Upplandskubb (Uppland bread)

From Cookipedia


SUB Upplandskubb ‘Upplandskubb’ is a rustic bread, with a colour varying between gingerbread and greyish-brown. ‘Upplandskubb’ is baked in a cylindrical shape with a diameter of 16-23 cm. The bread is sold sliced lengthwise in quarters. This means that a slice of this bread is a segment of a circle, with an angle of approximately 90 degrees. The length/height of the bread on sale may vary. The bread has no crust. The rounded edge is relatively smooth, with a soft surface. Its texture is fine and compact, firm and somewhat sticky on the inside, with small cavities. The bread has a grainy, crumbly texture. It is a rich bread with a medium aftertaste.

Aroma: low to medium intensity, with a slightly sweet and sour taste like rye, notes of syrup, and a yeasty, slightly burned aroma.

Flavour: a sweetish taste with clear notes of syrup and seeds, a distinct rye flavour and a slight bitterness to the aftertaste. Low salt. Low acid.

It can be sold fresh or frozen.

Raw materials

The rye flour must be produced in Uppland, and made from rye grown in Uppland. The rye flour may be stone-milled or roll-ground. The flour must be coarse wholemeal flour containing all the parts of the rye grain, that is to say, the grain, germ and hull. The flour must be unsifted.

The wheat flour must be produced in Uppland, and made from wheat grown in Uppland. The wheat flour may be stone-milled or roll-ground. It may be sifted or unsifted. The syrup must be traditional light syrup or dark syrup. ‘Upplandskubb’ must not be made using any other syrups, such as bread syrup, black syrup, bakery syrup or white syrup. The flour may be enriched with vitamin B. The antioxidant ascorbic acid (E300) is permitted as an additive. These restrictions all ensure that the bread keeps its traditional qualities.

Specific steps in production that must take place in the identified geographical area

Production must take place in the identified geographical area. The bread is baked by boiling the cylindrical tin in a water bath.

Concise definition of the geographical area

‘Upplandskubb’ is produced in the geographical area of the county of Uppland. The county of Uppland is in the eastern part of Sweden. It has an area of 12 738 km2.

Specificity of the geographical area

The geographical area of Uppland consists of gently rolling flatlands. The central parts of the area mainly consist of fertile clay soil and the parts at a higher altitude are covered by moraine. A distinctive feature of the landscape are the eskers, such as the Uppsala Esker and Stockholm Esker, which were formed when the inland ice melted away.

The Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute sums up the climate in Uppland as follows: ‘Besides Öland and Gotland, Uppland is the Swedish county with fewest variations in altitude; its highest point is only 113 m above sea level. This means that the temperature is almost entirely determined by the distance to the sea in the east and to some extent by the distance to Lake Mälaren to the south. During the coldest months of the year, the average temperature varies between – 3 °C on the outermost islands in Stockholm’s archipelago in February to – 5 °C in the central northern parts of the county in January. During July, which is the warmest month, the average temperature is around 16 °C virtually throughout the county. At 15,5 °C, the islands off the north-east coast are the coldest area, while central Stockholm is the warmest at 17 °C. The recorded annual rainfall is lowest, at 450 mm, on the islands furthest out to sea, and highest some way in from the north-east coast at up to 650 mm.’.

Agriculture has developed in harmony with the geology, topography, soil types and climate of the area. Rye cultivation has been important in Uppland since the Middle Ages. Around 1570, 33-50 per cent of the grain-growing area was used for rye, rising to more than 50 per cent in some areas. Wheat cultivation began later. At the start of the 19th century, it accounted for 10-20 per cent of the total cultivated land in the area, together with peas, oats and mixed grain.

Characteristic of ‘Upplandskubb’ is that it is made from rye and wheat from the geographical area mixed together with syrup, water and yeast and then kneaded into a dough and left to rise in the cold for a long time. The tin is then placed in a water bath with a lid and the bread is baked for a long time. The bread is not baked in an oven. ‘Upplandskubb’ must be baked in a cylindrical tin with a lid. A tin can, milk bottle, milk pitcher or milk pail with a lid have traditionally been used. The capacity of the tin may vary between 2 litres and 8 litres. Once baked, the bread must be wrapped in a baking cloth for 10-24 hours before it can be cut.

