All grains contain peptides that mimic morphine or endogenous opioid substances. This is where I deal with my latest loaf craving. Get your bread-based exorphin fix here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ikea Lingonberry Bread

 Ikea Lingonberry Bread

Everybody I know, especially those who drag me to an Ikea store, has heard my Ikea rant.  I freely give my opinion of Ikea (and the stuff they sell) to anyone who will listen:  It's crap.  It's not designed to last.  I hate shopping there because it is always crowded.  The store is arranged so you are cow-corralled through section after section, dodging other irate customers.  The whole experience is so awful, I wonder that this company has enjoyed such a massive popularity and growth.

Granted, a few things have quality.  Most of these are not what everyone buys.  I am talking about the laminated pressboard units designed to fall apart as you screw them together with an allen wrench.  You know that if you buy one of their bookshelves it will look good until you put a book on it.  You know that if you buy one of their beds it will be the most uncomfortable thing you've ever had to sleep on outside of a penitentiary. You know that if you buy a dresser, it will fall apart from ordinary use (i.e. opening the drawers).  If you know these things, fine, buy the ugly spartan mass-produced products, take them home, build them with your loved one (tempting a divorce) and expect whatever you are building to fall apart.  But if you want something durable and something with character, I say shop elsewhere.

On the other hand, in my Internet surfing, I came across a reference to a Lingonberry bread mix that Ikea sells in their food dept.  So I figured, the next time someone drags me to an Ikea store against my will, I would have a look and maybe buy some.

It didn't take long.  We used our vehicle to transport a bookshelf for my son, and I had a look at the ingredients on the bag of the Lingonberry Bread Mix, and decided I would try it.

This is the first website I saw that made me curious about the Lingonberry Bread Mix.  Note that this "woodfiredkitchen" site is baking the bread in a woodfired oven.  Note also that this fellow is not following the instructions on the bag.  He's adding 10oz (283g) of all purpose flour to the bread mix; and he is taking the hydration to 737g: with the alteration in flour and water, I figure that instead of 63% hydration, his bread is 57% hydrated.  More flour is used, too, during the bench work, so his free-form loaf, which looks sort of nice, is not a very high-hydrated dough at all.

I lost that site, before I began to make the bread.  I found several other sites that mention the mix:

Here in Canada, our labelling laws are such that the Danish Finax company who supplies Ikea with the Lingonberry Bread Mix must affix a label stating some of the nutritional info, and ingredients, as well as some French and English directions.  The gooey label covers the entire package front, and the directions are actually hidden on the second page of this label, so you have to peel the top label back to find another label underneath (page 2).  Unless you know that this is bread mix, you will never figure it out because the labels cover the picture of the bread.  It is a wonder that anybody buys this stuff without knowing about it before going into the store.

When measured, the mix turned out to be 1002g

My whole wheat leaven that I'd use instead of yeast

Mis en place: Mix, 200g of whole wheat leaven, water, packaging garbage

I decided not to make the bread the way the recipe is written anyway.  I decided not to add any more all purpose flour the way sortachef of woodfiredkitchen did.  And I decided to use my whole wheat wild yeast leaven instead of the supplied yeast.  Using 200g of this sourdough I would let it rise much longer (4-5 hours) and proof longer (4 hours), and I would bake it free form in a dutch oven.  I would take the hydration to 760g instead of the 600g that they advise.  In other words, I would make this loaf as if it were a Tartine style bread.

I turned it every 30 minutes or so during the bulk fermentation.  We went out for lunch for the last little bit, so it didn't get turned exactly every 30 minutes toward the end of that stage.

I divided the dough, did a 20 minute bench rest and then (tried to) form them before putting them in the baskets.  The first loaf I didn't add any flour for 'benchwork'.  The second, I floured my surface to see if it might help.  I didn't add much flour to the loaf.

The final proof was about 4 hours, including preheating time.

What's in the Lingonberry Bread Mix?
If I were to reverse engineer the Lingonberry Bread Mix, based on my perception of the way the dough behaved as I worked with it, this is what I would say it contains (and this is pure guesswork, and I'm no expert):

Dutch/Swedish Ingredient English Ingredient Possible Grams Baker's %
Vetemjöl Flour (All Purpose) 500g 53%
fullkornsrägmjöl Wholemeal rye flour 345g 36%
rägfiber Rye Fibre (Rye Bran? Rye Chops?) 50g 5%

malt    (frän korn) 
Malt (From Barley) 34g 4%
vetegluten Wheat gluten 20g 2%
TOTAL FLOUR INGREDIENTS Total Flour Ingredients 959g 100%
salt Salt (sodium 16%) 16g 1.7%
socker Sugar 15g 1.6%
surdegspulver (frän räg) Fermented Rye Flour 10g 1%
druvsocer Dextrose 5g 0.5%
frystokrade lingon Freeze dried lingonberries (0,3%)* 3g 0.3%  (!)
och emulgeringsmedel (rapslecitin) lecithin (From canola) 2g 0.2%
värm vatten  Warm water 600g 63%
torrjäst / brodgaer / torrgjaer  Dried yeast, emulsifier (E491) 2 x 7g pkts. 1.5%

* Mängden frystorkade lingon motsvarar 1,5% i färdiggräddat bröd
The amount of freeze-dried cranberries is equivalent to 1.5% in the baked bread

The emulsifier added to the yeast is Sorbitan monostearate, regulated and approved as a food additive in the EU, the US and Canada (some sites claim that Canada has put it on the Environment Canada Domestic Substance List as 'not expected to be potentially toxic or harmful', but the official DSL suggests it is inherently harmful to aquatic life: search DSL for the CAS number 56451-84-4 of Sorbitan Stearate).

