24/10/2014

RYE SOURDOUGH BREAD


A friend of mine was reading the September issue of Observer Food Monthly in London some weeks back and sent me a picture of a page in the magazine with my bread on it. To be more precise, it was a picture of a book and the story was an interview with the book's author, Malin Elmlid.

Why a picture of my bread wrapped in parchment paper ended up in Malin's book is a longer story. First the bread's recipe.

RYE SOURDOUGH BREAD
(2 loaves)

Pre-dough:
100g rye sourdough starter
100g water
160g rye flour
  1. Mix all ingredients into a thick dough.
  2. Cover and let rise in room temperature at least 12 hours.
Dough:
270g water
270g rye flour
12g sea salt
  1. Add the water and flour to the pre-dough and knead it for 10 minutes.
  2. Add salt and knead it for another 5 min.
  3. Let the dough rest for 1 h.
  4. Split the dough in two pieces on a well floured surface.
  5. Shape into round breads and sift plenty of rye flour on top.
  6. Cover the breads and let rise until doubled in size (ca. 60-90 minutes in room temperature or in fridge overnight.)
  7. Preheat the oven to 250°C.
  8. Put breads in the pre-heated oven and lower the temperature to 200°C.
  9. Bake the breads for about 60 minutes and let cool on a wire rack until they reach room temperature.

And now, back to Malin Elmlid:

Some years back, craving for good bread, she got into the world of sourdough baking. Being kind of obsessed of learning to make the perfect loaf, she baked a lot and also started to share her breads to friends and neighbours. Someone once payed back for the bread by giving her a ticket to Berlin Philharmonic concert. That was the kick off for a project she named The Bread Exchange.

Malin put up an Fb group to share when and where she’d be baking, while her job in fashion industry took her around the world. She barters her handmade loaves to whatever the trader offers. A secret family recipe, a guitar lesson, a bike repair or a jar of pickles by someone’s dear grandma. Things that mostly have a special meaning to the ones trading with her.

I bumped into her story a few years ago and read on her website, that the one thing she refuses to trade to, is bread. EXCEPT Finnish rye sourdough bread.

So once, visiting my lil sis in Berlin, I packed a rye sourdough loaf in my suitcase and set up a date with Malin. The mulberry bread with British sea salt I got from her, paired with KaDeWe’s cheese counter treasures, was a match made in heaven that afternoon.

After more than 1000 barters, the Berlin-based Swede has just published a book of her crazy cool project. And yes, there’s also the little pic of my rye sourdough bread in it.


THE BREAD EXCHANGE
thebreadexchange.com
facebook.com/BreadExchange

11/10/2014

SALUTING BALTIC HERRING PT. 3:
SMOKED BALTIC HERRING SPREAD


One for the road. Baltic sea's own goldfish, smoked Baltic herring.


SMOKED BALTIC HERRING SPREAD

250g smoked Baltic herrings
50g crème fraîche
1 tbsp mayo
1 tsp lemon juice
chives
black pepper
(salt)
(serve on rye or malt bread)

  1. Clean and debone the Baltic herrings using your fingers. (Rip off the heads, skin and bones.)
  2. Chop the cleaned fillets finely. (You can also make it completely smooth using a food processor. But I like mine with a bit of texture.)
  3. Mix together all ingredients and add pinch of salt if needed.


10/10/2014

SALUTING BALTIC HERRING PT. 2:
 PICKLED BALTIC HERRING IN
 CORIANDER AND GARLIC SAUCE


Perhaps not beating the previous Baltic herring recipe, but oh so good. Actually you shouldn't even be comparing pickled and oven-baked things, since they're from two different planets. Brothers from different mothers.

Or actually the opposite: The mother is the same, but still the brothers ain't related.

If you know what I'm saying.


PICKLED BALTIC HERRING IN CORIANDER AND GARLIC SAUCE

150g Baltic herring fillets
1,5 dl water (cold)
2 tbsp white vinegar (10%)
1 tsp salt
  1. Remove the fillets from the skin (just by using fingers).
  2. Mix together water, white vinegar and salt.
  3. Toss in the fillets, set in fridge and let cure for at least 4 hours (or overnight).
  4. Drain well when ready. (The cured fillets turn white.)
Sauce:
0,5 dl mayonnaise
1 tbsp crème fraîche
1 garlic clove, pressed
2 tbsp fresh coriander
salt & black pepper
  1. Mix together mayo and crème fraîche, add garlic and chopped coriander.
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add the cured fish fillets and marinate in fridge until next day.
  4. Serve on toasted (rye) bread!

09/10/2014

SALUTING BALTIC HERRING PT. 1: OVEN BAKED BALTIC HERRING WITH BEET-
ROOT, RED ONION, SOUR CREAM & HONEY


"The best I've had for a while" I wrote as a comment, when posting a picture of the dish last Sat on Food from Hel Instagram.

After I had it for the second time yesterday, I'd like to make a fine adjustment to my comment:
"The best Baltic herring I've ever had."

Oh, and more Baltic herring to follow tomorrow. Hard to beat this one though.



OVEN BAKED BALTIC HERRING WITH BEETROOT, RED ONION, SOUR CREAM AND HONEY

250g Baltic herring fillets
2-4 beetroots (depending on the size)
2-4 red onions (size matters, again)
2 tbsp olive oil
salt
black pepper
parsley, small bunch
1-2 tbsp honey (liquid)
1dl sour cream (smetana)

  1. Peel and cut up the beetroots and onions.
  2. Toss them around in oil and put on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake in 225°C ca. 20 minutes.
  4. Take the sheet out of the oven and place the Baltic herring fillets on it. Add salt on both, fish and vegetables, and ground some black pepper.
  5. Bake for another 5 minutes.
  6. After baking, dribble honey on fish fillets and veggies and garnish with shredded parsley.
  7. Serve with cold smetana or similar sour cream.
(Adapted from Fredrik Eriksson's Sill & Strömming)

06/10/2014

HELSINKI BALTIC HERRING FAIR 2014


It’s again the week of the year, when Helsinki’s Market Square is packed with pickled and marinated fish. For the 272nd time already, the Helsinki Baltic Herring Fair brings fishermen to the city to sell their cured Baltic herring.

The fair is one of the oldest traditional events of the city, dating back to the 18th century, when people bought piles of salted Baltic herring in autumn, in order to make it through the long months when the frozen sea kept the fishermen onshore.




In comparison to the glorious old days (128 boats in 1958), this year’s 19 boats around the dock isn’t that many. A fisherman suggested on Helsingin Sanomat newspaper interview, that the previous fisher generation is getting old and the younger ones prefer to find an easier way to make a living. I’m sure all the nowadays’ regulations don’t make it any easier either.

The Baltic Herring Fair is a yearly carnival, also for the fishermen participating. But I truly hope there’ll be future generations keeping the traditional profession alive.




Around the market you find signs for creamy salmon soup and see many people eating fried small vendaces. But neither the Norwegian nor the small freshwater fish are the ones I go to eat on the Baltic Herring Fair. My favourite is the one small fishing boat, where they sell crispy fried Baltic Herring, pike-perch fillets or even flounder fresh from pan as well as tasty fish patties and small 1 € bites of fish on black bread.




So I’d suggest you to dress up warm, go find that small boat and eat your fresh fish while listening someone play nautical tunes with an accordion. Then buy a pack or two of the marinated Baltic herrings and a loaf of black archipelago bread and go home happy, feeling like a true islander.

And when back home, listen to this:



HELSINKI BALTIC HERRING FAIR
Market Square 5.-11.10. 
Open Mon-Fri 7.00-19.00 and Sat 7.00-15.00