Multigrain Bread – Shaken Not Kneaded

Do you want to bake a real rye bread but have no time and next to zero of baking confidence. I found you a perfect recipe and success is guaranteed. You will shine as star-baker, this is a big cheat, but you get extra healthy bread. If you are not fan of baking mixes, I am sure this the exception, Ikea multigrain bread mix. It comes in 700 grams tetra-pac. Your magic touch is needed only to add 600 ml water, shake and pour the dough in greased baking pan and bake. It passed all the taste tests in my Nordic kitchen.

I am heavy user of sourdough rye bread, you know they give piece of rye bread for babies before pacifier in Finland, hence eternal love for dark rye bread. When I found the multigrain bread mix from Ikea food store and by looking at ingredients I knew this is a good buy. Wheat Flour 21%, wheat flakes 20%, rye flakes 17%, coarse rye flour 13%, sunflower kernels 8%, linseed 6%, barley malt 4%, rye sourdough powder, salt and dry yeast. It is healthy bread!
Multigrain Rye Bread
Healthy multigrain rye loaf:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 C degrees
2. Grease the small bread loaf tin (23 x 13 x 5 cm)
3. Shake the bread mix packet to loosen the flours
4. Add 600 ml lukewarm water (to allow yeast to work) and shake well
5. Pour into greased baking tin and let stand 45 minutes
6. Bake 50-60 minutes in 200 C

Notes from baker, cover is hardish, do not mind, if you let it cool and cover with tea towel it will soften.

Simply enjoy with your favorite spread, mine is salted butter, works always with freshly baked bread.

Sprüngli Truffle Cake – wonky chocolate cake

Seductive specialties, light and airy temptations, delicately smooth chocolate indulgences, confectioner’s craft with tradition. Sprüngli is loaded with superlatives. I got their classic truffle cake recipe and boy it did not dissappoint.  I want to think  my homemade truffle cake belongs to that 1st class.NakedPlate-TruffleCake

Read More »

Helsinki Food Foto and Mari’s Lemon Cake

Look at my re-creation of Helsinki’s top cake model! I have NOT fancied any citrusy cakes so far, but this beauty turned my head. I call it Mari’s Lemon Cake because she baked one gorgeous juicy cake to our picnic at Helsinki Food Foto workshop on June. It was the most photographed target at the picnic. Scroll down and read further to get the recipe and look at the pictures of #HelsinkiFoto2014.

Lemoncake with Summer Berries

Food Styling and Photography Workshop

I have this desire to take photos of food and I am always keen to learn something new on shooting edible things. When I heard that Meeta from What’s For Lunch, Honey?, Simone from Simone’s Kitchen and Mari from Something Tasty came up with food photography and styling workshop in Finland, in my hometown Helsinki, I did not think twice. I enrolled in at once. I have experience from couple of Meeta’s workshops in Dubai and wanted to see what Helsinki will offer, after all Helsinki is wonderful at summer time when we have nightless nights and nature and people shows their best.

Compared to some other photography courses Meeta’s workshops are excellent combo of learning how to style the food and take the best food photos, cooking, eating, tasting different kind of cuisines (specially in Dubai) and best of all meet and get to know like minded people from all over the world. We had so much fun with Sari, Marja-Riitta, Denisa, Alanna, Bente, Kaisa, Nancy and Marisa. I learned a lot not only from Mari, Meeta and Simone but from all of my learning buddies.

If I have to pick up one single take away from Helsinki photography workshop, it would be Artificial light hands on exercise with simple led light Ikea lamps (look for model Jansjö). I can’t believe how easy it was to create home studio with simple led light and couple of reflectors.
BerryGranola_IkeaLights_dark mood


Food and Helsinki

On first evening we had enjoyable delicious dinner at Toca restaurant. Finnish, Italian and global tastes on the plate by serving fresh and high-quality ingredients precisely cooked so you can savor their distinguished and classical flavors in a “kick back and enjoy” atmosphere as they correctly claim.

On second day we had typical summer picnic on rainy…no, sunny…actually rainy sunny day at Sinebrychoff Park at Punavuori mid of Helsinki. Passersby were so jealous of our setting and food. Carrot cake, lemon cake, zucchini noodle salad, quinoa tomato salad, salmon sandwiches, bubbly drinks to name few. Look at yourself…

HelsinkiFoto2014-Fiskars groupie

Our slogan for workshop project was “The Heat is on in Helsinki”. Coming from Dubai it was not that hot in Helsinki, but certainly heat was on for styling, shooting and eating the food. Here’s my location shots at Toca restaurant in Helsinki taken with iPhone 5 except the gazpacho soup pic in left corner.


