Heart Rolls

July 28, 2015

My sweet little boy asked me to bake heart-shaped rolls "because we love each other so much". How could I say no? 

10 pcs.

1,5 dl (150 g) mash (leftover from brewing beer)
3,5 dl (350 g) water

25 g fresh yeast
1 tsp salt
1 dl (35 g) rolled spelt flakes
1 dl (60 g) apricot marmalade
0,5 dl (70 g) honey
4 dl (220 g) rye flour
about 7 dl (450 g) wheat flour

Stir the yeast and salt into lukewarm water/mash mix. Mix in the rolled spelt flakes, apricot marmalade, honey and rye flour. Keep kneading and adding wheat flour until the dough is bouncy and elastic. It's impossible to tell the exact amount of wheat flour to use, it depends on the moisture of the mash. If you are unsure, a little less is always better than too much.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it gently. Roll the dough into a rope. Cut it into 10 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Make a slit, 1/2 lengthwise, on the side of each ball. Pull cut ends apart. Place on a parchment lined tray.

Cover and leave to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 250°C. Bake for 10–12 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack, cover and let cool.


Cheese Scones

July 20, 2015

This recipe is perfect choice when your friends drop by for a surprise visit. 

Caraway seed is widely used in Scandinavian cooking. It will give a licorice like taste in the scones. If you like, add some into the dough, or leave it out. If you don't have caraway seeds, the best substitute for them are dill seeds or anise seeds. 

Västerbotten cheese is a hard cow's milk cheese with a fat content of 31% and strong flavour. You can substitute it whatever strong cheese you like best. These delicious scones are also a wonderful way to use up some leftover cheese.

8 pcs.

4 dl (250 g) wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
0,8 tsp salt
2 tsp caraway seeds
1 dl (40 g) Västerbotten cheese, shredded
50 g butter, melted
2 dl (200 g) milk

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and caraway seeds. Add the shredded cheese and mix through the flour mixture.

Pour the melted butter and milk into the mixture, stirring with a spatula to make a soft dough. Add some extra milk if the dough looks dry.

Line the baking tray with a parchment paper. Divide the dough in half and place it on the baking tray. Pat out the pieces of dough into two rectangles, about 5 mm thick.

Using a floured cutter, cut out 8 scones. Poke with a fork.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Serve, still warm, with lashings of butter.


Cranberry Loaf

July 14, 2015

Cranberry Loaf is one of my son's favorite breads. So, I often bake this mildly sour bread.

If you don't have a sourdough starter in the fridge, you can easily make one with this recipe.

1 loaf

First day

1 dl sourdough starter
2 dl lukewarm water
3 dl wheat flour

Mix together the sourdough starter, water and the flour. Cover with a tea towel and leave at room temperature overnight.

Second day

2,5 dl water
2 dl spelt grains
the starter dough from the evening before
2 tsp salt
4 dl water
25 g fresh yeast
2 dl dried cranberries
6 dl wheat flour
about 6 dl fine, dark wheat flour (yeast bread wheat flour)

Put the spelt grains into a bowl and pour in the boiling water. Let it cool down until hand warm.

Blend the salt, lukewarm water, yeast, dried cranberries and the spelt grains with the starter dough. Keep kneading and adding flour until the dough is bouncy and elastic, this takes about 10 minutes.

Cover and leave to rise at room temperature for 2 hours.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it until it's elastic again. Shape into a long loaf. Line the baking tray with parchment paper and put the bread on it.

Cover and leave to rise at room temperature for 45 minutes.

Put a baking tray into the oven and preheat it to 250°C. Using the parchment paper slide the bread into the oven. Bake for 5 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 200°C and bake for a further 50 - 60 minutes.

Cover and let cool on a wire rack.


No-fuss Sourdough Starter

July 12, 2015

Making a batch of sourdough starter is as easy as stirring together some flour and water and letting it sit at room temperature for a while. That’s all! After a couple of days the mixture will bubble and it has a pleasingly sour aroma. 

Anyway, I'd recommend starting with organic flour and adding some honey into the mix because it gives the starter the best chance to become active. So, whisk 

2 dl (200 g) water
2 dl (100 g) organic spelt flour (or organic wheat flour)
1 tbsp honey

in a lidded jar and set the lid loosely on top of it. Let the starter sit for three days at room temperature (22–24 °C). Give it a look every day and stir the mixture. Add some flour if it looks watery. 

Three days later, whisk in 1 dl organic spelt flour and 1 dl water. Let sit for 24 hours until your starter is smelling sour and looking brisk and bubbling. Don’t worry if the starter has been slow to get going. Give it a few more days and things probably will have progress.

Now you can use the sourdough starter at once or cover it tightly and store it in the refrigerator.

If you place it in the fridge, keep in mind, the starter is a living thing. You must care for it and feed it at least once a week. Take it out, whisk in 1 dl organic spelt flour and 1 dl water and let the starter sit out overnight before putting it back in the fridge. When your starter starts filling up the jar, remove some and give it to a friend or better yet, get baking! 


Sage Loaf

July 07, 2015

Finland's oldest city, Turku, hosted an annual Middle Ages festival on June 25th to 28th 2015. The history of Turku Castle begins in the 1280's and the building and the yard of the castle were at the centre of this year's food-themed festivities. The vendors sold medieval herbs like rosemary, mint, lemon balm, oregano, lovage and my personal favorite sage.

Sage is a perfect match for apples and pork, but it's a lovely addition to a bread dough too.  

1 big loaf

5 dl (500 g) cold water
13 g fresh yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp dried sage
1,5 dl (150 g) oatmeal
3 dl (200 g) wheat flour
7-8 dl (500 g) dark wheat flour

Stir the yeast, salt, sage and oatmeal into the cold water. Whisk 3 dl wheat flour into the mixture. Gradually mix in the rest of the flour. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until smooth.

Cover and leave to rise at room temperature for 2 hours. 

Form the dough into a large loaf on a floured work surface. Line a baking tray with parchment paper, place the bread on it, cover and leave to rise for an hour. 

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Bake for about 30 minutes. The bread is ready if it sounds hollow, when you knock on its base.