Flour Friday: Archipelago Bread

The southwestern Finland is rather famous of its sweet and very dark breads. There’s no definitive way how to make them, there are quite likely as many recipes as there are bakers. I picked up this recipe from some magazine, substituted the sour milk with a mixture of soy milk and yogurt and off to baking I went. The result was a truly wonderful bread, which is why we want to share it with you.

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Archipelago Bread

The “sour milk”:

3,5 dl plain soy yoghurt
3 dl soy milk

Rest of the ingredients:

A package of yeast (50g)
2 dl molasses
2 tsp salt

2 dl wheat bran
2 dl rye flour
2 dl beer malts
6,5 – 7 dl wheat flour

Mix together yoghurt and milk to create the faux sour milk. Warm it up to 37 Celsius degrees and add the yeast, salt and molasses. Combine with wheat bran, rye flour and beer malt. Add wheat flour. Don’t worry if the dough seems worryingly loose or fluid at this point. Let rise under a towel for an hour.

Take two baking casseroles and line them with parchment paper. The bins should be big enough for the dough to half fill them. Cover with a blanket and let raise for another hour.

The dough should have risen now to more or less fill the casseroles (or maybe even a bit over the edges.) Bake in the oven at 175C for 1 hour and 20-50 minutes. When the top looks ready and your kitchen smells wonderful, they’re ready.

If you want a deluxe bread, brush the breads with a mixture of molasses and water after you have removed them from the oven and taken out of the bins.

Let cool and enjoy.

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Flat Bread from Iceland

Flatkaka is a panfried rye flat bread from Iceland. They’re tasty, healthy and quick to make. That would make them ideal for breakfast too. I used this recipe. I found dipping the fried breads in water difficult, next time I’ll try brushing them lightly with water.

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Flatkaka

3,5 dl rye flour
1,5 dl wheat flour
0,5 tsp salt
0,5 tsp baking powder
2,5 dl boiling water

Mix the dry ingredients together. Add the water and mix to form a dough. Divide the dough in six balls. Roll them flat, use wheat flour to prevent the dough sticking to the rolling pin. Poke some holes with fork. If you want to make perfect circles use a plate to cut the edges.

Fry the flat breads on hot dry frying pan, about a minute on both sides. Dip the fried breads in water (or brush them with water) and cover with a towel. Serve with margarine.

mofobanneri2013

Maybe The Best Thing from Karelia

There are lots of different pies that come from Karelia, but for some reason rice pies are called Karelian pies all over Finland. Karelian pies have a thin rye crust and rice porridge as filling. They’re usually served with egg-butter (mixture of boiled eggs and butter, seasoned with salt). Crust can be made from only rye flour, but adding some wheat flour makes it easier to handle. Dough is usually rolled with pulikka, but you can of course use regular rolling pin as well. Similar pies are also often made with mashed potatoes or carrot and rice as filling. Mashed potatoes are my favourite filling, but most people seem to prefer rice.

This recipe is from a cooking zine Trapped Under Slice #2. The recipe was already vegan, so we didn’t even have to substitute dairy products with similar vegan products. Despite the English name, the zine is written in Finnish and I’ve translated the recipe here. The zine also had a recipe for vegan “egg-butter”. I made some minor changes, and the recipe here is written as I made it. I haven’t seen kala namak anywhere, but I suppose it would be better than sea salt for this purpose.

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Karelian Pies (20-30 pcs)

filling:
1 l unsweetened soy (or oat) milk
2 dl porridge rice
2 tbsp margarine
salt

dough:
3 dl water
1 tsp salt
2 dl wheat flour
4-5 dl rye flour

for brushing:
margarine, soy milk

Make the filling first. Bring 2 dl soy milk to boil. Add the rice and simmer until the rice has absorbed the milk. Add the rest of the milk, bring to boil and simmer on low heat about 40 minutes or until your porridge looks ready. Stir often, because the milk burns easily! Add margarine and season with salt. Allow to cool.

The dough: combine water, salt and wheat flour in a bowl. Add enough rye flour to make a nice ball of dough. If you don’t start rolling the dough right away, you can wrap it in plastic wrap and keep in refrigerator.

Divide the dough in two. Wrap one half in plastic wrap to prevent drying. Take the other half and form a stick of it. Cut it in equal size pieces and form them into balls. Roll each ball into a flat oval or circle, use a lot of rye flour. Cover the circles with plastic so they don’t get too dry. Put a heaping tbsp of filling on each circle, spread it, but leave the edges empty. Fold the edges on the filling and pinch them with your fingers. Make pies of the other half of the dough same way.

Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and put the pies on it. They won’t rise or anything, so you don’t need to leave space between them. Bake in 275 Celsius degrees. Melt some margarine and add a little soy milk to it. Brush the baked pies with the mixture (or dip them in it) and cover with a towel. Serve with margarine or eggless spread.

Eggless Spread

125 g (half a package) tofu
oil
1-2 tsp soy sauce
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 dl chickpeas
150 g margarine
sea salt

Crumble the tofu. Heat a little oil in a pan and fry the tofu several minutes. Turn off the heat and add soy sauce and basil. Allow to cool. Mash the chickpeas and combine with tofu mixture and margarine. Season with salt.

mofobanneri2013

Healthbread

Okay, we’re breaking our promise a bit here. This is not from the pages of Kokbok. Apparently my great grand aunt saw this recipe in some magazine and cut it out for later use. Having tasted the bread, I can totally understand why. It’s awesome. The original recipe calls for lactic acid and malt extract, which we omitted. Malt extract is just malt and water anyway, so we just used real malts instead.