Memories aijaijai….


Mari’s Lemon Cake Recipe

I have changed ingredients just tiny bit for my liking. Namely I halved the spelt flour and added potato flours. I used two 15 cm cake tins and had left over patter for the third tiny cake. I had also less of cream cheese compared to original recipe. You might wonder those measures, in Finland we use 100 ml (=1 dl) measuring cups hence desiliters in recipe. Link to Mari’s original Lemon Cake recipe at Something Tasty

My versions ingredients:
200 g butter
4.5 dl sugar
4 eggs (medium size)
Pinch of salt
3 dl spelt flour
3 dl potato flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla powder
2.5 dl cream
3 tbsp lemon curd
2 tbsp lemon juice

Filling and frosting
600 g plain cream cheese (e.g. Philadelphia)
2 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp lemon curd
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 dl icing sugar
Optional: yellow food coloring

Baking method is well described in Mari’s recipe (hahaa there’s some trick…in case you’ll notice and wonder, add lemon juice with lemon curd)
Lemoncake with Summer Berries

Thank You for staying this long, do not exit without visiting these blogposts of Helsinki Foto 2014. They are packed with wonderful photos from the entire event. Do you spot Minna from Naked Plate?


WORKSHOP: HELSINKI 2014 – The Heat Is On by Meeta

KAMERAT KAULASSA by Mari’s Jotain Maukasta blog in Finnish. Look at the pictures, no language barriers.

The cherry on the top of each workshop is generous goodie bags from sponsors. In Helsinki we had nice sponsors from Cocovi, Sunspelt, Winestate, Fiskars, Uudenmaan Herkku Oy, Illy Coffee, Rauch, Toca Restaurant and beautiful Scandic Paasi hotel. Thank You, your contribution was recognized and appreciated!

And Finally if you like to travel, meet people, take photos, learn to shoot food, food styling, eating and experience Dubai. Enroll to Meeta’s next workshop here in Arab Emirates and we’ll meet there. Hey I am regular already…read more click Link

Naked Plate | Karelian Pasty – traditional Finnish food with Emirati twist

The perfect arranged marriage of three ingredients rye flour, rice and milk makes very traditional pastry from Eastern-Finland called Karelian Pasty or Karjalanpiirakka in Finnish. I am certain Asians and Arabians will approve the marriage as well. Keep on reading… Surely I always find the link of my culture to the culture of Emirians or any other culture we can experience here in Dubai. The taste of these crumpy looking little Finn pasties is like freshly baked crepes yet so different of any other pastry you can get here in Dubai. And hey I made these first time in my life thanks to my sister in law Tuula, who shared top tips to succeed. Tuula is from Nothern Karelia, eastern part of Finland, from the land of Karjalanpiirakka. She is our family chef for Karelian pasties, and that title is difficult to take from her. She has made thousands of these little savoury buttery rice pies.
NakedPlate Carelian Pasties from Finland

Karelian Pasty – Karjalanpiirakka Recipe

Makes ax 30 small pies
200 g rye flour
60 g wheat flour
200 ml cold water
1 ts salt
1 tbs sunflower or other cooking oil

Mix all ingredients together to make dough and leave it rest for a while. Dough can be frozen for later use and it lasts well in fridge few days.

200 g Egyptian rice (or any sticky rice like Calrose), for EMIRATI version use Harees
1 litre milk, for EMIRATI version use Camel milk
1 ts salt
1 tbs oil

Melted butter for brushing ready baked pasties

Cook rice (or harees or barley if you use) together with milk to texture and consistency of porridge. In heavy bottom pot combine milk, oil and salt bring to boil and add rice (harees or barley). Stir constantly to prevent sticking and burning. Continue cooking and stirring at low heat for 30-45 minutes or until rice (harees or barley) is done.

Now assemble the Karelian (Emirian) pasties like this:
1. Preheat oven to very hot 250-300°C.
2. Roll rye pasty crust dough into 4 equal size, 10 cm long rolls.
3. Cut ax 1,5 cm button like pieces dip each in flour (half rye and half wheat).
4. With rolling pin roll each piece into a thin oval.

I used pasta machine to make thin crusts. First use your fingers to flatten the dough button, then pass it through the machine to make it thinner, the knob on the machine on mark 3.
Repeat once again dusting the dough with flour if needed on both sides before passing it through the machine, the knob on the machine on mark 7.

5. Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of the rice (harees or barley) porridge on the middle of each pasty crust.
6. Pull the sides of the pastries up and crimp them up to close the sides around the filling (watch one minute how to video clip).
7. Bake the pastries on parchment lined baking sheet in the very hot oven for 10 minutes. Until slightly golden brownish.
8. Brush with melted butter straight after taking them from the oven.

