Rågsiktskakor (lit. sifted rye cakes), is a Swedish type of bread baked from a 60/40 blend of bread flour and rye flour. It has a mild characteristic flavor, distinct from other types of rye bread, mainly because the spice mixture includes anise and fennel seeds.
Its round and flat shape contributes to the texture and flavor by having a good amount of soft crust on each slice.
This recipe for rågsiktskakor is partially made in a bread machine (mixing, kneading, and two risings), while the bread is shaped by hand, risen again, and baked in an oven.
Tip: For dry measures, especially flour, weighing the ingredients rather than using measuring cups ensures repeatable results, regardless of the scooping technique.
Rye flour can be bought in white, medium, and dark varieties. Medium rye works best for this recipe, but blending 100 gram dark with 200 gram white rye will also work well. In Sweden one would buy rågsikt, a bread flour/rye flour blend replacing both types of flour in the list of ingredients.
Swedish sirap is a sugar product made by mixing various types of sugar syrups. Sirap has a mild, caramel-like taste. Its consistency and sweetness is similar to liquid honey. It is also possible to substitute molasses which will make the bread darker.
- Measure up milk in a Pyrex measuring cup. Add honey or sirap. Microwave on high for four minutes, it should not boil.
- While the milk is heating, grind anise seeds and fennel seeds in an electric coffee grinder or with a mortar and pestle, put it in the bread machine pan, add salt. Measure up the butter and put it aside.
- Stir the milk and dump into bread pan. Put bread pan on electronic kitchen scale and zero it. Add 300 gram rye flour. Add 450 gram bread flour (until the scale reads 750 grams). It is not necessary to try to mix the flours by hand, the bread machine does a great job mixing them.
- Off the scale, make a trench in the flour and add active dry yeast. Cut the butter in 10-15 pieces and dot the flour with it.
Basic Dough program with pre-heating turned off, which on the Zojirushi Home Bakery Supreme will take 1 hour and 28 minutes to complete.
Put the pan in the bread machine and set it to the
- Put the finished dough on a lightly floured surface and divide into four pieces. Shape the pieces into balls, flatten by hand or with a rolling pin until 8-10 inches in diameter. Two cakes should fit on one cookie sheet. For easier cleanup, use parchment paper on the cookie sheets.
- Lightly flour the tops of the cakes to avoid sticking to the baking towels. Dip your palms in flour, rub them together a little, then gently rub the dough, this will deposit just enough flour to make the dough non-stick.
- Optionally, twist a 1½ inch medicine cup in the center of each cake and lift out the plug. These plugs can bake next to the cakes. Use a fork or a bread docker to prick dents in the surface of the cakes. This prevents air pockets from forming under the crust.
- Rise under baking towels for 30 minutes in a warm and draft-free place. Meanwhile heat the oven to 435°F (225°C) with the rack in the center position. If you have a pizza stone or ceramic baking tiles, put them on the rack to soak in the heat. With a pizza stone I skip the cookie sheets and use parchment paper only, a bread peel is useful for this.
- When the cakes have puffed up to about twice the thickness, put one sheet at the time in the oven and bake for 12 minutes. The cakes should have a medium brown color, adjust the time if necessary.
- Cool on wire rack. Cut each cake into 4 or 6 wedges, then split each piece into two slices to serve.