Dutch Oven Grain Bread

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The smell of freshly baked bread is hard to beat, and with Mike seriously getting into baking, there’s no shortage of it right now. Few things are more satisfying to stockpile in the freezer and few things make better impromptu lunches, in our opinion. The seed and grain topping makes this bread feel a little special and tastes great, but is by no means necessary. You can also easily make up your own blend based on what you happen to have on hand! Baking the bread in a cast iron dutch oven gives it that “bakery touch” – it makes the bread look extra pretty, it preserves moisture and the crust comes out perfect. However, you can most likely bake it on an oven sheet as well so don’t let the absence of a dutch oven stop you from giving this recipe a try. And note that this is a cold rise bread, meaning it’ll sit in the fridge overnight. We find that cold rises seem easier, because the work is divided over two days and feels less overwhelming. We hope you’ll agree!

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Easy Squash and Nut Bread

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We mentioned a month or so ago that we had been hit by a big storm, which knocked out our power for a week and left 30+ giant trees down just in and around our immediate property. Now, we’re busy cleaning up the mess Alfrida (as she was named) created, which involves a lot of schlepping, pushing, lifting, dragging, moving, hauling and chopping, as well as a decent amount of grunting – but that’s of course just for show. We had a neighbor help us sort out the situation initially, when the scene looked quite treacherous – some trees were fallen but resting on others still (sort of caught halfway), some had roots attached, holding a dangerous amount of tension. And some were simply too wide for our chainsaw to work through, so these trunks we got help sawing up into the 30 cm/1 ft pieces (or round blocks) we’ll eventually chop into firewood. Needless to say, the amount of stuff we have to take care of is… mind-blowing (at least for just two people). In order to not get overwhelmed, we’re tapping into “a little bit at a time”-mode. Yes, we’re all like “Rome wasn’t built in a day” out there, as we’re moving the blocks, one by one, and creating a giant brush pile with all the branches. By glancing at the pile of blocks we’ve currently moved into one and the same place though… we have firewood for 15 years to come.

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Saffron Buns

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There’s no other pastry, baked good or sweet treat that feels as quintessentially Swedish Christmas as the traditional saffron bun – at least in our opinion. They’re not only really pretty, with their golden yellow color and characteristic shape, but they’re delicious too. As in, you can eat at least a few in one sitting. Growing up here means every beginning of December, you bake a round of these at home. That’s just a fact. There will most likely be Christmas music playing in the background. There will most likely be dough eating to the point of bellies hurting. And it’ll be glorious. I LOVED the saffron bun baking day when I was little. I still do. SO much.

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Cranberry Nut Bread

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We welcome bread with open arms in this house. Now, Michael was a little bit of a… bread-novice, if I may say so, when we first met. His idea of bread was a little different than mine, quite far away from the dark, rye-laden breads of the Nordic region that I grew up eating. Thankfully, he was not hard to turn. Neither was he – despite his Italian heritage – hard to convince butter is better on bread than olive oil (my apologies to my father-in-law, Tony). And now, almost six years later, Michael is the designated bread baker of this little family. His kneading outdoes mine any day of the week.

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Rye Flatbread

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Nothing says fun day trip more than flatbread sandwiches if you ask us. They’re our go-to packed lunch whether we’re out cross country skiing, hiking or boating and they’re just… perfect. You can go fancy and make a wrap with for example hummus and crispy vegetables, or stay simple and roll it up with butter, cheese and tomato slices (or try any of the other gazillion combinations out there, obviously). Whatever suits your fancy, right? While the dough has to rise for a little bit, it’s still a relatively quick and easy bread recipe. You bake each flatbread individually in a pan on the stove, flipping halfway through, and there’s nothing more comforting than seeing that pile grow and smelling freshly baked bread in your whole house.

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