Swedish Beer Limpa/Vortlimpa

VortSliced

Rye %: 100%
Stages: Straight dough
Leaven: Instant yeast
Start to Finish: 2½-3 hours
Hands-on Time 30-35 minutes
Yield: Two 1¾lb. (800 g.) loaves

Western Scandinavians like their rye breads sweet and fragrant, and this one is a perfect example of a yeast-leavened Swedish 100% rye. Its hydrating liquid is beer – another feature of northern European breads – and it’s sweetened with raisins and light molasses and perfumed with anise, fennel and orange zest.

There’s a lot of yeast in this loaf  – a full 2% of instant yeast – for a couple of reasons: first, because of the significant sweet (8.5%) and fat (5%) components of the dough, which inhibit yeast activity; and second, to bring about a fast rise, thereby heading off enzyme degradation of the bread’s structure.

In the spirit of the region (pun not intended, but appropriate), I used Black Lightning, a Baltic porter brewed by my friend Jim Crute, whose Lightning Brewery was one of San Diego’s craft brewing pioneers. The beer lives up to its name: it’s as dark as strong coffee, with burnt malt, chocolate and coffee notes that culminate in an astringent, moderately hoppy finish. In combination with rye, spices, butter, raisins and light molasses or corn syrup, the beer catalyzes an extraordinarily complex flavor profile – all packaged in a thin-crusted, dense, yet tender-crumbed loaf.

We ate this bread at our Super Bowl party, along with a variety of cheeses, charcuterie, and smoked baby back ribs – all washed down with more Black Lightning. Needless to say, it went over (or down) very nicely. I plan on eating the rest of the loaf with smoked salmon, sweet butter and frozen vodka.

Dough:

Ingredient Grams Ounces Baker’s
Percentage
Porter or stout

600

21.15

60.00%

Light molasses or dark corn syrup

85

3.00

8.50%

Unsalted butter

50

1.75

5.00%

Medium or Whole rye flour

1,000

35.25

100.00%

Salt

9

0.30

0.90%

Instant yeast

20

0.70

2.00%

Fennel seed, ground

3

0.10

0.30%

Orange zest

3

0.10

0.30%

Anise seed, ground

2

0.05

20.00%

Raisins

100

3.55

10.00%

TOTAL FORMULA

1,872

65.95

207.00%

 VortMelt

Combine the beer and light molasses in a saucepan, bring to a simmer and melt the butter. Set aside and let cool to body temperature (100°F/38°C).

 

 

VortDry

 

Combine the dry ingredients, except for the raisins, in the mixer.

 

 

VortDough
Use the dough hook at low (KA2) speed to blend. Add the liquid and continue mixing into a stiff, evenly blended dough that leaves the sides of the bowl, 5-6 minutes. Add the raisins and continue mixing until evenly distributed through the dough, 2-3 minutes.

 

VortBulk
Cover the dough and ferment at room temperature (70°F/21°C) until expanded to about 1½ times its original volume, 40-45 minutes.

 

 

VortBench
Turn the dough, which will be slightly sticky, onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into two pieces weighing approximately 33 oz./935 g each. Shape each into an oblong loaf and place on a well-floured peel, if using a baking stone, or a parchment-lined sheet pan. Use wet hands to smooth the dough.

 

VortProof

 

Cover the loaves and proof at room temperature until visibly expanded and the surface shows cracks or broken bubbles, 30-35 minutes.

 

 

Preheat the oven to 390°F/200°C and bake until the internal temperature is at least 198°F/92°C, 50-55 minutes. Transfer the loaves to a rack and brush immediately with beer or water. Cool thoroughly before slicing.

Vortlimpa


2 Comments

  • JCohne

    February 8, 2016

    needs some good cheese and an Electrostatic Ale to wash it down!! Looks scrumptious!

    Reply
  • Karin Anderson

    February 10, 2016

    Nice, especially with the porter ale (which tastes certainly also good with the bread). I bake Peter Reinhart’s whole grain version now and then for sale (when I saved enough frozen orange zest for a batch of breads), but I make it with a whole wheat sourdough.

    Reply

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