Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Swedish "Saft"

"Saft" is a type of fruit syrup. You can serve it in a cocktail, with fizzy water or with still water and ice, which is the way I prefer it. Here are two variations, but, really you can make Saft with any soft fruit you like!

Strawberry and Rhubarb Saft
(You can make plain rhubarb saft, but my strawberry plant is very bountiful this year and I find myself putting strawberries in virtually everything!)

~Enough Fruit to make 2 - 4 cups worth (i.e. 5 stocks of rhubarb and 6 strawberries)
~6-8 cups water- remember- this is a syrup, the water will be boiled down- but don't add so much that it dilutes the fruit.
~3-4 tlbs pure organic cane sugar (to taste- as syrup sits, it will get sweeter, so don't go overboard- remember, the fruit is naturally sweet!)

~To start, cut up all the fruit- DO NOT peal the rhubarb. Place in a stock pot and pour water over.

~Boil till all the fruit is extremely mushy.

~Pour the mixture through a cheese cloth-lined strainer, into another pot.

~Place pot back on the stove and add sugar, stirring. Let boil for 5 minutes, or until sugar is completely dissolved and liquid starts to thicken.

Skim off anything that might be left over, and pour in to an old, sterilized wine bottle. Let cool, cork and refrigerate!

There's nothing better in the hot summer!

Another variation to try would be WHITE PEACH SAFT:
Do everything the same, except with white peaches, skins on, and serve with dried lavender.
This is my personal favourite- just look that that colour- oh boy is it lovely!

Swedish Whole Grain Dark Rye Bread

This recipe make 2 large loaves of delicious bread. Please try it! You will not go back to regular, store-bought bread!

1/4 cup dark, amber honey (I used pure heather honey)
1/4 cup dark molasses (if you do not like molasses, use all honey)
1 tlbs sea salt
2 tlbs butter, unsalted
1 cup boiling water
1 tlbs active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
2 cups dark rye flour ( 'Bob's Red Mill' or 'Arrowhead Mills', sold at Whole Foods)
2 cups + 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flours ("365 Whole Foods" brand- great texture)

-First, combine the honey, molasses, salt and butter in a large bowl and add the boiling water. Stir to combine, then set aside to cool. (VERY IMPORTANT!)

-Next, add the yeast to warm water, whisk to incorporate and let alone to feed for 5 minutes, or until bubbles and foam start to appear on the top. (put in a warm place, like a turned off microwave oven). When you can see change in the yeast mixture, add it to the honey/molasses mixture, once it has cooled to lukewarm.

-Then, add 2 cups of the whole wheat flour to the mix, and incorporate well. Add the rest of the flours (whole wheat/rye) to the dough - MAKE SURE TO USE ALL- mixture will look dry and as if it will not incorporate, but trust me, keep kneading- all will be well. You will end up with a thick dough.

-Knead for 10 minutes, then place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and place in a turned off oven and let rise until doubled, about 11/2 to 2 hours.

-After this, punch down the surface, and place on a floured surface and knead again for 2 minutes.

- With a dough scraper, cut dough into two equally shaped sections, and shape to fit in two loaf pans.

-Cover and again, let rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until doubled.

-Bake at 375ยบ for 30-40 minutes.

Make sure to cool them on wire racks for about 20 minutes before cutting, to prevent a gummy texture.