***And now eat at least one when still hot ***

8. Cover with parchment paper and tea towel to allow pasties to soften

Karelian pasty dough rolls cut in small buttons or squares

Karelian pasty dough rolls cut in small buttons or squares

Filling Karelian pasties with rice porridge

Filling Karelian pasties with rice porridge

Traditionally we eat Karelian pasties with egg-butter spread (just mash together soft butter and boiled eggs with fifty-fifty ratio, can substitute part of the butter with cottage cheese to lighten up the eggy-spread.

Pasties keep days in fridge and are so good and crispy when toasted. Eat as open sandwich topped with all your favorite sandwich fillings. Mine is warm smoked salmon with the sprinkle of dill and spoon of cottage cheese.

TIPS from novice first time Karelian pasty baker:
* Traditionally Finns used barley to make porridge for filling
* or Talkkuna which is cooked and roasted barley flour or a mixture of roasted barley, rye, oat and pea flour.
* Dip the spoon to cold water to get porridge sliding off easily.
* When folding the dough use tips of your index fingers to fold finely edges of pasties over the filling.
* Gently push crust even to avoid burning, any pointy edge of delicate crust dough will easily burn in oven.
* Make sure rice (harees or barley) porridge is evenly layered on top of the crust (again to avoid burning, see I’ve learned my lesson).

Traditional Finnish Karelian Pasty ready to be brushed with butter

Traditional Finnish Karelian Pasty with butter

Twisted Herb and Spelt Bread

Parsley and mint are regular ingredients in my cooking, not so in baking though. I could not believe how good this simple twisted herb bread turned out to be. I had already made decision time ago to avoid white flours in my home baked breads as much as possible. We had spelt and rye flour reserved for home bakery, I picked spelt and tweaked the basic recipe which I got from my secret Finnish baking buddy.
Twisted Herb Spelt Bread

Twisted Herb and Spelt Bread Recipe

100 ml milk
250 g of fromage frais (quark) or thick natural yoghurt
1 ts dry yeast or 25 g fresh yeast
1 tbs sugar
1 ts salt
300 g spelt flour
25 g smelted butter

25 g butter
1 cup finely cut fresh mint and parsley
1 tbs dry thyme or za’atar
1 tbs dry oregano
1 tbs dry basilica

Mix dry yeast with warm milk and sugar, let stand until it bubbles
Mix milk-yeast mixture with warm fromage frais and add salt
(If fresh yeast is used crumble it to lukewarm fromage frais and milk mixture and add sugar and salt).
Add half of spelt flour with fromage frais and milk-yeast mixture and mix well. Add rest of the flour and smelted butter and knead until nice slightly sticky dough forms, ax 5-10 minutes.
Let rise double of size covered with plastic foil or tea towel in warm place.

Roll risen dough into a rectangular shape on well floured table (n.30x40cm).
Brush the rolled bread dough with very soft butter, sprinkle dry herbs and spread fresh finely cut herbs over the dough.
Roll as if you would make swiss roll and lift the rolled bar on baking sheet covered with baking paper.
Cut the rolled bar from top to two parts leave connected from other end.
Twist with floured hands halved bar around each other, snip the ends together.
Let rise about 10 minutes covered with tea towel and bake in 200 Celsius degrees ax. 20 minutes or when golden brown.
Here’s two snapshots from my Lumia-phone camera to give idea of shaping the bread from roll to twisted bar, not so pretty I know, but that’s the beauty of baking at home. Taste is winner!
Naked Plate Herb Spelt Bread RolledNaked Plate Herb Spelt Twisted Bread
There ain’t better food than fresh home baked bread. Buttery herbal Twisted Herb Spelt Bread is best as is, or with side of mixed salad or soup.

Waspish Finnish Meat Pie

It happens to me again and again, that somewhere from my memory I get reminder of simple comfort food I had in my childhood. Now it’s Finnish version of empanadas, small hand pies. My mom made these meat pies for outdoor trips in summer and in winter. Already that time it was more affordable to bake at home, although Finnish food markets and street food stalls sell meat pies, it became fancy to buy it outside rather than make it at home.
Naked Plate Finnish Meat Pie
With all respect, the original Finnish food is quite straight forward and simple, not too spicy and having fewer ingredients, somebody could say bland.
The original meat pie recipe is easy, it calls for white bread dough filled with fried minced meat and onion mixed with cooked rice, and finally fried in hot vegetable oil, that’s it.

