Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hello, Hönökakor!!

Dear Friends who diligently read my Schutzhund blog,

As if I don't have enough to do (lol), I've decided to start another blog.
Second to training my GSD Kane, my other passion is all things creative that has to do with getting your fingers involved - ya know; gardening, baking, cooking, knitting, sewing and crafting. Things that make me exercise the other half of my nerdy engineering brain.

I've been duly inspired by a host of other fine men and women who blog about their adventures in cooking, crafting, baking and gardening. You can find a few of the ones I admire in my LINKS section and I'm sure I'll blog about (and link to) some of their great recipes.

For this first post, I thought I'd post something a bit more original, my recipe for swedish Hönökakor.

Hönökakor is from the island of Hönö on Sweden's west coast and (at least while I lived there) you could still buy them from small bakeries that baked this bread (yes, it's bread, not cake.....sorry if you're disappointed!) in woodfired ovens. I obviously do not have a woodfired oven (yet! ha!), but this recipe does have the taste that I remember. This recipe came from here, (in Swedish), but I've translated the measurements and ingredients for you. I use bread machine yeast or fresh yeast for my bread. Bread machine yeast keeps well in the fridge for a few months. I also use stoneground and organic ingredients to the most possible extent. I urge you to do the same if you can - you CAN taste a difference. Here we go:

Bohusländsk Hönökaka (makes 8)
3 oz. fresh cake yeast (or 7.5 tsp active dry yeast, or 6 tsp instant yeast) handy-dandy conversion table here
4 1/4 cups milk (1% or more)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup light cane syrup
1 tbsp salt
1 cup rye flour
8 1/2 to 9 cups all-purpose flour
If you are using fresh cake yeast, combine it with warmed milk and add the oil. Let the yeast dissolve. If you are using dry yeast, you can add it with other ingredients.

Combine all ingredients, including most of the all-purpose flour and stir until you have a nice, soft dough that "lets go" of the sides of the bowl. You can do this by hand or using a mixer with a dough attachment.

Cover the bowl with a dishtowel and let the dough rise for 30 minutes.
Remove dough from bowl and place on a surface lightly covered with flour. Knead it for a few minutes.
Heat your oven to 500 F.

Rise, rise!

Split the dough into 8 even pieces and shape them into round balls. Let them rise on a baking sheet under a towel for 20-30 minutes.

Use your rolling pin and flatten each piece to a round "cake" about 30 cm across (12 inches). Poke it with a fork and bake one or two at a time on either a baking stone, greased baking sheet or a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.

Bake for 4-5 minutes (just making sure you see this, people! 4-5 MINUTES ONLY!!!!)in the center of the oven. After you remove them from the oven, place them on a rack on top of each other and cover with a towel to retain moisture.

I prefer to cut these into cake-like triangles and eat them with some good cheese, a few slices of salami, som miracle whip or butter in a typical open-faced Swedish "smörgås."
Enjoy! Let me know how yours turned out!
Something smells delicious, mom!