Anise, fennel and molasses loaf |

Fennel, anise & molasses

There is a Scandinavian store here in Seattle which I go to from time to time. Last time I found something which I always used when baking bread in Sweden – mörk sirap. It was just a little too expensive for my student budget. But, I found the American equivalent – molasses!

I have never heard of anyone over here using molasses in bread, but you should really try it. It makes a dark looking, sweeter bread. Goes really well with the Swedish bread spices my mom sent to me (ground anise and fennel).

Anise, fennel and molasses sourdough loaf
Some butter and cheese on there is all you need. 

Fennel, anise & molasses loafs

Duration: 24 hours for the pre-dough to get active. Then another 3 hours to let the dough rise and baking the loafs.
Makes two loafs.


Day 1

  • 115 g rye sourdough starter (4 oz)
  • 375 g filtered water (13.2 oz, not fluid!)
  • 185 g bread flour (6.5 oz)

Day 2

  • 1 tbsp ground anise
  • 1 tbsp ground fennel
  • 0.5 tbsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 50 g dark rye flour (1.7 oz)
  • 100 g whole wheat graham flour (3.5 oz)
  • 400 g bread flour (14 oz)

Mix starter, water and bread flour in a bowl and wrap cling wrap around it. Let it sit for 24 hours in room temperature until the pre-dough is active and looks all bubbly. Add spices, salt, molasses, dark rye flour, graham flour and bread flour. Knead and shape into two loafs. Grease two loaf pans or place the loafs on an oven tray. Let the loaves rise for about 2-3 hours.

Place a casserole dish with water in the oven on the lower rack and preheat it to 460°F. Brush water over the loafs (or cold coffee if you like) and put them in the oven. Bake the loafs at 460°F for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 390°F and bake until they have reached an inner temperature of 207°F, approximately 25-30 minutes.