Spiced Christmas Bread

 God Jul is Swedish and means Merry Christmas

This lovely sweet and spiced bread is also eaten on christmas in Sweden, where it is called wort flavored bread. It can be baked with or without raisins, I prefer without since it gets too sweet. This recipe contains no wort, I find the spices the most important!

  • 1000 ml dark beer and coke, combined
  • 100 g butter
  • 100 g baker's yeast
  • 100 ml bitter orange marmalade
  • 100 ml malt syrup
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground anise seeds
  • 1 tsp ground fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom seeds
  • (50 ml raisins)
  • approx. 3500 ml sifted rye flour, or a mix of 2000 ml wheat flour and 1500 ml light rye flour
Melt the butter in a saucepan, pour in the liquid and heat to 37° C or 100° F. Crumble the yeast into a bowl, pour some of the liquid in and stir until it dissolves. Add the remaining liquid as long with syrup, marmalade, salt and spices. Pour in almost all the flour (and raisins) and knead the dough for about 10 min. Let it rise covered with a towel for 30 min.

Put the dough on a floured surface and shape it into three loaves. Place them on a greased baking tray, cover with a towel and let rise for 40 minutes.

Bake loaves at 225°C or 437°F at the lower part of the oven for about 30 minutes. Let cool on a rack with a towel on top.

The bread tastes best with butter and cheese.

Anna's Christmas Red Cabbage

This is a traditional swedish christmas dish that combines well with spareribs. It is usually seasoned with cloves but I never use that, instead I season with a lot of freshly ground white pepper that makes the cabbage slightly hot.

  • 2 kgs red cabbage
  • 4 tart apples
  • 2 onions
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2-3/4 golden syrup
  • 100-200 ml vinegar, light or dark, balsamico or apple cider - it's your choice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper (NOT black pepper)
Shred the cabbage finely, peel the apples and cut them into wedges. Peel and chop the onion. Melt butter in a large pan and fry the cabbage, stirring occasionally. Add apples, onion, salt and vinegar and stir. Put the lid on and let the cabbage cook on low heat until soft, about 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the syrup and white pepper, stir and season to taste. Add more syrup, vinegar, salt or pepper until you think it tastes good.

Tomas's Creamy Pasta Sauce

A recipe my sister got from a neighbour who is a chef. Not suitable for persons who dislike garlic or cream.

  • 1 can of ham
  • a half leek
  • 3-4 fresh tomatoes
  • 3-5 garlic cloves
  • 50 ml plain flour
  • 500 ml of milk
  • 200 ml of creme fraiche or clotted cream or double cream
  • 300 ml of whipping cream

Rinse the leek and slice it. Cut the ham into cubes. 
Blanch the tomatoes by dipping them into boiling water for 20 seconds and cool in cold water. Peel them and cut into cubes.

Fry the leeks in butter in a saucepan along with the pressed garlic. Dust with flour and dilute while stirring in the milk. Add the sour cream and whipping cream and let the sauce simmer while stirring. Add the ham and tomato dices and let the sauce boil up again with gentle agitation. Season with black pepper and salt.

Serve with freshly boiled favorite pasta and a green salad.

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