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Mjukkaka, which also can be spelled "mjuk kaka" or simply referred to as soft cake, is a type of flatbread that originated in Sweden. Several variations are commercially produced, but most are similar to the original bread. The main ingredients traditionally are rye flour, sweeteners, milk, shortening and yeast or a dough starter. The bread, even though leavened with yeast, is prepared and baked in a way so it remains flat and condensed. It can be served with nearly any meal for which bread is appropriate, and the recipe can be modified to allow for a more distinctive taste.
The basic ingredients for mjukkaka are not unlike those of many other bread recipes, although pure rye flour is rarely used in more recent preparations. The flour can be a mix of rye and wheat flours, which some bakers feel provides a gentler texture than just using rye flour. One ingredient that is not often seen in other bread recipes is a type of sweet syrup known as treacle. This ingredient is a result of processing sugar in much the same way as molasses. Although the syrup is not as thick or dark as molasses, it provides a similar sweet taste when incorporated into the dough.
There are variations on the basic ingredients used to make mjukkaka, one of which is potatoes. Boiled potatoes can be worked into the dough to add texture and volume or, alternately, the broth from a dish called blodpalt can be added. Blodpalt is a type of potato and flour dumpling in which the liquid used to help moisten the dumplings is animal blood. The broth from blodpalt contains the starch of the potatoes, some flour and the blood, all of which add flavor and texture to the bread. Another variation involves adding sour cream to the dough for additional moisture.
The mjukkaka is cooked in a high-heat environment, usually in contact with a hot surface such as a cast iron pan or oven wall, or over a fire. Before being cooked, however, the dough is scored or perforated so it does not leaven more than a very small amount. This gives the bread a visual texture. Once completed, the bread can be eaten as part of a sandwich, as a side dish with a stew or toasted and eaten with butter.
Mjukkaka translates as "soft cake". This has led to the name being used to refer to a similar, but ultimately different, type of dish that is really a risen dessert cake. Some of the ingredients are the same, but the cake bears no relation to the bread except in name.
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