Sunday, November 11, 2007
Fennel Seed Bread Recipe
In one of my regular lunch joints, Bestseller Cafe in Viru Keskus (Tallinn), they sometimes serve soup with large chunks of fennel seed bread. Although I'm in somewhat uneasy terms with things aniseedy and liquoricey, I do like that spicy bread a lot. And therefore I couldn't help but try the fennel seed bread recipe that Clivia posted last month. Granted, I changed the recipe - originally from a Swedish baking guru Anna Bergenström - a little (omitting sunflower seeds, making two loaves instead of one, adding salt later in the process, etc), but it's still thanks to Clivia that I've discovered another keeper-recipe. Tack, Kristina!!!
Fennel Seeds (Foeniculum vulgare Mill., apteegitilliseemned ehk ristköömned) are a great spice to use in baking, bread, compotes, pickles and liqueurs, but can also be used to season fish dishes, salads and sauces. If you're interested in fennel seeds' medicinal properties, then you should remember that the seeds are also good for your digestive system and can ease the symptoms of a bad cough.
Fennel Seed Bread
Makes 2 loaves
25 grams fresh yeast
1 Tbsp honey
400 ml tepid water
600 g plain flour (1 litre/about 4 cups)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp fennel seeds, slightly crushed
Crumble the yeast into a large bowl, add honey and stir, until yeast and honey melt into one. Add the tepid water, stir again.
Now add most of the flour, as well as salt and crushed fennel seeds. Stir with a wooden spoon until combined, adding more flour, if the dough is too wet. (I kneaded the dough for 5 minutes in my KitchenAid, then another 2 minutes by hand).
Cover the bowl with a clean towel or clingfilm and let dough rise in a warm, draft-free place about one to two hours, until double in bulk.
Punch down dough. Divide it into two equally sized pieces. Form each dough piece into an oblong loaf on slightly floured surface.
Line a baking sheet with a parchment paper, and lift the dough pieces onto the baking sheet.
Heat the oven to 250 C, and let the dough rise for another 15-20 minutes.
Bake the loaves in the middle of the 250 C oven for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 150 C and continue baking for about 20 minutes longer, until the bread is light golden brown, and the bread sounds 'hollow' when you tap onto the bottom.
Let cool on a metal rack, loosely covered with a towel.