Cast Iron Pot Bread

August 25, 2015

This is my weekend bread because it takes a while until it's ready, but the taste is worth every minute. 

Do you already have a sourdough starter? If not, it's easy to make by yourself. Here's a no-fuss sourdough starter recipe for you.

1 bread

First day

Starter dough:
1 dl (100 g) sourdough starter 
1,5 dl (150 g) lukewarm water
1,5 dl (100 g) wheat flour 

Mix together the sourdough starter, water and the flour. Cover with a tea towel and leave at room temperature for 7–9 hours.

Water and spelt mixture:
1,5 dl (150 g) water
1,5 dl (100 g) spelt grains

Boil up the water and spelt grains. Set aside to cool. 

Flour mixture:
4 dl (400 g) cold water
18 dl (1150 g) wheat flour
1 dl (50 g) graham flour
0,5 dl (30 g) rye malts for bread (flour)

Stir together the water and spelt mixture, 4 dl cold water and the flours. Set aside for 30 minutes.

Starter dough mixture:
10 g fresh yeast
1 tbsp salt
1 dl (70 g) crushed rye grains
starter dough

Blend the yeast, salt and crushed rye grains with the starter dough. 

And finally, the dough:
Combine the flour mixture with the starter dough mixture and knead gently for 5 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl. Cover with a tea towel.

Stretch and fold the dough for the first time after 60 minutes. Stretch and fold 3 more times in 30-minute interval. 

Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise at room temperature overnight.

Second day

Next morning, turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Lift the sides of the dough and fold them gently back towards the center a few times. Shape the dough into a loaf and put it into an oiled bowl. 

Cover and leave to rise for 2 hours.

Place a lidded cast iron pot in the cold oven and preheat it to 250°C. Remove the lid from the pot and flip the risen dough into the hot pot. Place the lid back on top and put the pot back into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the lid, turn the temperature down to 200°C and bake for a further 25 minutes. 

Let cool on a wire rack.



August 21, 2015

Sometimes we all have an old bread (or two) in our kitchen. It's always a joyful challenge for me because I hate throwing away food. I try to find smart ways to use these leftover breads up. I will also post these recipes to my blog even though they are not baking recipes.

Non-alcoholic bread beer, kvass is brewed from dried rye bread.

7 l (7 kg) water
500 g rye bread 
2 dl (170 g) sugar
fresh yeast

Cut the bread into slices and place the pieces in the oven heated to 175°C. Take them out when they are dried.

Place the dried rye bread pieces in a large pot and pour 7 l of boiling water over them. Cover the pot with a lid and leave it at room temperature overnight. 

Carefully and slowly pour the liquid into another container through cheese cloth.

Add 1 dl sugar into the liquid. Caramelize the rest of the sugar (1 dl) and add it into the liquid too.

Put a pea-size piece of fresh yeast into every one-liter bottle. Pour the liquid into the bottles. Let rest at room temperature for 5–7 hours.

Store the bottles in a cool place away from direct sunlight. The kvass is ready after 3 or 4 days.


Islander Crispbread

August 19, 2015

Islander Crispbread is flavored with rosemary, which gives a nice woody taste to it. I love rosemary! This fact might be the reason why I place Islander Crispbread on my top 10 list of the best breads ever to grace the table. 

This is also my regular hostess gift, when I have got an invitation to a summer house in the Turku archipelago because it's so delicious and crispbread will keep extremely well in all kinds of storage conditions.

20 pcs.

3 dl (300 g) water
3 dl (100 g) rolled spelt
0,5 dl (45 g) cooking oil
0,5 tsp salt
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 dl (60 g) rye flour
2 dl 
(120 g) wheat flour 
1 dl (60 g) linseeds
On top:
sea salt flakes

Boil up the water. Stir in rolled spelt and set aside to cool slightly. Add cooking oil to the porridge. Mix the dry ingredients together and combine with the spelt mix.

Line your baking tray with a parchment paper and turn the dough out onto it. Flatten the dough with your hands until it's 3 millimeter thin. Pat some sea salt flakes on the top. Cut the sheet into squares with a knife or a roller cutter. Poke the surface randomly with a fork.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Bake for 40 minutes. Switch the oven off and leave the bread in the oven to dry in the afterheat.

Cut into pieces. Place on a rack and allow them to cool.


Chanterelle Bread

August 11, 2015

Here in Finland the first chanterelles of the season generally arrive by the third or fourth week in July, at the same time as the first blueberries. They are picked up and eaten as soon as we come home with our catch. The next ones might end up into a loaf. 

2 breads

3 dl (300 g) lukewarm water
0,5 dl (45 g) cooking oil
25 g fresh yeast
0,5 tsp salt
6 dl (400 g) wheat flour

2-4 dl (1-2 cup, US) chanterelle and onion mix cooked in the butter and seasoned with salt and white pepper
0,5 dl (50 g) roasted sunflower seeds
0,5 dl (30 g) roasted pumpkin seeds

1 egg
pinch of salt
sunflower seeds
pumpkin seeds

Stir the yeast, cooking oil and salt into lukewarm water. Mix in the flour. Knead the dough until it feels bouncy and elastic. 

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

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth, then divide the dough into two pieces. Roll both pieces out to a square. Spread over the mushroom and onion mix and sprinkle with the seeds. Roll up and place on a parchment lined tray. Make five cuts in both breads with a sharp knife.

Cover and leave to rise at room temperature for 25–30 minutes. 

Add a pinch of salt into the egg and whisk slightly. (The salt breaks down the globs, making the egg watery and easier to spread.) Brush with a beaten egg and sprinkle with sunflower and pumpkin seeds. 

Preheat the oven to 225°C. Bake for 20 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack, cover and let cool.


Slow Food Bread

August 03, 2015

This bread is a pure sourdough in that it has no added yeast – just wild yeast. It resembles the Malt Loaf (Scandinavian Bread recipe on the 29th of January, 2015) even though the taste is quite different.

The recipe takes 24 hours to make from start to finish, but don't hurry, because the long fermentation and slow overnight rise gives the bread its spectacular taste. 

A fan oven gives the bread a lovely crust. If you don't have one, rise the oven temperature 25°C and toss a handful of ice cubes into a bowl on the bottom of the oven right before putting in the bread.

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

1 bread

First day

0,75 dl (80 g) sourdough starter
1 dl (100 g) lukewarm water
2 dl (100 g) spelt flour

Mix together the sourdough starter, water and the flour. Cover with a tea towel and leave at room temperature for 7 hours.

1,5 tsp salt
2 dl (200 g) lukewarm water
5 dl (100 g) (330 g) wheat flour

Blend the salt, lukewarm water and the wheat flour with the starter dough. Knead vigorously for 10 minutes.

Cover and leave to rise at room temperature for 4 hours.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it gently. Shape into a long loaf and put it into a loaf tin. 

Cover and leave to rise in the fridge for 12 hours.

Second day

Preheat the fan oven to 250°C. Put the bread into the oven and turn the temperature down to 225°C. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 200°C and bake until the bread is golden brown. Take the bread out of the tin and knock on its base to see does it sound hollow, as this ensures the bread is baked through.

Let cool on a wire rack.