BBA Challenge #35-37: Three Breads in a Row

So many challenges, so many posts. I have to combine a couple of breads in one post again, otherwise I’d  fall behind with my posts. So here we go. The next breads in the BBA Challenge were Sunflower Seed Rye, Stollen &  Swedish Rye (Limpa).

#35 Sunflower Seed Rye

This bread was really easy. One day before baking you make a soaker with coarse whole-rye flour and water, and a firm starter by adding flour and water to your barm. I still haven’t found a name for it. Shame on me. The next day, the starter is removed from the refrigerator to take off the chill. When it’s not frozen stiff anymore 😉 it’s mixed with flour, salt, yeast, the soaker and water. Kneading, adding sunflower seeds, proofing, shaping…. You get the idea. Everything went really smoothly. The recipe says to form the dough into couronnes – I went for boring bâtards so I would have oval loaves in the end. Some more proofing, then hearth baking. Actually, there is not much to say about this bread. Crust and crumb were nice, the hubby absolutely loved this bread (he’s a sunflower seeds guy). I thought the bread was kind of boring. Still, I’ll make it again to delight the hubby ;-).

#36 Stollen

I admit, I cheated. I made this bread a loooong time ago, in the middle of December that is. You know, I’m German, I live in Germany, and here you can’t make stollen in February. You just can’t do that. The stollen police will come and get you. And the stollen police jail is a lot worse than the BBA bread police jail, so I made it for Christmas and posted it for another challenge I’m participating in. But you don’t have to go back to that post, nice as I am, I’ll present you with all the facts here.

I decided to bake 2 versions of the stollen: one adult version and one child-friendly version. 3 days before making the stollen I soaked raisins and candied fruit in rum (for the adult version) and raisins,  dried apricots and dried cranberries in apple juice (for the child-friendly version).

3 days later I made the dough, divided it into 2 pieces, added the soaked fruit and let it rest for 45 minutes. Then I shaped the stollen using two different methods: I still have to improve my first shaping method because I didn’t really like how the loaf looked like. The second method was pretty easy: shaping a regular loaf, transferring it on baking paper and covering it with a stollen tin. I then surrounded the first loaf with a “fence” made of aluminium foil so the dough wouldn’t spread out to the sides during proofing. I covered the loaf with plastic wrap and let both loaves proof for another hour.

In the oven they went… When they came out I brushed them with butter, dusted them with powdered sugar twice and let them cool overnight. The next morning I wrapped them tightly in aluminium foil and stored them in the garage for 3 days. They are supposed to rest 2 weeks or longer to develop more flavor, but I had started this whole stollen adventure way too late for that. But still, they were really tasty! I’ve hated eating stollen my whole life, but I DID like my 2 versions. By all means, I’ll make it again next year. I’ll start earlier then, though, so it can develop more flavor. And maybe I’ll have improved my shaping skills by then.

#37 Swedish Rye (Limpa)

Everybody was so excited about this bread (Sally said “it smelled wonderful during baking” and “it was a delicious bread”, Oggi “loves this bread”, gaaarp says “it was amazing” & Anne Marie said “it was delicious” even though it hadn’t risen as much as she had expected), so my expectations were high.

The whole process of making the bread went really smoothly, so no complaints there. But I thought the smell of the dough was awful. I don’t know if that is due to the molasses, but I just couldn’t stand the smell. The bread had a good rise as you can see when you look at the slashes. Also, it looked quite nice when it came out of the oven. The crust was crunchy, but not too thick, the crumb was perfect, but it still smelled awful! The smell was really off-putting. Flavor-wise, it was ok. But I won’t make this bread again because my nose is so sensitive to odors.


10 responses to “BBA Challenge #35-37: Three Breads in a Row

  1. Do you like licorice? For me it really depends and while I sometimes like it, if the flavor is too strong, or not muted enough by other flavors I can’t stand it. (Worst of all is licorice candym, which perhaps not coincidentally is quite popular in the Nordic lands, isn’t it?) Could that be the problem? Who knows–I certainly remember loving Limpa in Swedish Chicago, but maybe it was “American” Limpa like your pumpernickel ;-).

    • I didn’t even include licorice, because I truly hate it. It must be the molasses, I think. Yes licorice candy is pretty popular here, Michael absolutely LOVES it. Ugh!!!!!

  2. I’m so glad you enjoyed my make ahead dinner rolls! I’m waaaay behind in the BBA…ughhh.
    I’m glad you included a child friendly version of stollen…I thought I would have to skip that bread.
    Molasses has a STRONG taste and smell. As Sara mentioned also, I’m not a licorice or anise fan, either.

  3. Wow, look at you go! I can’t believe you’re through #37 already! =)

    Your post made me feel better about the stollen . . . I’m just not a big fruit-in-bread person, but you make it sound very tasty! And I totally agree about molasses . . . I’m not a big fan of the taste or smell. All three of your breads look beautiful!

  4. Too bad you did not care for the smell – I know that molasses can be quite variable in strength depending on how they are produced, maybe the one I used was milder? I am also pretty sensitive to odors and HATE licorice with a passion.. 🙂

    Loved the whole post, particularly the Stollen police versus the Challenge police – yeah, you got both covered quite well 🙂

  5. I read about stollen tins or molds used by bakers, I want one.:D

    I enjoyed reading your baking adventure.

  6. Nice write-up. At least you didn’t have to resort to including 12 breads in one post like some bakers I know!

    I can’t believe I’m down to 2 more breads in the BBA Challenge. I think I’m making more King Cake this weekend, so no Challenge bread. Maybe I’ll finish up in a few weeks.

  7. Pingback: Globe Trotting Bake Off (2) – Sweden « Family & Food

  8. Pingback: BBA Challenge #37: Swedish Rye (Limpa) « Three Clever Sisters

  9. Pingback: Mellow Bakers March 2011 – Sunflower Seed Bread with Rye Sourdough | Family & Food & Other Things

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