The only quantities you can be sure of in the chart above are the lingonberries and the salt, which are on the label.  The rest is pure guesswork, based on the order of ingredients and the way it behaves when you work it.  The dried lingonberries take on some water and expand a bit during the mixing, that is why they go from 3g to 15g, supposedly.  They get noticeable as a red smear.  If I'm right about the above quantities, that means that instead of following directions and adding 63% water, I have made this bread with 79% hydration.  And that is a little bit too wet to handle nicely.

The interesting part to me in the ingredient list is the 'fermented rye flour'.   I had a look at the Finax site, where they have 5 Bread mixes that are similar to the one sold at Ikea, but it would appear that Ikea has something of an exclusive on this particular mix.  In addition to their bread mixes, Finax does do a 'Coarse Loaf with Lingonberries' that they supply to restaurants and catering.  The ingredients of that loaf are similar but different to the Ikea bread mix -- it contains syrup, sauces, sugar beet fiber, and stabilizers and preservatives - but it also contains a vört, or a wort.

Wort is a liquid product made from a grain mash, often used in the making of beer, full of enzymes and sometimes fermented.  My guess is that their wort is made from fermented rye flour, and this is one of the ways that they get enzymes into the bread mix.  The Ikea Lingonberry Bread Mix probably contains some of the same sort of stuff in dried form.  Again I am guessing, but I think that the wort is essentially a dried sourdough based on rye.


The bread baked okay.  The high hydration meant that the dough was difficult to work with, and because of the high rye content, the gluten didn't develop that well.  That is why sortachef of woodfiredkitchen used extra all purpose flour.  My loaves sagged when baking.

This is a light rye bread, made with all purpose flour as the main ingredient.  Using sourdough instead of the yeast packet that the bread mix comes with, you can achieve a nice open crumb.  Possibly with a longer bulk fermentation, and less yeast than the recipe calls for, you might be able to achieve similar results with the packaged yeast.  The secret, I think, is in the Tartine Bread methods of frequent gentle turning in the bowl (no kneading).  You probably will need some experience with higher hydration doughs though, to be able to push the amount of water you use to 70-75%.  Here I've gone a bit too high, and the dough does sag a bit.

There are a couple of lingonberries in this crumb that appear as a sort of tasteless red smear

I'll never buy this again, but that is just because I prefer my breads whole grain.  For most people, this bread would be perfectly acceptable.

You do see the odd speck of colour in the crumb that is a freeze-dried lingonberry, but you really won't taste them.  Ikea sells this for the Swedish nostalgia factor of lingonberries.  For the rest of us, this doesn't matter.  If you want to taste something, add a few freeze-dried cranberries or red currants or pomegranate seeds.

Notes to Myself

  • Try backing off the hydration to about 700g (which is still more than the recipe suggests). These breads sagged a bit, and were a bit unwieldy they were so wet.
  • Here in Canada, lingonberries are not found, to my knowledge. They seem similar to cranberries or red currants though. Perhaps one could add a few of these to improve the amount of red stuff in the loaf. Or even pomegranate seeds (as I've used before). If that is what one wants.  An interesting switch-up might be to use our Canadian wintergreen berries, if they can be found fresh in quantity in the wild.
  • The better loaf seemed to be the one baked in the 3quart lodge dutch oven, rather than the 3quart lodge combo cooker dutch oven, simply because the first one had steeper sides, and less places for the bread to flow to. Deeper dutch ovens are better for high hydration breads with poor gluten content, like this one: so the Lahey method of placing it in the hot oven worked better than the Tartine method of inverting the dough on the flat frying pan lid.
  • This dough would have backed well in buttered tins, like most of my high hydration rye breads.
  • For those who can't find the labels in English:

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the English translation! I could have guessed the Danish/Norwegian instructions, but after peeling part of the text was gone!
    I also used a greater hydration, like approx 450ml water/600 g flour mix. I used one of the yeast packs provided, plus 1 tsp of dry instant/active yeast. I left it for 2 h (didn't know about the 30 min time). Cooked it in a cast iron pot with lid, preheated at 450 F (30 min with the lid on, and another 10-15 min with the lid removed.
    The dough did not rise too much in the oven. The result is a dense tart tasting bread. Not bad,but far than perfect.