Finnish Bread

Sour rye bread has been an important part of Finnish diet for a long time, but making a good rye bread at home isn’t easy. Maybe we should have a good wood oven instead of our regular electric oven. Or maybe our sour dough starter wasn’t good enough. Who knows.

Another popular grain has been barley, and barley breads are easier to make at home. We borrowed Jaakko Kolmonen’s book about breads around Finland called “Suomen maakunta leivät”. From the book I found a recipe for Rievä, which is a barley bread originally around Tampere. It’s soft and porous and best eaten fresh. It was also easy to make.


5 dl lukewarm water
25 g yeast
1 tsp salt
200 g wheat flour
300 g barley flour

Dissolve the yeast and salt to the water. Add wheat flour and stir until well mixed. Add the barley flour and stir for a while. Sprinkle flour on top of the dough. Cover with a towel and allow to rice about 30 minutes. The dough is very soft and it won’t double in size like usual bread doughs.

Sprinkle flour on table and take the dough out from the bowl. Make sure your hands are well floured, so the dough won’t stick on them. Divide the dough in two pieces. Knead the dough balls with the flour until it’s easier to handle. Make two round breads and pat them relatively flat. Cover with towel and allow to rise 30 minutes. Poke few holes with a fork. Bake 30-35 minutes in 250 Celsius degrees.


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