My great grandmother gets all the credit for this dense and hearty loaf that she brought over from Sweden when she came to live in America. It's one of those all-purpose breads that goes well with almost any meal. —Heather Cook, Malta, Montana
- 5 orange peel strips (1 to 3 inches)
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water, divided
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 2 cups warm 2% milk (110° to 115°)
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon dark corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 1 tablespoon shortening
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon aniseed
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1-1/2 cups rye flour
- 4 to 4-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- In a small saucepan, combine orange peel strips and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until softened. Drain; set strips aside.
- In the same saucepan, combine honey and remaining water. Bring to a boil; return strips to pan. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, uncovered, for 3-5 minutes or until almost all of the syrup is absorbed, stirring occasionally (watch carefully to prevent scorching). Cool strips on waxed paper coated with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, brown sugar, egg, corn syrup, molasses, shortening, salt, aniseed, fennel seed, rye flour and 2 cups all-purpose flour. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.
- Chop candied orange strips; add to dough. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky). Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.
- Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Divide dough in half. Shape each into a 6-inch round loaf. Place on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: 2 loaves (8 slices each).
Originally published as Rustic Swedish Rye Bread in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2012, p135
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