Strong healthbread

1dl crushed rye
1,5 dl rye flour
0,5 dl malts
3 dl boiling water

1 tbsp ground aniseeds
3 dl lukewarm water
50 g yeast
1 tsp salt
0,5 dl molasses
3 dl rye flour
about 8 dl wheat flour

Pour boiling water over crushed rye, 0,5dl malts and 1,5 dl rye flour in a bowl.  Let sit for 12 hours. Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water and pour the mixture into the bowl. Add aniseeds, salt, molasses, rye flour and  wheat flour into the bowl. Knead the dough and let rise for 45 minutes. Remove dough from the bowl and make two breads. Let rise for 40 minutes under a blanket. Brush the breads with water and top with some crushed rye. Bake in 175C degrees for 75 minutes.

Where west and east meet

Today is independence day in Finland. It’s quite common for families to eat someting fancy in celebration of this, and even though any level of nationalism is far removed from us, we decided to make something nice today as well. To celebrate the history of modern Finland, we took a bit from Sweden, a bit from Russia and added something indigenous to Finland. Sums the story of our nation quite nicely and makes a wonderful meal.

The main dish is from Sweden, it’s called pitepalt, a filled dumpling. The recipe was borrowed from our western friends, the great Cooking vegan food up north blog. We ate the pitepalt with Italian salad, which is actually a Russian salad, and lingonberries.

The dessert was more Finnish. Bilberry kukko is like a bilberry pie, but it has crust on top and berries under it. It’s originally from Savo, but nowadays it’s eaten all over Finland.

Bilberry Kukko

Filling:
2-2,5 l bilberries or blueberries
0,75 dl sugar
2 tbsp potato flour

Crust:
250 g margarine
1,75 dl sugar
5,25 dl rye flour
2 tsp baking powder

vegan vanilla ice cream for serving

Mix the filling ingredients together. Grease an oven proof dish and put the filling in it. Beat the margarine and sugar in a bowl. Add the flour and baking powder and mix together. Cover the dish with the crust. I use my hands to make it flat, but you can also roll it on the table and then put on top of the dish. Bake in 200 Celsius degrees 40 minutes or until it’s nicely browned. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Setsuuri – Sweet & Sour

This bread comes from south-western Finland and is called setsuuri. It comes from the Swedish words “söt” and “sur”, sweet and sour respectively, which pretty well sums the essence of this rye bread. While definitely sweeter than “usual” Finnish rye breads, this one is still pretty far from the rye breads of central Europe. This works as a normal daily bread, or as a bread for some more festive events. For example my family always has some setsuuri in our family meals.

Breads are an important part of Finnish cuisine. Especially rye bread has been very popular here throughout the ages. One can wonder if initially it became popular because rye is well-suited for the harsh Nordic growing conditions. But it’s not only that, it’s also good for your health as it contains a lot of fibers and doesn’t mess with your blood sugar like white bread does.

Setsuuri

starter:
1 l water
10 g yeast
2 slices of sour rye bread
8 dl rye flour

dough:
75 g yeast
1 dl water
2,5 dl molasses (dark syrup)
1,5 tbsp salt
2-4 tbsp dried bitter orange peel
1 tsp fennel seeds or anis
1-3 tsp caraway seeds (optional)
2 l rye flour
5 dl wheat bran

for brushing:
1 tbsp molasses
1 dl water

Mix the yeast with cool, almost cold, water. Crumble the bread slices as finely as you can. Add the rye flour and mix well. Cover and let the dough become sour in room temperature for 1-2 days.

Dissolve the yeast into small amount of water and add to the sour dough starter, add molasses and spices as well. Add wheat bran and most of the rye flour. Cover with towel and allow to rise for an hour or two. Add the rest of the rye flour, knead and make 4 longish breads (round ones work most likely just as well.) Let rise under a towel for 20-30 minutes. Bake an hour in 200 Celsius degrees. Brush the breads with molasses and water mixture when they’re almost done (after 45-50 minutes) and again when you take them out of the oven. Cover warm breads with a blanket to ensure the crust doesn’t become too hard.

Inkoo Porridge

Inkoo (Ingå) is a municipality of Southern Finland. What makes this small community of fishermen and farmers important relates to potatoes. German migrant workers coming to work at the local iron works brought Finland’s first potatoes with them. In time, this resulted in a very heavy porridge surely enjoyed by physical labourers of all trades, as it was manufactured from readily available ingredients, potatoes and rye, and is very, very filling.

Inkoo Porridge

2 l potatoes
1,5 l water
1 tsp salt
4-6 dl coarse rye flour

Margarine (and plant based milk) for serving

Peel and cube the potatoes. Bring the water to boil, add salt and potato cubes and cook on medium heat until the potatoes are soft. Drain, but save the liquid. Mash the potatoes and pour the liquid back to pot. Stir well and bring to boil. Whisk the rye flour in and simmer ½-1 hours, stir now and then.

We used 4 dl rye flour, but we had to add 2 dl water, because the porridge was so thick that it was impossible to stir.