Sourdough loaf with lingonberries (tyttebær)

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It is summer, time for iced drinks and G&Ts, but ice cubes are hard to accumulate, as my freezer is full of mysterious icy packages and boxes. It is not the chest freezer of a good Norwegian kitchen, with elg and self-fished mackerel in it, but I do hoard my Norwegian berries, salmon and extra brunost (sweet brown goat cheese). But no, it is time to excavate the freezer, make lots of ice and actually use some of my treasured stash of tyttebær, or lingonberries. Normally I would crush them to make fresh jam to have them with meatballs, or other meat, but they are also nice in bread.

Sourdough loaf with lingonberries (tyttebær)

100 g mature sourdough, 100% hydration (rye based)
50 lingonsylt (tyttebærsyltetøy) or cranberry jam, optional
45 g coarse oatmeal
400 g plain wheat flour
100 g wholewheat flour
350 g water
5 g salt
Before last rise: a handful of frozen tyttebær, or frozen cranberries.

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Stir the sourdough starter with the water, My starter is made with coarse rye flour, which adds more texture and flavour, but use what you prefer. Add the flour, oatmeal and jam and mix well. Note: The jam is optional, it vanishes into the dough but goes nicely with the rye starter element, while giving moisture. It is not very sweet. If you do not have old lingonberry jam from IKEA languishing in your fridge, that is absolutely fine, just add a little more water.

Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes. After this initial rest, add the salt. Mix well. Add more flour or water if you think the dough needs it.

Cover the bowl and let rise for about a few hours at room temperature. Fold the dough a few times (just in the bowl, using a spoon or spatula). You will feel the dough becoming more elastic and responsive, and it will increase nicely in volume. The last time you fold, add a handful of frozen lingonberries, straight from the freezer, so they are distributed through the dough. If thawed when added, they will stain the dough. No disaster, just messier. Now, fold dough into a banneton or bread tin, cover with a plastic shower cap, and let rest overnight in the fridge. (Or, if you need the bread the same day, leave for a few hours at room temperature until you see it rising nicely, then bake. I know long fermentation is better, but baking needs to fit our schedules too….)

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When ready to bake: heat your oven to 250C, with a cast iron pot. When it is properly hot, take the pot out carefully. Invert the dough onto a piece of baking paper, slash the dough, and put the bread in the pot. Bake at 250C for 25-30 minutes with the lid on, then 15-20 minutes more with the lid off, until the bread looks done and the base of the bread sounds hollow if you tap it. About 45 minutes in all, depending on your oven. Cool before slicing.

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Notes: Very nice with butter! I have made this in loaf tins as well, works just fine. The berries are tart but not sweet. You could replace these with frozen berries, or dried cranberries soaked in water, but that would be a sweeter taste. This is not a sweet loaf, just a sourdough loaf with little bursts of tangy flavour. Now, where is my G&T…..?

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