There is a human factor involved in baking ‘Upplandskubb’ according to the special method, which requires good practical knowledge of how best to prepare the dough to suit the raw ingredients and the equipment so as to bring out the special qualities of the bread. ‘Upplandskubb’ can be baked in a range of differently sized tins and using different kinds of flour, and be baked on an electric, gas or wood-burning stove. This means that knowledge of how to adjust the flour, water, tin size, rising time and baking time must be passed from person to person according to the specific conditions. This knowledge is handed down together with the baking equipment.

Causal link between the geographical area and the quality or a specific quality, the reputation or another characteristic of the product

The particular qualities of ‘Upplandskubb’ are closely linked with morphological characteristics and climate and soil conditions in the geographical area. As Sweden covers approximately 14 latitudes and 13 longitudes, it has several different climate zones. Inland ice, in combination with the climate zones, also affects soil types in the area and determines which crops can be grown to a high quality. Uppland is considered to be the first place in Sweden where rye was cultivated, and it is probable that rye came from Finland, where this type of grain has been known since pre-Christian times. Links between Finland and Uppland are long-established. Rye was introduced to Uppland because of its relative lack of susceptibility to drought, which makes it suitable for cultivation in the soil of Uppland, and because of the demand by medieval German immigrants in the Swedish capital nearby (Stockholm is in Uppland) for rye with a high baking and storage quality. In the middle of the 16th century, Olaus Petri (1493-1552) referred to rye bread in historical parts of Sweden, to which Uppland belongs. It is documented that the state demesnes in Uppland increased their rye cultivation and profit in the 16th century due to the good natural conditions and the development of new technology. Historically, this has contributed to Uppland’s reputation as a grain-exporting region. It is therefore unlikely that ‘Upplandskubb’ would have been baked using grain other than that grown in the region.

From the Middle Ages and until the early 20th century, the most important bread was that made with rye from the region. Bread made with wheat was the exception and did not become the ‘normal’ bread in Uppland until the latter half of the 20th century. The region’s usual bread was hard crispbread, made using rye, which was well suited to the culture of food storage. Uppland has Christmas traditions involving richer fare. Oral and written records show that ‘Upplandskubb’ used to be baked for Christmas as a treat for the farm workers, and, later, for city dwellers too, and that it also contained wheat flour, which was far more exclusive than rye flour. ‘Upplandskubb’ is more complicated to bake than crispbread, and this necessitates both a greater knowledge in preparing it and the high-quality flour produced in the area.

Its preparation, which involves both a long rising time at a low temperature and a long baking time at a low temperature, and the fact that the bread cools slowly wrapped in enough towels to ensure that little moisture is lost, result in a moist bread, ensure that the flavours develop in a special way and mean the bread keeps for much longer. The bread is sweetened, which also contributes to its special flavours and ability to keep for a long time. The cylindrical tin used means that the bread bakes evenly and makes good use of cooking utensils, as both the inner tin and the tin used for the water-bath can also be used for other cooking purposes. This combination of characteristics makes the bread unique in bread culture.

Several facts point to the good reputation of ‘Upplandskubb’. The School for Domestic Economy (Fackskolan för huslig ekonomi) in Uppsala, which was founded in 1895, trained teachers and housekeepers in cookery, nutrition and domestic economy. The School included the bread in its recipe collections, making pupils from all over Sweden aware of ‘Upplandskubb’ as an example of a regional bread. Modern texts describing the culinary traditions of Uppland mention ‘Upplandskubb’ as typical of the region.

Carina Eliardsson of Getingarne states that ‘Upplandskubb’ is firmly rooted in the traditions of the farmhouse. She says that ‘Upplandskubb’ has always been baked in the household at Christmas, currently according to a recipe used by her father-in-law’s grandmother. Firm proof of the good reputation of ‘Upplandskubb’ is the fact that when foreign delegates visit the region, the county governor of Uppsala often includes ‘Upplandskubb’ on the menu. Several calls for contributions were made while this application was being written, and some 40 people have been interviewed in depth concerning recipes, traditions, experiences and memories relating to ‘Upplandskubb’. Together with written sources, these interviews confirm ‘Upplandskubb’s’ origins in Uppland.

Reference: The European Commission