A Swedish flatbread similar to thick pita, polar bread is soft, slightly chewy, has a light rye flavour and makes the perfect sandwich bread to split and fill.
- 375 g (2½ cups) strong bread or pizza flour
- 120 g (1 cup) rye flour
- 1 sachet (7 g) instant dried yeast
- 1½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 200 ml lukewarm water
- 80 g (⅓ cup) crème fraîche, at room temperature
- 1½ tbsp honey
- melted butter, to grease
- gravlax, crème fraîche and salad leaves, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Proving time: 1½ hours
Combine the bread flour, rye flour, yeast, salt and fennel seeds in a large bowl. Combine the water, crème fraîche and honey. Add to the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon and then your hands to mix to a soft dough.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured bench top and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic and springs back when you push your finger into it.
Brush a medium bowl with the melted butter to grease, add the dough and turn to coat with the butter. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1½-2 hours or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Line two large baking trays with baking paper.
Knock back the dough by punching it in the centre with your fist. Turn onto a lightly floured bench top and knead for 2-3 minutes or until smooth and elastic and the dough has returned to its original size. Divide the dough evenly into 8 portions.
Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out a dough portion on the lightly floured bench top to a round, 10-12 cm in diameter and 8 mm thick. Use a fork to prick all over on both sides and then place on a lined tray. Repeat with 3 more dough portions. Bake the 4 bread rounds for 15 minutes, swapping the trays halfway through baking, or until lightly golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and wrap in a clean tea towel to keep warm. Roll and bake the remaining 4 dough portions.
Serve warm or at room temperature by splitting and filling with gravlax, dill, crème fraîche and salad leaves.
• These breads will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day but are best eaten the day they are made. Alternatively, they do freeze well. Wrap well in plastic wrap, seal in a freezer bag or airtight container, label and date and freeze. Thaw at room temperature or toast straight from the freezer.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O'Brien. Food preparation by Tina McLeish.
This recipe is part of our Bakeproof: Yeast-leavened flatbreadscolumn.
View previous Bakeproof columns and recipes here.
Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. For hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don't miss what's coming out of her oven via Facebook,Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.