Archive for the ‘Loaves’ Category

Huh, I made it – as promised I shall post a recipe before taking off to Lapland. And the recipe is the long promised Finnish Archipelago Bread commonly known as Saaristolaisleipä. It’s a simple bread to make, though the ingredients might not be so simple to find (unless you are in Finland where they sell all those even in the smallest local store). The original version is here (only Finnish, though).

Finnish Archipelago Bread (makes 2 tin loaves)

1L    Buttermilk

75g    Fresh yeast

420g    Dark syrup / molasses

10g    Salt

60g    Wheat bran

240g    Brown malt

180g    Rye flour

700g    Wheat flour

Butter for the bread pans

35g syrup and 70g water for brushing the loaves during the bake

1. Weight out the dry ingredients into a huge bowl.

2. Warm the buttermilk over a low heat in a pot ’till luke warm.  Measure the syrup and yeast into a bowl and pour the luke warm buttermilk over them. Mix ’till combined, with hand or spoon.

3. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients. Mix well ’till everything is fully combined. There’s really no room for kneading here, the mixture is really soggy. That’s why one can also use a spoon – as long as you manage to make everything come together.

4. To make sure that the dough doesn’t rise over the edges, divide it into two bowls. Then cover them with a towel and leave to rest for 90 minutes. After 60-75 minutes you can turn on your oven to 175°C degrees.

5. Once the proofing time is somewhat over, butter two equal bread pans, about 1L volume. Divide the dough into the tins. There’s really no need for punching the dough down, just scrape it out of the bowl right into the pans. If you want to be quite exact, it’s best to use scales and measure that both the pans have equal amount of dough. Then both the loaves will surely get the same bake.

6. Having managed to divide your dough into the pans, place them on a baking rack on the very bottom of your oven.

7. Bake the breads altogether for 2 hours. Don’t mind if they take a lot of color, there’s no need to worry. Just let them be and don’t go opening the oven or covering them. After 1,5 hours of baking, take the tins out one by one and brush them properly with some syrup and water mixture. For equal baking result rotate the tins and place back into the oven for another 30 minutes.

8. Take the bread pans out and leave the loaves to cool into their tins. Cut only once cooled, best would be after a day or few. This bread stays good for quite a while – and actually gets more dense and tasty with the time. I store mine simply covered with a cloth in a room about 21°C degrees, but if you really want to be sure they stay alright, fridge is the best option.

So simple and so good, this bread has something to chew on, too! Best with a little bit of butter and some gravlax.


Ps. Been a bit busy for few days, dad and I build a new house for the raccoon dogs. Don’t think they’ll appreciate the central location, though.

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So, how could a regular homebaker get bubbles in his/her bread? Very easily – all one needs is a wet dough and a gentle touch. This recipe of bread with bubbles bases on the focaccia recipe, but actually now seems quite different than the original version.. Well, the main thing is that both the recipes make delicious bread! For making some bread with bubbles, make sure you have about 3 hours of spare time.

Dough, makes one bread with bubbles

500g /8 dl All-purpose white flour

420-430g /4,5dl Water (the warmer liquid the looser dough, so use cool water in order to make baking easier)

15g / 1/3 of a package Fresh yeast

11g /2,5 ts Salt

30g /3 tbs Oil (been using olive oil, but brother prooved that even regular canola oil works) + some more for later

Spices for topping, I usually use finger salt and rosemary, but anything is possible!

1. Begin by measuring  flour into a bowl. Measure water and yeast into another bowl. Dissolve the yeast.

2. Pour the liquid through your fingers into the flour – this way you’ll catch the possible undissolved bits of yeast.

3. Then combine everything well together until there are no dry parts. Squeeze the dough trough your fingers to make sure there are no flour-lumps. If you want to save your hands from the trouble, using a kneading hook is possible as well. 

4. Once you find no more dry bits, scrape down the edges of the bowl. Then let the dough rest for 10 minutes.

5. Pour the salt on the top of the dough. Then do your first knead (I’ve got a dictionary page for this!), 25 kneads ought to be good. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.

