Finnish Malt Bread/Mallas Leipää

Rye %: 51%
Stages: Scald, Final dough
Leaven: Instant yeast
Start to Finish: 4-4½ hours
Hands-on Time: 30 minutes
Yield: Three 1¾ lb/800 g loaves

One of the breads I discovered on Baltic Rye Tour 2018 was this simple and lovely Finnish malt bread. I first tasted it at the Wi-Box Bakery in Raseborg, on Finland’s southwestern coast, where Swedish influence is very strong. It was an immediate hit, not just with me, but with all 18 members of our jolly band of bread nerds.

Like many other Swedish (and western Finnish) breads, this is a yeast-leavened mixed wheat-rye loaf. The dough is acidified with buttermilk — piima in Finnish. The bread wasn’t nearly as sweet as I expected, given the rye malt and syrup that figure so prominently in the formula. Instead, it offered a tender, open crumb and a mildly sweet flavor profile that doesn’t overwhelm the rye, but complements the edgy nuttiness of the grain.

This is a versatile loaf that goes equally well with both sweet and savory toppings – or with just a light coating of butter to accompany soups and stews. I also used it, dried and crumbed, as the base for the sweetened rye-whipped cream-lingonberry preserve parfait that is a mainstay dessert throughout northern Europe.

Scald:

Ingredient Grams Ounces Baker’s
Percentage
Red rye malt, ground and sifted 200 7.05 100%
Boiling water 600 21.15 300%

Combine the malt and water in a bowl and stir until evenly blended. Cover and let stand 1 hour. The malt will have completely absorbed the water.

 

 

Final Dough:

Ingredient Grams Ounces
Scald 800 28.20
Whole wheat flour 600 21.15
Wholegrain rye flour 430 15.15
Buttermilk 500 17.65
Salt 18 0.65
Instant yeast 11 0.40
Dark corn syrup 220 7.75
Unsalted butter, melted 75 2.65

In the mixer bowl, combine the final dough ingredients and use the dough hook at low (KA2) speed to mix, scraping down as needed, until the dough develops into a dense mass that cleans the bowl and climbs the dough hook, 7-8 minutes.

 

Cover and ferment at room temperature (70°F/21°C) until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

 

 

 

Turn the dough onto a lightly-floured work surface and divide into three pieces, each weighing about 875 grams. Shape each into a boule and place on a floured peel or proofing board. Cover the loaves and proof at room temperature until expanded to 1½ times their original volume, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 395°F/200°C with the baking surface in the upper third. If desired, slash the loaves to a depth of at least ½”/1.5 cm and brush or spray with water. Bake until the loaves thump when tapped with a finger and the internal temperature is at least 203°F/95°C, 60-70 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool thoroughly before slicing.

Baker’s Percentages:

Ingredient g %
TOTAL FLOUR 1,230 100.00%
   Whole wheat flour 600 48.78%
   Whole rye flour 430 34.96%
   Red rye malt 200 16.26%
Water 600 48.78%
Buttermilk 500 40.65%
Salt 18 1.46%
Instant yeast 11 0.89%
Syrup 220 17.89%
Butter 75 6.10%
TOTAL FORMULA 2,654 215.77%

 


9 Comments

  • Collins Marisa

    November 1, 2018

    And the dessert recipe?
    🙂

    Reply
    • Stanley Ginsberg

      November 2, 2018

      Slice the bread thin and air-dry the slices, then make crumbs using a food processor, blender or rolling pin. You can either (a) soak the crumbs in a syrup-rum mixture, or (b) mix them with sugar and/or grated chocolate. Layer the crumbs with whipped cream and berry preserves. That’s it!

      Reply
  • Stephanie Galinson

    November 2, 2018

    What a lovely use of leftover bread. Thanks!

    Reply
  • Jennifer Small

    November 4, 2018

    Where can I get rye malt?

    Reply
  • Susan Paraska

    November 12, 2018

    Hello. The red rye malt listed in bread making – where do I buy? I did not see it listed on the NYB site. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Stanley Ginsberg

      November 13, 2018

      It’s listed in the Rye Flour section … Fawcett’s Crystal rye malt.

      Reply
  • Dan Erkkila

    November 13, 2018

    Can you say more about the grind and sifting for the scald? Medium or coarse grind? What purpose does sifting serve? Mixing?

    Reply
    • Stanley Ginsberg

      November 13, 2018

      I generally sift to remove the larger pieces, which I then re-mill. The function of the sifting is mainly cosmetic.

      Reply

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