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

FILLING
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.
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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
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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)
Dough:
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)

Filling:
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.

Tips:
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”! :-) …..it means meat pie in Finnish

Naked Plate | Smoked Caviar and Rye Crisp bread – Finnish näkkileipä

We only ate smoked caviar and crisp breads when I was at school. Seriously one of the best snacks we enjoyed was smoked cod roe paste Kallen Mätitahna (Finnish) aka Kalles Kaviar (Swedish) or Kalle’s Caviar (English). It’s famous product in Finland, but all the credit goes to our dear neighbor Sweden, where this equally loved and hated paste is from. I would say it is the traditional food and brand, since year 1939 already. There are tons of recipes how to make wonderful tapas or cocktail food easily with smoked roe paste, but Kalle’s Caviar is best when squeezed directly from tube over a snip of rye crisp bread. Warning Kalle’s Kaviar is addictive.

 

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I so appreciate Alex and Peter for their dedication and interest to study how much is one tube, you must open the link and see how they did it, way to go Peter and Alex!  Click here to see images

So, for a 190g tube of caviar, expect 16 servings, or enough to cover one 18 slice pack of crisp breads if you are not so lavish.

In Dubai Abba Seafood’s most squeezed tube is available at Carrefour’s and Hyper Panda. Why don’t you taste it?

This love story is not yet finished, as said Kalle’s caviar requires rye crisp bread, that inspired me to make first time in my life Finnish näkkileipä. I must say this crisp bread is now my daily bread, absolutely healthy and tasty.

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Rye crispbread recipe

makes ax. 20 crispbreads
169 kcal per 100 g
Ingredients
• 2 tsp of dry yeast (or 25 g fresh yeast)
• 1 cup of warm water
• ½ teaspoon of salt
• about 2 cups of rye flour
• about ½ cup of wheat flour
• about ½ cup of sunflower seeds
• 1 teaspoons crushed fennel seeds (optional)

Baking Instructions
Add dry yeast to warm water or crumble the fresh yeast in warm water.
Mix all dry ingredients and add water with yeast little by little.
Knead the dough few minutes. The dough will be sticky. Let the dough rise about an hour.
Roll out or press the dough into very thin. Use the flour if the dough is too sticky.
Poke holes with fork on flat bread and bake in 220 C degree oven for about 8-10 min.

Tip! The dough was easy to roll directly on silicone or teflon baking sheet and lift it over baking tray and bake. Thus crisp bread is harder than store bought. Let it dry or after breads are cooled, keep them in moderate hot oven for few more minutes to be really crisp.

I calculated nutritional value of rye crisp bread at Mindo.fi It is really one of the kind website (only in Finnish) where user can download recipes of their own to see the final dose of the carbon footprint. Each recipe is also displayed in the nutritional value and the GDA recommendations for daily food ration. The service directs users to eat ethically and ecologically, and preparing food that is good for health and environment.

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How much is one tube
Kalle’s kaviar at Wikipedia

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.

 

 

 
 

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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

Ingredients
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)

Dough:
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.

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Happy New Year!
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