5. Second knead and another 10 minutes of rest.

6. Finally do your third knead and let the dough rest for about 30 minutes. I suggest, you cover the dough with a kitchen towel.

7. Next, fold the dough (again, see the dictionary page ) on an oiled baking paper or tray. At this point you should start seeing some bubbles. Always when folding or stretching the dough work with oiled hands. Let the dough rest about 15-30 minutes.

8. Second fold and another 15-30 minutes of rest. Also, turn your oven on to 200 °C. Place an oven tray to warm up there, too.

9. Place a baking paper on top of another tray or cutting board, somewhere where it’s easy to slide off from. Then lift the dough up on the baking paper. Let the bottom edge  hit the middle of the paper. Then let the dough fall a bit towards you and finally fold the upper edge over the rest, so that it reminds “a ball”. Let it rest for 10 minutes.

13. Then gently stretch the dough by placing your fingers underneath it. Keep your fingers straight and do not grab the dough – this is important, so that you don’t damage the bubbles we’ve worked so hard for. Do not stretch the dough too much at once and let the dough have a few minutes of rest every now and then. Keep working, ’till the dough is even and about 2-5 cm thick.

15. Stretch the dough a little bit more and dimple it with your fingers. Dimpling is not necessary, if you are not planning to place anything into the holes. Then put your favourite spices on top and the bread is ready for oven. I suggest you pour some oil on the top as well.

15. Pull the baking paper with the bread on top of the preheated oven tray. Bake the bread in 200°C on the lower part of the oven for about 30 minutes, ’till it’s lovely golden brown.

16. Let the bread cool down a bit, cut open and discover, oh so lovely, bubbles! Enjoy as fast as you can – this bread doesn’t get better as the days pass by…

And now you know how to make this:

And since you got the hang of the dough, it’s possible for you to create bubbles in any sorts of bread you make, huh? Send me some pics, if it turns out awesome!


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The pig

So that anyone even stands a chance of baking this for Christmas, here comes the recipe for the Pig.

Note! More pictures of the process are displayed on the Gallery-page

Dough, makes one good piggy

250g          Mild water

53g             Syrup

20g             Fresh yeast

9g                Salt

80g             Fine rye flour (in Finnish: sihtiruisjauho)

320g           Wheat flour

1. Weight out the flours and salt into a bowl.

2. Weight out the water, syrup and yeast into another bowl and mix them. Add into the flour mixture.

3. Combine well by kneading, cover with a towel and leave to rest for 35 minutes.

4. After proofing, take a little bit (about 50g) of the dough aside and form a ball out of the rest.

5. Place the ball on top of a baking sheet and let it rest covered for 25 minutes.

6. On the meantime, you can roll out the dough taken aside, about 3mm should be a good thickness. Then with the help of a cookie shaper, an apple drill and a pizza slicer, you can form pig nose and ears out of it. The pic underneath shows you how they ought to be like. Cover also these, to avoid them from drying.

7. After the rest-time, attach the nose and ears. Take a little cup of water, and moist the parts from one-side. Glue them into the pig. Be sure you moisture the other ear so that it goes different way around.

8. Then with a chopstick or such make two little holes on the pig’s face for the eyes. Tuck raisins (deep) into the holes. Let the pig rest for another 35 minutes.

9. Put the oven and a tray to heat up to 220°C degrees.

10. When the time comes, slide the pig with the baking paper on top of the hot oven tray, and let them bake  on the low level for 15 minutes.

11. Then take them out to be brushed with syrup-water-mixture (1/3 syrup, 2/3 water) and tuck back into the oven. Now you can lower the heat to 200°C degrees.

12. Let the pig bake for another 15 minutes, ’till nice golden brown. Then take it out, let it cool a bit and enjoy.


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Ho-hoo! Guess who came to visit me – a whole family of pigs!
Here’s a family portrait;

And another;

And don’t tell the rest.. ..but I think I ate one of ’em!



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