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I recently posted a review of Fika by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall. It’s a Swedish collection of little treats to be shared over coffee, from dawn to dusk and beyond. These toasted rye buns are ideal for jam anytime or you spread with butter and top with cheese and apple slices for lunch. That’s Swedish way.

My wife Suzi is a baking fanatic. We buy flour in 50 pound bags. A lot of bags. She does regular old white flour, for my sake, but for herself it is whole wheat, pumpernickel and rye. She saw these toasted rye buns and went wild.

And nothing could keep her from adorning the tops with caraway, sesame and poppy seeds. We buy seeds by the bag, too. Marriages are all about compromise and heavy lifting

She did Americanize one thing here. No cheese and apple slices. We cut these in half and used them for wonderful beef sliders. You could do lamb sliders as well with herbed mayo.

These buns do taste of rye, but it is not over the top, kick-ass rye. Just pleasant, gentle rye — tempered with sugar — that is the perfect slider platform.


Toasted Rye Buns

Yield: 24 to 32 buns

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce, 28 grams) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups (480 milliliters) milk
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 4 cups (1 ¼ pounds, 568 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (4.25 ounces, 120grams) rye flour
  • ¼ cup (1.75 ounces, 50 grams) natural cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten

Preparation:

In a saucepan, melt the butter; then stir in the milk. Heat until warm to the touch (about 110°F/43”C). In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in 2 to 3 tablespoons of the warm mixture. Stir and let sit for a few minutes until bubbles form on top of the yeast.

Once the yeast has dissolved, add it to the remaining butter and milk mixture in a large bowl. Stir in the flours, sugar, and salt and mix well. Work together with a wooden spoon or your hands until you can make the dough into a ball. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a clean tea towel, and let rise for an hour.

Grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Transfer the dough to a flat, floured surface and knead it until smooth and elastic; if you poke the dough, it should spring back. Separate into 12 to 16 equally sized pieces and roll into round balls. Place the balls on the baking sheet, cover, and let rise for 45 minutes.

While the buns are rising, preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).

When the buns have finished rising, brush the tops with the beaten egg.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the buns are golden brown. Remove the buns from the oven and turn up the oven to 480°F (250°C).

When the buns are cool enough to touch, cut them in half, horizontally. This works best with a serrated knife. Place the halves back on the baking sheet, with the cut side up. Put back in the oven to toast until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes.

Serve immediately, or let cool on a cooling rack and store in the freezer.


Source: Fika by Anna Brones & Johanna Kindvall [Ten Speed Press, 2015]

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/3.5 for1/30th second at ISO‑800