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Pääsiäisleipä (Finnish Easter Bread), adapted from Mr. Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads

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breadsong

Pääsiäisleipä (Finnish Easter Bread), adapted from Mr. Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads

Hello,
This bread is from Mr. Clayton's book, New Complete Book of Breads. Wanting to try something new for Easter,
this recipe sounded wonderful, with the fruit, nuts, rye and cardamom.
(Sue posted recently about her beautiful and cardamom-spiced hot cross buns; then Andy baked up some yummy-sounding scones, with fruit, nuts and rye; I wanted to taste cardamom again and was curious about the effect of rye in a sweet dough; this Pääsiäisleipä recipe seemed to be just the right thing to try!
With thanks to Mr. Clayton, Sue and Andy for continuing inspiration for flavored bread!


Mr. Clayton writes, "The Finnish call this festive loaf that celebrates Easter and the arrival of spring, Pääsiäisleipä, a cylindrical bread that is traditionally baked in milking pails to celebrate the arrival of new calves".
The instructions are (for the quantities listed in his recipe) to bake one large loaf in a 4-quart pail.
I wanted to make a bunch of gift-sized breads, so baked in deep muffin pans (pictured here) (the muffin wells in the pans are 'pail-shaped' - perfect!).   


I tried to find out more about this bread but couldn't find a whole lot, but did come across an old article on the New York Times about Easter Baking; Pääsiäisleipä is mentioned. 


Here are the pictures; the dough was divided in to 200g pieces (I was guessing for size but it worked out ok; the muffin wells measure 3-1/4" deep, and 3-1/2" across at the top, 2-1/4" across at the bottom):
  

Here's how the breads rose in the pans:
  



I pretty much held to the ingredients identified in the recipe, but changed the mixing method. I mixed by hand and this was a really sticky business. If I was making a smaller quantity, I might have tried mixing in my stand mixer. I was happy with how the dough came together in the end...but there was some effort, to get there! Here are the ingredients, and the mixing process.
 



Pääsiäisleipä (Finnish Easter Bread), adapted from Mr. Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads

Sponge

Dough

Total

Bread flour

395

381

776

Medium rye flour

 

205

205

Cream (half & half)

214

 

214

Water

66

176

242

Milk (20g milk powder + 206g water)

 

206

206

Egg yolks (3 large egg yolks + a bit of egg white, to make 65g)

 

65

65

Yeast, osmotolerant

4.0

 

4.0

Salt

 

17.0

17.0

Sugar, divided (62g+120g)

 

182

182

Butter

 

113

113

Sponge

 

679

 

Ground cardamom

 

5.0

5.0

Grated lemon peel (from 2 large lemons)

 

5

5

Candied orange peel, finely diced

 

15

15

Golden raisins

 

155

155

Chopped almonds

 

103

103

 

 

 

 

Total

 

679

2307

2307

 

Sponge:

1. Measure cream into small saucepan; scald by heating cream to 180F. Remove pan from heat. Pour cream into a bowl, add water, and cool to 100-105F.

2. Meanwhile, combine flours and osmotolerant yeast in a large bowl.

3. When the liquid has cooled down to 100-105F, add liquid to dry mixture and mix until the dry ingredients are hydrated.

4. Cover bowl, or transfer sponge to a covered container, and ferment at 80-82F, until doubled and just starting to collapse back on itself. This took 3 hours, although I was expecting the sponge to be ready in an hour (trying the 'flying sponge' method).

 

Final Dough:

1. While sponge is fermenting, prepare ingredients: finely chop candied orange peel, chop almonds, soak raisins in some hot water; set all aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine flours, milk powder, salt, cardamom and 62g sugar. Grate lemons directly over the flour mixture, then stir grated lemon peel around so it's evenly distributed in the flour.

3. Measure remaining sugar (120g) into a separate bowl.

4. Separate three large eggs. I added a bit of egg white to the yolks to make 65g (reserve remaining egg white for another use). Add egg yolks to the 120g of sugar, and whisk to combine.

5. Measure butter and soften to 70F.

6. When sponge is ready, place in large bowl and combine with 95F water; I used a dough whisk to do this.

7. Add flour mixture and mix with dough whisk; turn out onto counter and knead to finish hydrating the flour and the dough comes together. Continue kneading and working the dough until the gluten is moderately developed (improved mix).

