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.



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.



Flour Friday: Pizza

This cheesy goodness is completely vegan!

My favourite hobby in autumn is picking mushrooms, so we often eat forest mushroom. But if forest mushrooms aren’t available, you can substitute them with any mushrooms you can get. You can also use oat milk or any other plant based milk instead of soy milk, but in that case you may need to add a little more flour.


Mushroom Pizza

2,5 dl water
12 g (1/4 package) yeast
1 tsp sugar
pinch of salt
1-2 dl rolled oats
5-6 dl wheat flour
1-2 tbsp oil

ketchup or mixture of ketchup and tomato puree
2 l chopped forest mushrooms (we had a combination of chanterelles and porchini)
1 tbsp oil
fresh basil and oregano

cheese sauce:
4 dl soy milk
4 tbsp flour
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
0,5 dl oil
1,5 tbsp ketchup
0,5 tsp paprika
0,5 tsp garlic powder
salt, pepper

Combine water, yeast, sugar and salt and stir until everything is dissolved in water. Stir in oats and knead a dough with a wheat flour, you may need little less or more. Add oil in the end of the kneading. Cover with a towel and allow to rise until doubled in size. Punch down and roll into rectangle size of a baking sheet, or make 2 round pizzas. Cover again with towel and allow to rise while you prepare the toppings.

Sauté the mushrooms on a pan until the water comes out of them. Discard the water or continue sautéing until it’s evaporated. Add oil and fry few minutes.

Whisk all the sauce ingredients together in a saucepan. Heat on medium (medium-high) heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce starts bubbling and gets thicker.

Spread a thin layer of ketchup on pizza dough, and spread the mushrooms next. Sprinkle herbs on top of the mushrooms. Pour cheese sauce all over the pizza and bake 20 minutes (or until it looks ready) in 225 Celsius degrees. Allow to cool a little before cutting.


Lithuanian Cold Borscht

At first I was going to make regular borscht using cabbage, beets, carrots and lentils, but then Nomad found these Lithuanian beet soup recipes which sounded more interesting. Soup was nice, and it would be a great starter for a dinner on a hot summer day.

The soup is usually made of buttermilk, but we used oat milk. Boiled eggs are also often used to the soup or the bowl of soup is topped with some boiled egg, but we just omitted them. If you’d like to get some protein to the soup, crumbled tofu would probably work fine. I think Šaltibarščiai is not usually served with sour cream, but I think a dollop of plain soy yogurt was nice, so I added some to my soup bowl.



10 small beets
water for boiling
2/3 big cucumber
1 small red onion
5 dl beet boiling water
5 dl oat or soy milk
2 tsp dried dill or parsley OR 2 tbsp fresh
1,5 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper
plain soy yogurt for serving (optional)

Boil the beets, save 5 dl boiling water and let cool. Peel and grate cooled beets. Chop cucumber and onion. Mix grated beets, cucumber, onion and reserved boiling water. Add enough plant based milk to get desired consistency. Season with dill, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Refrigerate about an hour before serving.


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.


Karelian Pies (20-30 pcs)

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

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
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.


Beet Stems

Usually people eat only the beet roots and discard the stems, but they really shouldn’t. Beet stems and leaves can be used for example in salads or tomato based sauces. The book “Kansan kotiruoka ja kotitalous” had this recipe for a bechamel sauce with beet stems. We reduced the amount of salt and substituted the dairy products with non-dairy alternatives. The book recommends this sauce with meat dishes, but we had potatoes and lentil patties.

Beet Stem Sauce

6 dl coarsely chopped beet stems and leaves
water, salt
2 tbsp margarine
3 tbsp wheat flour
5-8 dl soy or oat milk
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp salt

Put the chopped beet stems and leaves in a pot with some water and salt, boil until tender and drain. Melt the margarine in a pot and stir in the flour. Add some milk, stir well and add the rest of the milk in several batches. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring often. Add the beet stems and leaves, season with sugar and salt, bring to boil and serve.

Finnish Pancake

As I’ve mentioned before, American style pancakes aren’t usually eaten here in Finland. We prefer crepes if we fry them on pan. We do have a dessert called pancake, but it’s baked in the oven. I have made a lacto-ovo pancake over ten years ago and recently I wanted to try to make vegan pancake recipe. After a little experimenting I succeeded to create this recipe. Yesterday we had some pancake with bilberry jam for dessert.

Finnish Pancake

5 dl soy milk
1,5 dl barley flour
1,5 dl wheat flour
1 tsp cardamom
scant 0,5 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp oil
2 tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
margarine for greasing the dish
jam for serving

Whisk soy milk and both flour together and let sit 15-30 minutes. Add rest of the ingredients and whisk until mixed. Grease a 20 x 30 cm dish with margarine. Pour the pancake batter in it. Bake about 40 minutes in 200 Celsius degrees or until nicely browned. Serve with jam.

Mushroom Filled Crepes

Weather is getting colder and forest mushroom season is almost over. Yesterday I went to forest after work and found some sheep polypores, and few other mushrooms. Not much, but enough for a dinner.

American style thick pancakes are not usually eaten here in Finland. We prefer thinner ones, and they can be savoury or sweet. Savoury ones with spinach or carrot are usually little thicker than sweet crepes. I made some carrot crepes and used the mushrooms for the filling. We also had vinegar cucumbers on the side. The crepe recipe makes about 12 crepes, but the filling wasn’t enough for all of them. We ate last two or three with lingonberries.

Carrot Crepes

1 l soy milk
3 dl wheat flour
3 dl barley flour (or use 6 dl wheat flour)
3 big carrots
2 tbsp oil
margarine for frying

Whisk the milk, flours and salt together and let sit 10-30 minutes. Meanwhile peel the carrots and grate them finely. Mix everything, melt some margarine in a frying pan and fry as thin crepes as you can. 

Mushroom and Broccoli Filling

1 l forest mushrooms (or about 250 g button mushrooms)
2 tbsp oil
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
florets of 1 broccoli or 1 whole small broccoli
2 dl soy yogurt
white pepper
lemon juice

Sauté the mushrooms in a dry pan until the water comes out of them. Discard the water or fry until evaporated. Chop the onion, garlic and broccoli. Add oil and chopped vegetables to the pan when there’s no more water in it. Simmer until onions and broccoli are soft, stir occasionally. Add yogurt and season with salt, pepper, lemon juice and herbs. Heat thoroughly. Put some filling on each crepe and roll.