Hapanleipä | Finnish Sour Rye Bread
There is a rich history of breads in the Nordic region- it is what we lived off for centuries and it’s still a big part of our lives. In Norway we tend to need at least one bread meal a day- we’re abit quirky that way.
Finnish Rye Bread varies from other Nordic breads because they use coarse rye flour- whereas others often tend to use a mixture of several flours. Hapanleipa is often made as a flat cake rather than the typical loaf or bread tin.
This Finnish Rye Bread has a typical hole in the middle- this was used to hang it up in the roof in the old days as a way to preserve them and keep rats away from eating it all. This is also a sour kind of rye bread, where they spend several days making a sourdough- ish mixture. This gives for a subtle yeast- taste in the bread which makes it rather recognizable.
The traditional recipe only calls for quality rye flour and salt. More modern recipes includes spices, syrup and perhaps a little wheat flour to obtain some of the properties gluten provides. To sour properly, the flour should be organic and as little processed as possible.
This is a dense rye bread, perfect for salmon, herring or aromatic cheese
Hapanleipä | Finnish Sour Bread
Yield 2 bread
175 ml water
5 g fresh yeast
120 g coarse rye flour
220 g coarse rye flour
330 ml water
330 g coarse rye flour
10 g salt
- Mix water and yeast in a bowl.
- Add the flour and blend well.
- Let sit at room temperature over night, without covering.
- Add the rye flour and water to the bowl and mix well.
- Cover and leave over night.
- Check the dough to make sure you have an active fermentation process going.
- If it’s frothing and taste fresh and acidic- you’ve got it!
- Add the salt and the rest of the flour and transfer to a food processor or anything that you can knead bread with (you’re hands are fine, but it takes a bit of work).
- Knead for at least 20 minutes on medium speed.
- Cover and let rise until double the size – about 40 minutes.
- Transfer the dough to a floured work counter and divide into to pieces.
- Shape them into round cakes with a hole in the middle – about 4 cm wide.
- Cover and let rise once again for around 30 minutes.
- Bake in the oven at 200 degrees celcius for 30 – 40 minutes.
Recipe and method : “The Nordic Cook Book” p. 504