8. Place the dough back in the bowl, and add in half of the egg/sugar mixture. Work the egg/sugar mixture in by hand, using the 'stretch and fold in the bowl' technique.

9. Turn dough out onto counter and continue kneading and working the dough to keep developing the gluten.

10. When the dough feels stronger, place it back in the bowl, and add the remaining egg/sugar mixture. Work the egg/sugar mixture in by hand, using the 'stretch and fold in the bowl' technique.

11. Turn dough out onto counter and continue kneading and working the dough to keep developing the gluten, until the dough feels strong and windowpanes.

12. Gradually knead in the butter, a bit at a time, waiting until butter is incorporated before adding more.

13. Drain the raisins.

14. Spread the dough out on the counter, and sprinkle over half of the raisins, orange peel and almonds. Fold the dough like a letter, and knead for a bit to distribute the fruit and nuts. Spread the dough out again, sprinkle over the remaining fruit and nuts. Fold the dough like a letter, and knead again, continuing until all of the fruit and nuts are evenly distributed in the dough.

15. Bulk ferment for 2 hours at 80F, with a stretch and fold after one hour. If desired, make a some simple syrup to brush on breads after baking. Set aside to cool.

16. Divide into 200g pieces. Preshape tightly, as boules. Shape and place in greased tin. Cover with plastic, proof at 80F until risen 1" above pan.

17. Preheat oven to 375F.

18. Remove plastic wrap, and place pans in oven. Reduce oven temperature to 350F and bake for approximately 25 minutes, until done.

19. Remove from oven, remove breads from pans, and while hot, brush tops with simple syrup; sprinkle on coarse sugar if desired, for decoration. Let cool.


 

 

Happy Easter everyone! from breadsong

 

 

Comments

wally's picture
wally

Happy Easter!

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Thanks Larry, and Happy Easter to you, too!
from breadsong

kim's picture
kim

Breadsong,


Great looking breads especially the stenciling ones. Do you use Andy method to fold in your peels and nuts? I also like your pearl sugar topping. Happy Easter!


Kimmy

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Kimmy,

I didn't use Andy's method although I did think about it. I was trying with the mixing method to develop the gluten to try to compensate for the ingredients (lots of sugar, and also the butter and rye flour). I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get the dough to the optimal stage, gluten-wise, to employ Andy's technique, so just worked in the fruit and nuts my usual way. As my dough was soft in consistency, it was fairly easy to 'letter-fold' the fruit and nuts into the dough.

Stencilling was harder with these little loaves, given their rounded tops after proofing. It's much easier to stencil on a flat surface! I stopped after three, afraid I was going to make a mess of it.

Thanks Kimmy - and Happy Easter to you.
from breadsong

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi breadsong,


Very pretty looking, and I love the shape the muffin pans gave them. At first I thought they'd been done in a flower pot until I scrolled down. Great baking as always!


Happy Easter,


Franko

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Franko, Thanks very much!
Flower pots...that's something that never occurred to me, but now that you mention it I'm tickled that I stencilled some flowers. :^)
Happy Easter to you!
from breadsong

Syd's picture
Syd

Beautiful, breadsong!  And such a thorough write up, too.  Happy Easter to you and your family.


All the best,


Syd

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Syd,
I hope you're having a Happy Easter too and all the best to you and yours.
I tried making your Hot Cross Buns today. YUM!
Thanks for sharing your formula - these hot cross buns are incredibly tasty with the fresh ground spices.
I'm going to share the hot cross buns with family - so thanks for your part in making our Easter a happy (and tasty!) one!
:^) from breadsong

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Have a Beautiful Happy Easter!


Sylvia

breadsong's picture
breadsong

I wish the same for you!
:^) from breadsong

MadAboutB8's picture
MadAboutB8

The flavour profile sounds interesting. Must be quite citrusy and lovely with peel and cardamom. You did such a great job, as always.

Thank you for referring to my blog. It was such an honour to be referred to by a wonderful baker like yourself.

Sue

http://youcandoitathome.blogspot.com

breadsong's picture
breadsong

Hello Sue,
This bread was very delicious. There was an underlying taste of cardamom, but it was not too overpowering, and the orange and golden raisins gave just the right amount of sweetness.
Thanks for turning my attention towards cardamom again - it's nce to rediscover a beautiful spice.
Thank you for your kind words, and it's a pleasure to refer to your blog - you bake such lovely and creative things, beautifully shaped and flavored, such a delight to see!
:^) from breadsong