There’s a time for taking your time. For kneading buns, gazing out of the kitchen window, entering a meditative state… Then there are other times, when you wish you could sink your teeth into freshly-made bread right now — and there’s none to be had. Or… is there? This quick Swedish frying pan bread or glödhoppor is your new favorite. It will get the job done in, let’s say, 15 minutes.
The cast iron stoves didn’t enter Swedish homes until the end of the 19th century. Before that, people on the countryside relied on having baking stoves in a baking house on the farm or in the village. But, in the summer farms, these baking stoves were a rarity. After all, the young girls tending to the cow would be occupied with turning the milk into butter and cheese, and not have much time for baking.
If they wanted fresh bread, they would mix flour from barley, wheat or rye together with sour milk or water and spices and fry it in a frying pan or on a hot stone by the fireplace. Some common names are glödhoppor, glöhano and stompa. “Glöd” means glowing embers and “hoppa” is to jump.
How to make quick Swedish frying pan bread
The frying pan breads of the olden days hardly contained golden syrup, but today’s versions do get better with it. These breads are quick and simple to make for excursions, camping, or just a delicious weekend breakfast. Skip the anise and fennel seed if you like. Makes 16 breads:
6 dl (2,5 cups) finely ground rye flour
6 dl (2,5 cups) wheat flour
1,5 tsp baking soda
1,5 tsp salt
1,5 tsp anise, finely ground
1,5 tsp fennel seed, finely ground
4 dl (just over 1,5 cups) sour milk (or natural yoghurt)
5 tbsp golden syrup (or honey)
flour for dusting the hands and bench
Mix the rye flour, wheat flour, baking soda, salt, anise and fennel seed in a bowl. Add the sour milk or yoghurt and the golden syrup or honey. Mix it with your hands to an even, thick dough. It can be a little bit sticky but not so much that it refuses to stay in shape.
Divide the dough into 16 pieces and roll them into balls. Flatten the balls out with the hands dusted with flour or with a flour-dusted rolling pin. Prick the breads with a fork.
Heat a frying pan, preferably of cast iron, to a high temperature, then lower it to mid heat. Fry the breads a few minutes on each side in the dry pan. The breads should get some color and be baked through. The breads are best when they are still fresh.