12-15 minutes – and your arms won’t get tired and you brow will be sweat-free. Then again, you may overdo the kneading, which is practically impossible if you knead by hand.

#KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR MIXER There are many different food mixers out there, and every single one of them will jump and dance across your kitchen table when mixing bread dough. So keep an eye on your machine to make sure it doesn’t jump onto the floor. And if it sounds a little strained, then give it a rest before finishing your dough.

1. Mix cold water and leaven in the bowl. Add yeast and stir until dissolved. 2. Add flour and salt to the mixing bowl. 3. Place the mixing bowl in the food mixer along with its dough hook, and knead at lowest possible speed for about one minute, to gather the ingredients without flour flying all over the place. 4. Turn up the speed and knead thoroughly. How long you need to knead the dough depends on the water-flour ratio, so don’t look at your watch but keep an eye on the dough. When it slips completely off the sides of the mixing bowl and gathers around the dough hook, turn it off immediately. Your dough is ready. 5. You can do the gluten-test to make sure that you dough is thoroughly kneaded: lift a bit of dough and gently pull it until it becomes a bit like parchment, without breaking it. If you can do this, you have perfect dough ready to rise.

By hand - the quick method

By using this method, you’re trying to imitate a food mixer to some extent; only you use a wooden ladle. It may also be a good idea if you let the dough rest for ½ hour before kneading it. It's called autolyse.

Put water and leaven in a large mixing bowl. Then add yeast, the two different types of flour and salt. Mix, or rather whisk the dough with a flat wooden ladle, while scraping the dough off the sides of the bowl from time to time, which will allow air to seep into dough. You should give it a good bashing for approx. 10 minutes or longer, with a few inserted breaks, until the dough has transformed from floury ‘glue’ to smooth, shiny and supple dough that easily slips off the sides of the bowl.

#TAKE TURNS If there’re two of you baking together, you can take turns at mixing and resting – collaborative efforts will only make your dough better!

By hand - the gentle method

Using this method, you’ll get a good feel of how the dough and gluten binders slowly develop. At the same time, this method requires a minimum of strength – you just need plenty of time. It takes approx. four hours all in all, where you regularly show the dough a little attention by lifting it – approx. once every half hour. In other words, this method is highly suitable for holiday baking or when there are commercials on TV anyway.

1. Put all ingredients, except salt, in a container, e.g. a plastic container with a lid. 2. Mix the dough by hand for approx. one minute. 3. Sprinkle salt on top of the dough and put the lid loosely on top of the container and leave it to rest for 30-40 minutes. This part of the process is called autolyse, and you can read more about it on page 278. 4. Place a small bowl with water next to your container. Dip your hand in the water and grab one corner of the dough. Carefully pull it upwards. 5. Pull the dough towards the opposite corner of the container – and let go. 6. Bring the container quarter of the way around and repeat procedure. 7. Keep turning the container and stretching the dough, four times in all. Loosely place the lid on top again and leave for another 30 minutes. Then repeat the entire procedure each half hour, 6-7 times in all. You’ll get a feeling of how the dough becomes more and more expandable and supple with each time.

Leave the dough to rise

DOUGH KNEADED BY FOOD MIXER OR QUICKLY BY HAND Rub the inside of a bowl or a plastic container with oil. Pour the finished dough into the container and place a lid or some plastic wrap on top, which will keep it from drying out. Mark how far up the dough is on the side of the container, as this will enable you to see how much it rises. And then the dough’s ready for rising.

Leave the dough on the kitchen table for about an hour. Then place it in the fridge and leave it there for at least 12 hours, until it’s approx. double size, i.e. a 100% increase. It may be a good idea to check up on your dough a few hours before you want to bake your bread. If it hasn’t risen sufficiently, you can take the container out of the fridge and leave it on the kitchen table for a few hours, in room temperature. This will “awaken” the yeast cells and the dough will rise to completion.

