When it comes to making this Swedish bread, the culinary adventure begins with a search: Everyday Swedish ingredients, such as graham flour and mark sirap, aren't widely available here.
We found Bob's Red Mill dark rye flour at some Safeway stores and Hodgson Mill graham flour at Chevy Chase Market. (Both are also available online.) The mark sirap, a rich chocolaty syrup made from sugar beets, is available at Ikea. It gives the bread a wonderful depth of flavor, but if necessary, you may substitute dark molasses.
Serve for breakfast or tea with a dab of butter, or toasted and plain. To store, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Or wrap the bread whole in foil, then in plastic wrap, and freeze for up to 2 months.
Yield: Makes two 9-by-5-inch loaves (24 slices total)
- 4 cups buttermilk, preferably not low-fat
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 cup mörk sirap
- 3 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
- 2 cups graham flour
- 1 cup dark rye flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup unsalted sunflower kernels
- 1 cup flaxseed
- 2 cups mixed dried fruit and nuts, such as apricots, cherries and walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans. Have ready 2 clean dish towels.
In a 2-quart measuring cup, combine the buttermilk, baking soda and mark sirap, stirring to combine.
In a separate large mixing bowl, combine the flours, salt, sunflower kernels, flaxseed and mix of dried fruit and nuts. Add the buttermilk mixture and blend until just combined; the batter will be loose. Divide evenly between the loaf pans and bake for about 1 1/2 hours or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the breads from the pans to the dish towels and wrap loosely. For best slicing results, let the loaves sit for at least 5 hours before cutting.
Adapted from Maritim, a restaurant in Simrisham, Sweden.
Tested by Jane Black.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at firstname.lastname@example.org.