The Swedish hönökaka is named after the island of Hönö, off the coast of Gothenburg, where it was originally baked by fishing and farming families. Shop-bought hönökakor are common in Sweden, but can be a bit sweet.
- Yield: 6 large breads
- 2 oz (50 g) fresh yeast
- ¼ cup (50 g) soft light brown sugar
- 4 scant (400 g) cups white rye flour
- 3 cups (400 g) white strong bread flour, plus extra for dusting (you may not use all of either flour, so use them equally as you go)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 7 tablespoons (100 g) butter, at room temperature
How to Make It
- Dissolve the fresh yeast in 500 ml/2 cups lukewarm water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix for a minute or so, then add the sugar and mix again to dissolve. Add two-thirds of each of the two flours, plus all the salt, and start mixing. You may not need all the flour, which is why you start with the amount indicated, then add more of each as you need it. Add the butter and keep mixing until it is incorporated. Add more of the flours as needed. When the dough starts letting go of the sides of the bowl (after around 5 minutes of kneading in the machine and with enough flour added), cover the dough and leave to rest in a warm place for around an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead, then cut it into six equal-sized pieces. Roll each one out to a circle with a diameter of 30 cm/12 in., then prick all over with a fork and place on baking parchment. Leave to rise again under a tea towel/dish towel for around 40 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 240°C (475°F) Gas 9. I add the baking sheets to the oven at this stage, as placing the hönökakor on a hot sheet speeds up the baking on the underside of the bread – much the same as using a pizza stone to make a base.
- Prick again with the fork just before you pop the bread into the oven (you may need to bake them in batches). Bake for around 8 minutes, but keep an eye on them, as they can go brown quickly due to the sugar content. You want them slightly golden, but not overly brown.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool under a damp tea towel/dish towel while you bake the rest of the breads.