Swedish Rye Bread

I spent the last couple of days with my grandma, and as she cooked for my sister and me, I asked if she would give me the recipes. I soon remembered, however, that Grandma doesn’t really use recipes — more like “that much milk” “dump some flour,” etc. Delightful, and yet hard to translate. A couple of years ago, my dad got the recipe for Grandma’s rye bread by watching her (not) measure her way and then measuring out each ingredient to make a recipe. This is a very light rye (I actually have trouble tasting the rye).

3/4 cup lukewarm water

2 packages rapid rise yeast

sugar (to sprinkle)

4 tablespoons shortening

3 cups rye flour

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons salt

4 cups hot water

3/4 to 1 cup dark molasses

10 cups flour

Mix together warm water and yeast (if the water is too hot it will kill the yeast). Sprinkle with sugar and let it set. Heat the shortening until it is melted (do not boil). In a large bowl, mix together the rye flour, brown sugar, and salt. Mix the hot water and molasses together, then add to the flour mixture and mix well. Pour in the yeast mixture and white flour. Mix and knead, adding flour if needed: you should be able to handle the dough without it sticking. Grease your hands and place the dough in a large, greased bowl; let it rise for 1 hour. Knead and let rise for another 45 minutes. Knead, place in greased baking pans and let rise for 30 minutes. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

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