I tuned my take of it little tiny bit with additional chili and some everyday sauces. Chili and garlic are part of modern Finnish cooking already so we can consider these spicy hot mince meat pies all Finnish pies.

Naked Plate Finnish Meat Pie ready for oilbath

Waspish Chili Meat Pie recipe

(makes 12 small hand pies)
I cup of milk
1 ts dry yeast (or 25g fresh yeast)
1 ts sugar
1 ts salt
1 tbs vegetable oil
2 3/4 cup of all purpose flour
(sesame seeds)

250 g minced meat (any kind you prefer)
1 small onion minced
1-3 garlic cloves minced
1 ts salt
1 ts ground black pepper
1 ts chili flakes or I fresh chili with seeds minced
splash of Tabasco sauce
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs tomato ketchup
1 cup of cooked rice

2 cups of vegetable oil for deep frying

Make the dough:
Mix yeast in warm milk, add sugar and let it stand until mixture bubbles, just to prove yeast works.
Add flour and salt to yeast-milk mixture, then add oil, mix until dough like consistency. Using hands work the dough about 5-10 minutes until dough looses easily from hands. Cover the dough and let it rise in warm place until double, takes ax. 60 minutes.

Make the filling:
Cook the rice and let it cool for a while.
Mince the onion and garlic and cook on frying pan with oil until translucent.
Add minced meat to frying pan and brown it to crumbly looking
Add salt, pepper and chili and sauces and mix with cooked rice.

Prepare mince pies.
Roll the one time raised dough on floured tabletop till ax. 0, 5 cm thick.
Use round 12 cm diameter bowl or pie mold to make round shapes from rolled pie dough
Spoon 2 tbs of meat-rice filling and brush edges with water turn to half moon shape and seal the edge with fork of pie mold.
Let filled pies rise again ax. 10 minutes in warm place before frying.

Heat vegetable oil ax. 10 minutes and deep fry pies from each side ax. 2 minutes or when golden brown. Use slotted spoon to lift pies from hot oil on to kitchen paper towel to drain excess oil.

Light version: give ready filled pies egg wash and bake pies in 190 Celsius degree oven on baking paper ax 10 minutes or until golden brown

Super easy version: for “not-made from scratch”-cooks, use store bought pie dough. It works!

Now say “lihapiirakka”! :-) … means meat pie in Finnish

Welcome to my kitchen – Mama’s Redcurrant Berry Pie

I am going to reveal my best kept secret, my moms recipe, but you have to come to visit my kitchen to get it. Check videolink below.

We Finns drink lots of coffee, traditionally friends are welcome to pop in anytime for coffee. The moment you step in a Finnish home coffee will be brewing and soon you have freshly baked goodies beside your cup.

My favorite berry pie recipe is really current. Red currants are right now ready to be picked in Finland. Most of the households who have red and black currant bushes in garden, steam juice concentrate out of them to keep it for winter. If you are not into juice there’s one recipe which is stable in any Finnish kitchen, berry pie. In Dubai all sort of berries are available whole year around. Red currants are bit tart, but this Finnish berry pie recipe never fails.

Welcome to my kitchen – Tervetuloa Keittiööni
This is my kitchen by My Dubai My City

Mama’s redcurrant berry pie

150 gr butter
100 gr sugar
1 egg
180 g flour
1 ts baking powder

200 ml creme fraiche
1 egg
3 tbs sugar (or more if you like sweet)
1 ts vanilla

1 1/2 – 2 cups red currants and blueberries (any berries for your liking, comes lovely with mango or canned peaches and pears as well)

Mix together soft butter and sugar until creamy
Add one egg and few spoon of flour
Add rest of the flour mixed with 1 teaspoon of baking powder
mix and lay on 20 cm (9 inch) creased pie pan

Mix the filling: creme fraiche, vanilla, sugar and egg. Pour over the pie batter.

Sprinkle last the berries over the pie covered with creme fraiche mixture.

Bake in 180-200 °C about 30-40 minutes. It will be little wobbly in the middle, but it settles after cooling.
Best served when still warm or room temperature. Freezes well for the next surprise visitors.


Hyvää ruokahalua! bon appétit!

You may like Kitchen Parade’s Finnish Fruit Tart and other Finnish recipes CLICK HERE

P.S In background of the video you hear one of my favorite Finnish singer, actor, comic Vesa-Matti Loiri’s Lapin Kesä. Lyrics from famous Finnish Poet Eino Leino (who has huge impact to Finnish language development). Lapin Kesä- Finnish poem Summer in Lapland at Youtube.

