So recently I have been wanting some Swedish-style breakfast bread rolls that tend to contain rye or whole wheat, and which are awesome slathered with butter, loaded with cheese or charcuterie, or even jam (but maybe not all at the same time), and go amazingly well with hot tea or coffee on a cold winter morning. Now, these rolls aren’t really something that you buy – they are only really good if you baked them yourself or if someone like a nice relative or friend or a restaurant baker has recently baked them. They are absolutely best still warm from the oven (though not piping hot), or at most the next day if you stored them well.
Which is to say, if you want those, and especially if you aren’t in Sweden or somewhere where someone is willing, or is paid to, bake those for you, your best bet is to do it yourself. Thankfully it proved to be remarkably easy, and the results were bleeping fantastic, if I do say so myself. And I do. The recipe as given doesn’t suggest any seasonings, and in fact, the rye flavor does shine through really well as is, but I imagine that for next time, I might mix in some linseeds, or some ground fennel, or cumin seeds – whatever spices seem appropriate to you for breakfast rolls with a touch of rye in them.
As far as the recipe is concerned, I haven’t modified it at all – it is a straight translation of the one I found on a Swedish blog called Ett kreativt liv (A Creative Life), and if you would prefer to read it in Swedish, that’s where it is. My rendition (see below) will include any notes I may consider helpful to people baking this, and my commentary, but the recipe is otherwise entirely unchanged.
The key thing – and the most important one – is that the dough for these must be mixed up the day before you want them. Don’t worry, though, because it only (literally) takes 5 minutes, and no kneading is involved. So, without further ado:
Ingredients: (makes 8 medium or 12 small rolls)
- 3g dry yeast of any sort
- 9g salt (fine, any sort – you just don’t want coarse chunks of it)
- 380g bread flour (‘Special’ flour in Sweden and Finland)
- 70g fine or medium grind rye flour
- 350g cold water (yes I weigh my water because it is more precise)
- 1tsp cumin seeds, or ground fennel, or 1-2 tbsp linseeds, or whatever seasoning you may like with these. None is entirely acceptable, and in fact, no seasoning at all turns out lovely.
Here’s what you do:
- Weigh out your flours, salt and yeast into a large mixing bowl and stir well to combine. Weigh your cold tap water in some vessel (or measure it by volume).
- Dump the water into the flour mix, and stir with a wooden spoon until all the flour bits are wet, and no dry particulate is showing. The dough will be a wet soggy mess and that is fine. It’ll also look ugly and grey because of rye flour. That’s normal, too. Cover with a non-vented lid or a plastic wrap and leave overnight at room temperature.
- Dump, or rather, scrape, the risen and messy mass of gluten strands (eeek, I said ‘gluten’!), onto a very well-floured surface. This will be still somewhat wet, and a bit sloppy. Fold on itself 3 times, cover with the upside-down bowl you just scraped out, and let rest 10-15 minutes. Go take a shower, brush teeth, make a coffee or whatever.
- Come back and put a sheet of baking paper (parchment) onto a flat baking sheet. Lift the bowl, and fold the dough a couple times more, then carefully stretch it out into a sausage. Carefully because you don’t want to degas the dough too much.
- Using a dough scraper (mine is cheap and plastic), cut the sausage in half, adjust the two halves for thickness if needed – so they are more or less uniform, and chop each half in 4 parts. Using dough scraper or spatula and your floured hand, transfer the rectangular-ish blobs (I mean, ‘artisanally shaped’ rolls!) of dough onto the baking parchment, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let rise for 35-45 minutes at room temperature.
- In meantime, preheat your oven to +250°C (it can take as little as 10 or as long as your oven may take, so time accordingly).
- Once the rolls are ready (they won’t visibly puff up much, though they may grow a tiny noticeable amount), stick the baking sheet into the very hot oven in a middle or middle-lower position, and time 12 minutes. The baking time in my oven was actually 14 minutes, but ovens vary, and the original recipe gave 12-15 minute estimate.
- Once the rolls have puffed up some and are coloring nicely (after the 12 minute mark because you don’t want to underbake them), take the sheet out and slide the rolls off that onto a cooling rack.
While the rolls cool, make more coffee, get out butter, cheese, whatever it is you want to have with them, bring it all to the table, and stuff yourself silly, because these are pretty filling, but warm from the oven with butter, they are also so so delicious that you can’t eat just one. Count on a large breakfast – or make these for brunch.