A couple weeks ago, I noticed one of my recent clients was once again listed on my work schedule. She was having issues with her CapTel 800i telephone and needed my assistance, but her appointment wasn't for another week. Since I was delivering in her area, I called to see if I could come sooner. She was thrilled...of course.
When I arrived at her home, I saw beautiful rounds of homemade bread cooling on her countertop. More rounds were baking in the oven and the house smelled scrumptious. After I successfully fixed her new phone and I knew I was, once again, her best friend, I thought I should inquire about her recipe. I'm sneaky like that.
She graciously offered me a warm round bread loaf and went downstairs to copy the recipe that had been passed down from generation to generation. In fact, when the current recipe card was written in English, her own mother (years ago), scribbled the measurements back into Swedish so she could read the recipe....I have that scribble! As a bonus, I also received another recipe that was written completely in Swedish on the card, "Äpple kaka" or Apple Cake. She went over the Apple Cake recipe so I understood that "socker" was sugar and "bakpulver" is baking powder. She completely lost me when she started talking about dl measurements and I figured I would never be able to make the cake until I opened my recent IKEA catalogue and saw this....
$4.99 and it has DL markings on the side! Yes, it's providence.
The bread round was delicious! So amazingly delicious! It almost tasted like a scone, but it wasn't fried. My client told me that in Sweden they eat open faced sandwiches. They cut the round in half and then slice the half down the middle to make a "sandwich". I thought about how yummy and appetizing the rounds looked and how having a beautiful bakery type bun might just make our plain old turkey sandwich a bit more appetizing.
The next morning, I decided to try my hand at this new way of making bread. I was stuck in the humdrum of making loaves of bread and most of it would go to waste. The bread was never what my kids or I wanted to eat. It's not that it wasn't good, it just wasn't what we were accustomed to...you know, Sara Lee or Home Pride. On the first try, several rounds came out
beautiful and few came out a little flat. I made 17 rounds of different sizes from one batch. My KitchenAid Professional 5 mixer was protesting the whole time, but I stroked and kissed it and she grumbled her way through the kneading process. Whew!! The twins sprinkled grated cheese on top of the flat ones and made open-face cheese sandwiches, which I praised them for....as long as they clean up their mess. I'm always saying that around here. For dinner the next night, I spread garlic butter on a few rounds and baked them in the oven for several minutes. They were marvelous! I was thrilled when we were down to the last two loaves, so I decided to make another batch....hoping this wasn't a fluke and I might be able to use this recipe as our choice of bread. Never again buying sliced bread from the grocery store would be a dream come true!
My second attempt was even better, except that my KitchenAid was not at all happy that I wasn't making brownies or banana bread. I think she has a sweet tooth. I discovered my KitchenAid is only good for soft mixes (cake, brownie, sweet breads and pudding), which is a total disappointment, by the way. I think I should save my pennies or ask Santa for one of these....
Yes, I know it's currently $359, but I hear it's the BEST bread mixer around. In fact, my Swedish client has one that is 30 years old. Of course it's not this exact model, but it does everything. Oh Santa, I BELIEVE!
Oh yeah, the second try. All my rounds came out beautiful and I even made little ones, for personal sized sandwiches. I figured I'd try making small ones to fit into the kids Bento boxes since I'll be making school lunches soon. The kids grabbed warm rounds and gobbled them up. Chloe made a PB&J sandwich on one yesterday and exclaimed, "That was the BEST peanut butter sandwich ever!" With some of the dough I added dried basil, oregano, and garlic to make herb breadsticks for our pasta dinner that night.
For our large family, I'll be baking this bread a lot and you know what? I'm completely happy about that!