Flatbread from Savonia – Savolainen Pannurieska for Breakfast

What in the earth is harrish?! I found 2 kilos of grains in my kitchen cupboard and was wondering why have I bought it and what could I do with it. It turned out that it is harees(هريس) and not harrish as written in English on bag. I asked around, googled and find out it is whole wheat grains, which is locally used here in Dubai for a stew or porridge with meat. That dish is called Harees or Harisah, a specialty of Ramadan.



Well…. back to the Finnish flatbread. We Finns love all kind of breads and porridges, anything from grains which are cultivated in homeland, like oats, barley, wheat and rye. The bread is at its best when fresh and straight from oven, only butter spread on it. That’s the way authentic Finnish bread is eaten and served

I have got this Finnish Savonian flatbread recipe from my mother, her family is from Upper Savonia in Finland.  The original recipe calls for whole or cracked barley, I have cheated and replaced barley with harees and it worked well.


The Original Savonian Flatbread – Savolainen Pannurieska recipe

1 liter buttermilk or curdled milk (=add 100 ml of buttermilk to lukewarm milk and let stand 2 hrs in room temperature)

1 cup whole barley grains (boil about 10 minutes)

2 cups rolled oats

1-2 eggs

1 tsp salt


1.         Mix curdled milk or buttermilk and barley and let stand in fridge overnight

2.         Add rolled oats on the morning and let stand another 3 hours in fridge

3.         Add eggs and salt just  before baking

4.         Cover baking pan with baking paper and smelt 25-50 g of butter  on it, pour the bread dough on smelted butter and bake at 225-250°C about 30 minutes

The recipe is really easy and makes wholesome flatbread, no worries about rising dough. I twisted the recipe totally because I did not have buttermilk or laban as it’s called in Dubai, and replaced barley with whole wheat called harees.

I used low fat milk and cream to make full fat milk. Instead of laban I used yoghurt to curdle the milk.  My mother uses also cracked barley and buttermilk and mixes 50 ml oil with eggs and oats next day, no need to put butter on baking sheet if oil is used in dough.

Give it a try to this healthy flatbread, called pannurieska in Finnish.  Something you have to taste yourself, soft and sourish but creamy, just knife some salted butter on it and you are well fed.

Pour  a class of cold fresh milk and enjoy with hot buttered Savonian Pannurieska. That’s what I call a traditional Finnish breakfast.  Submitted to Breakfasts of the World Challenge by Very Good Recipes.





Muffinbreads with Dried Tomato, Basil and Cottage Cheese

There’s nothing which beats fresh hot bread with salted butter melting on it. Baking a bread have never been my cup of tea, too much hand work required, but I got inspiration from blog of La Mere Culinaire. She wrote so nice and funny story about visit in farm here in UAE…yes we do have here also “real life”, not everything is bling bling or sandy lands…..

I changed ingredients to what I had in my kitchen and what I cannot live without, perfect marriage of flavors of basil and tomato and lovely, grainy cottage cheese.
Check the original recipe shared by La Mere Culinaire

Muffinbreads with Dried Tomato, Basil and Cottage Cheese

3 tablespoons warm water
2 ½ teaspoons dry yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
110 g unsalted butter
1 cup milk
2 cups bread flour (wholemeal flour)
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ½ cups allpurpose flour
½ – 1 cups sun dried tomato chopped in small pieces
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tub of cottage cheese (ax 200 g)
1 egg, lightly beaten with 2 teaspoons water (for egg wash)
Toasted sesame seeds for sprinkling (mine were not toasted)

Stir together warm water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl until yeast is dissolved,
let stand until yeast foams.
Melt 75 g butter in a small saucepan, add milk and heat to lukewarm.
Stir together yeast mixture, butter-milk mixture, 2 cups bread flour and salt.
Add 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (use your hands after dough gets thick), sundried tomatos, basil and cottage cheese. (I used brand name Jocca, which is available in Dubai supermarkets and is not that creamy)

Butter a large bowl. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface, until smooth and elastic,
about 10 minutes dough should be slightly sticky. Or use your kicthen machine with dough hook.
Form dough into a ball and put in buttered bowl. Let dough rise, bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap, in warm room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Make rolls:
Butter 18 muffin/cupcake cups with butter or cooking spray.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into thirds.
Cut off small pieces of dough and form into balls, remember they’ll double in size when rosen
Put 3 balls into each buttered muffin cup.
Let rolls rise, loosely covered with a kitchen towel until almost doubled in size, around 40 minutes.

While rolls rise, put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 200C.
Brush rolls lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes. (link to recipe from La Mere Culinaire)

I have got a new bread baker from Lakelands and tried how it makes bread, hence the flat shape. Hmmm…planning foccacia and ciabatta bakes already.

Happy New Year!