A celebration of Europe #9b – Finland

And what better to soak up your Lohikeitto than this robust (and novelty shaped) rye bread.

Putkilahti, Finland

Maatalon reikäleipä – ‘Farm hole bread’

Preparation time: 3 hours including proving
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Skill level: easy


  • dried yeast – 35g
  • water – 300ml
  • melted butter – 1 tbsp
  • salt – 1 tsp
  • strong wholemeal flour – 500g
  • rye flour – 350g

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together into a dough.

Cover with clingfilm and set aside for 15 minutes.

Knead the dough well for a few minutes, put back in the bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to rise tor 2 hours (it won’t rise enormously as it is so dense).

On a floured surface give the dough another quick knead, form it into a ball, then squash down into a circle about 2 cm thick. Make a hole in the centre of the circle, gradually working out so you have an inner diameter of about 10cm.

Lift onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper, cover again and leave for an hour. Preheat your oven to 200 C.

Remove clingfilm and bake for 40 minutes or until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

Slide onto a rope and wear as an edible necklace, or eat with a tasty soup.

Verdict: A dense solid loaf which Germans would describe as ‘ballast’.

Drink: Sup up Sunday.

Entertainment: ‘Close Encounters’ was followed by a New Year ‘Bake Off’.

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