Thursday, November 1, 2007

Rieska - Finnish Flat Bread

This was a fun recipe to make -- not at all involved and time-consuming like the yeast breads. I looked up the word "Rieska" -- in Finnish, it means unleavened barley bread. Now the bread here is unleavened, in that it does not have yeast (it does have baking powder and soda). But, it is not made from barley.

I was not 100% sure what "graham flour" was. I was familiar, of course, with graham crackers - a favorite childhood snack. I looked at the King Arthur Flour online store and found that whole wheat pastry flour is also called graham flour. I did not have high hopes for finding it in my grocery store, but they did have graham flour in the organic section. I also had to go on a bit of a grocery search to find buttermilk - not that unusual an ingredient. Happily, I found it at the second store I looked at.

And the other question was this -- what temperature is a "hot oven"? I looked through some of the other recipes in the book -- one from my grandmother, in fact, equated a hot oven to 400 degrees Farenheit. So, that's what I went with! The results - a tasty flat bread. Crusty on the outside and a moist crumb inside. A nice, non-sweet snack with a cup of tea.

Here are the revised and original recipes.

The Revised Recipe: Rieska - Finnish Flat Bread
Makes 3 flat loaves

2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda, mixed with 1 Tablespoon hot water
4 Tbsp. melted butter
1/2 cup sour cream
2 1/2 cups graham flour
2 1/2 cups white flour
3 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Farenheit. Sift together the graham flour, white flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the buttermilk, baking soda in water, melted butter and sour cream. Gradually add the sifted dry ingredients and mix together. Do not knead. The dough will be fairly sticky. Separate the dough into three pieces. On a lightly floured board, roll each piece out to about 1/2 inch thick. Transfer to a baking sheet and prick the bread all over with a fork. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown around the edges and on the bottom.

The Original Recipe: Finnish Flat Bread (Rieskaa)
source: Recipes and Finnish Specialties, St. Paul Lutheran Church - Gloucester, MA

2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp. baking soda, mixed with a little hot water
4 tbsp melted butter or shortening
1/2 cup sour cream

Sift together:
2 1/2 cups graham flour
2 1/2 cups white flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

and add to liquid mixture. Do not knead. Separate into 3 parts. Roll out lightly to about 1/2 inch thick and bake in a hot oven for 10 - 15 minutes. Prick with fork before baking. When baked, place one over the other with a towel between them to make crust soft.


~~Louise~~ said...

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Your blog is a pleasant place to visit. I hope you don't mind but I have linked to you for his day.

Matti Tulla said...

HI I live in the U.P. of Michigan and rieska is a staple here in Finnish Families. Here is The Old Finnish Recipe.
2 C.Flour
1/2 C. Barley Flour or oatmeal
1 Tsp. Salt
1 Tbl. Sugar
1 Tsp. Baking powder
1/2 Tsp. Soda
1 Cup Buttermilk

Mix well, ad more flour a little at a time if too sticky, form into round loaf about an inch to an inch and a half. Bake 25 minutes @ 375 degrees.