100% Whole Grain Swedish Limpa

orange-scented sourdough rye with cardamom, aniseeds and fennel

 sourdough bread

 For the soaker:

142 grams (8 oz) – 1 cup plus 2 tbsps – whole rye flour

85 grams (3 oz) – 2/3 cup – whole wheat flour, preferably fine grind (like chapati flour)

4 grams (0.14 oz) – 0.5 tsp – salt

170 grams (6 oz) – 0.75 cup – filtered or spring water

Mix them together in a bowl for a minute until the ingredients form a ball of dough. If you need more water or flour, add them a teaspoon at a time.

Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and leave it at room temperature for 12-24 hours. (Or refrigerate beyond that for up to 3 days, bring to room temperature and use.)

For the starter:

191 grams (6.75 oz) – about 1.5 cups – whole wheat flour

64 grams (2.25 oz) – 5 tbsp – stiff whole wheat or rye sourdough starter

142 grams (5 oz) – half cup plus 2 tablespoons – filtered or spring water at room temperature

Mix them together in a bowl for a minute until the ingredients form a ball of dough. Knead for about 2 minutes. The dough will be tacky. If you need more water or flour, add them a teaspoon at a time. Rest for 5 minutes, knead with wet hands for a minute.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature and use.

Final dough:

Soaker – chopped or pinched into 12 pieces

Starter – chopped or pinched into 12 pieces

5 grams (0.18 oz) (about 5/8 tsp) salt

56.5 grams (2 oz) whole wheat or whole rye flour (about 7 tablespoons)

7 gms (0.25 oz) – 2.25 tsps – instant yeast

56.5 grams (2 oz) – 3 tbsps – unsulphured molasses/maple syrup/honey

14 grams (0.5 oz) – 1 tbsp – vegetable oil

9 grams (0.32 oz) – 1 tbsp – a combination of green cardamom seeds, aniseeds and fennel

7 grams (0.25 oz) – 2 tbsps – orange zest or 1 tsp orange oil

Knead everything well for 5-7 minutes until you have a not-too-sticky, supple dough. Form into a ball, let it rest covered with a kitchen towel for 5 minutes and knead for another minute. Add tbsp of flour or a tsp of water at a time to adjust the consistency if you need to.

Roll the dough into a ball and swirl it around an oiled bowl to coat with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and and let it rise for 45-60 minutes until 1.5 times its original size.

Shape the loaf into a boule (ball) or grease a loaf pan and put the dough in after gently kneading and deflating it in the form of a sandwich loaf.

If you want to bake on a tray, place it on a baking paper sheet dusted with cornmeal, dust top of the dough with a bit of flour and let it rise covered for another 50 to 60 minutes until 1.5 times its original size.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425F with a pan  or bowl of water in the top rack and another rack in the middle. The water will evaporate and increase moisture

When you are ready to bake, place the baking tray with the bread in the middle rack. Cut the top of the loaf to release steam.

Reduce the heat to 350F and bake for 40 minutes or until the loaf registers 200F in the center. You can rotate it once at the 20 minute mark if it starts burning on one site.

Cool on a wire rack for 1-2 hours before serving.

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