GENTLY KNEADED DOUGH The dough will already have risen to some extent while you were kneading it, so it only has to rise another 50% in the fridge, once you’ve finished the kneading process. This should take takes 8-12 hours. And apart from that, simply follow the procedure as described above.

Get the oven going - before shaping your bread

It’s important that the oven is burning hot when you want to bake your bread. So place your baking/pizza stone on the middle rack and switch the oven on approx. half an hour before you start shaping your bread. If you don’t have a baking stone, you can get almost the same effect by placing a baking sheet on the middle rack, backside up.

Turn you oven to its highest temperature (250° C-275° C in most ovens for home use) and if you have a hot air oven use that function while heating the oven. Furthermore, you can place a roasting tray at the bottom of the oven, if you want to generate steam.

Shaping your breead

Sprinkle plenty of flour on your kitchen table and carefully tip the dough out of its container, without knocking the air out of it. Use one or two large baking spatulas to properly tauten your dough. Brush flour on the side of the spatula you use to tauten your dough, as this will prevent the wet dough from clinging. But try to avoid “trapping” extra flour inside the dough – it can create unwanted “pockets” of flour in your bread.

#TIP USE TWO BAKING SPATULAS You can’t avoid dough clinging to your spatula as you tauten your dough, which is why it’s beneficial to use two spatulas: one for scraping dough of the other. This way you won’t get clingy wet dough on your spatula, and this will prevent you from pulling the dough and deflating it.

Baking your bread

Now you’re ready to bake your bread – no extra rising time is needed as the dough is light enough as it is. Carefully lift your dough onto a piece of baking paper, using your spatula(s). Then gently slide the baking paper with the dough onto the hot baking sheet or stone already in the oven –you can use a baking spade or a piece of cardboard, e.g. the lid on a pizza box. Once you get the hang of it, you can lose the baking paper, but it’s easier to start this way compared to only using a baking spade brushed with flour.

Bake your bread for approx. five minutes at the oven’s highest temperature (250° C-275° C). Then lower the temperature to approx. 230°. We say approximately, because ovens are different and they bake differently, which is why the actual temperature in your oven may be significantly different from our oven – and this influences the time it takes to bake a loaf of. So, baking temperatures and baking times are approximations – utilize your senses (possibly aided by relevant equipment) to assess when your bread is done.

If the loaf sounds hollow when you tap it and its color is nicely dark brown, your bread is usually done. If you’re not entirely sure, we recommend that you use a thermometer to measure the bread’s core temperature the first couple of times. Stick the thermometer’s awl right into center of your bread, where the temperature should be 99°-100° C.

When in doubt, it’s better to bake your bread a little longer, only make sure you don’t scorch the crust. Move the baking stone/sheet up or down a notch, depending on which position darkens the bread more. You can also turn down the heat or cover the bread with aluminum foil, or simply place a baking sheet between the bread and the oven’s top or bottom.

When done, take the bread out of the oven and place it on a roasting rack, to ensure air circulation, and leave it there to cool. Don’t slice the bread the moment it’s out of the oven, wait until it’s cooled down, or you may well press down on it and ruin the texture. So be patient, even though it’s often hard…

#FULL STEAM AHEAD Place a roasting tray at the bottom of the oven and heat it along with the oven itself. As soon you slide the bread into the oven, throw approx. 1 dl of water into the roasting tray. Repeat after approx. 2 minutes. The water will turn to steam inside the oven, which will prevent the bread’s surface from drying out, while also helping to maintain the bread’s moisture and elasticity at first. This will allow the bread to expand more and more, increasing its overall volume, while its crust turns lovely and crispy

Tip

You can use common whole-grain flour if you can’t get your hands on whole-grain Öland wheat. Go for the highest possible protein content.

Ingredienser

1 big bread or 2 small ones

Young leaven

½ dl wheat stock-leaven
1 dl water
½ dl wheat flour
½ dl whole-grain Öland wheat

Dough

5 ½ dl cold water
½ dl young leaven
5 g yeast
150 g whole-grain Öland wheat
450 g wheat flour
15 g salt

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