Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Finnish baking and other goodies

This past weekend we went to a Finnish/English Lutheran church to get some goodies at their annual Christmas bazaar. We used to have a Finnish deli but this time last year it burned down and they have not replaced it. Sad really, since it served customers from other parts of southern Ontario. There, you could order your smoked ham or turkey for Christmas dinner and loaves of pulla or black bread. They had smoked fish and head cheese and sugar-coated, jelly-filled doughnuts (munkkeja), cheese buns, along with meat-filled dough pastries. A lot of the other stuff was Finnish imports of mustard, hard, crisp bread, jams, chocolates, candies and on and on...

This is pulla. I bought two of these. It's traditional Finnish coffee bread with cardamom. You can eat it sliced with butter (my husband eats it this way), toasted, or dunked (my favourite way of eating it). It can also be used once it has dried or become stale. It's called korppu then. We just slice it to about 1/2 inch and cut the slices in half so they look like fat fingers. Place them on a cookie sheet and in a low oven until golden. You can flip them over to get an overall colour - or just leave them. The other way of doing it is to slice the pulla into 1/2" thick slices, smear one side with butter and drizzle some sugar (coarse, if you have any) and cinnamon on them before putting them on a cookie sheet and into the oven. I have eaten these kinds but not made them - neither has my mom. You can then dunk korppu in coffee (the Finns' national drink of choice.) One final way of eating korppu is to take some of the kind with cinnamon sugar on it, place it in a bowl (soup bowl) and pour hot milk on top. My dad used to make this and I miss having it. In Finnish it's korppumaittoo or korppu-milk. I don't think it's a traditional Finnish thing - it may just be a made up Canadian-Finnish thing. Perhaps my Finnish readers can tell me.

Note: Satu just let me know that she serves 'old pulla' by dipping both sides of the slices in milk and frying them on the hot pan. When they are golden, she serves them with strawberry jam and whipped cream. She also likes to dip buttered pulla slices in a HOT milkcoffee.

Ulla makes "pullaputinkia" pulla pudding by putting old slices of pulla, eggs, milk and raisins or jam baked in the oven.

These are S-cookies. They are sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. I had to buy them since the little girl is coming home from England on the 16th. She likes these and I bought two dozen - put one in the freezer for her and am slowly eating the other dozen.

I wasn't going to buy any of these but my husband just added them to the pile. This is just one but there were 6 in the bag. It's what we call black bread (musta leipä). It's a dark "sour" rye bread. Usually the bread is bigger but these ladies made them into smaller, individual sizes.

This is one of the best ways to eat the bread. I lathered butter on it (I covered it up so I didn't get flack from the healthy ones in the family) and then sliced some old cheddar cheese on it. That's my lunch today with a big glass of milk. Yesterday's lunch was...

two of these. They are Karelian piirakkaa or, as I describe them to my English-speaking friends, rice boats. The dough is made from rye flour again and the middle is just rice cooked in milk. The traditional way of eating them is warmed up and with egg butter which, I do believe, is hard-boiled egg mixed with butter. We grew up eating them fried (in margarine) and then we put on more butter and salt. I know it's totally cholesterol filled but who cares, they are not eaten every day. I bought lots of these. They came two in a zip lock baggie and I got seven since I had to give some to my son and his wife and then put some in the freezer for those that are coming home for Christmas. There is another Finnish church in Toronto and I am hoping that their Christmas bazaar is soon so I can get more. I did manage to pick up a hunk of white linen for the unbelievable price of $4.00. May Britt and Hanne have a giveaway for a pattern for an embroidery that goes on a baking cloth. That's the reason for the linen purchase. I will be making a baking cloth to cover my baking when it is rising.
I have not yet started baking for Christmas and I am hoping to make some pulla. My eldest daughter has perfected the bread machine variety and I know that she will probably be making some when she gets here. There are cookies and maybe a sour cream coffee cake to be made when the little one comes home. It is her specialty. She has made so many that she does not need to look at the recipe. I love to do any kind of baking. Cookies are really a favourite, though. I didn't grow up with cookies in the home so I think that may be the reason.

And, not baking related but it is a goody. I recently won a wonderful giveaway from Lara. I was one of three winners and had my choice of one of her gorgeous prints. I had help since I couldn't make up my mind on which one since they were all so great. The girls and I all chose this cow print in the end.

Isn't she a sweetie? This print reminds me so much of my trip out west to visit my daughter. 
Go visit Lara and she has an etsy shop too - here.

Tomorrow is the big reveal for Mrs. Moen's Napkin Challenge. So, come on back.


  1. Hei Typy, one method to serve 'old pulla' is also dip both sides of the slices in milk and fry them on the hot pan. When they are golden, serve with strawberry jam and whipped cream. Nam... delicious dessert;) I also like to dip buttered pulla -slices in a HOT milkcoffee... maybe quite unhealthy, but tasty;)

  2. Hi Dolores, I have enjoyed playing "catch-up" with the blog posts I have missed since I last blogged. Thanks for your kind comments too. It has been a difficult time but we are coming out of it now. You have a wonderful way with textiles and I am very impressed with your quilting. It is a subject which is always surrounded in mystery for me...lol. But why did you show all that gorgeous food? I am on a diet and hungry and it was all too delicious looking for my peace of mind. Perhaps I will make do with a cup of tea instead. Have a great week.

  3. We used to have "pullaputinkia", pulla pudding, made of old slices of pulla, eggs, milk and raisins or jam baked in the oven. Satu's fried version is my favourite. - You seem to have a good selection of Finnish baking available at least for Christmas.

  4. Dolores, I had an excess of calories just LOOKING at those goodies!!

  5. Now I'm really hungry! I don't think that pulla would have a chance to get old around here, although the old pulla recipes sound good too.

    Love your win, Dolores - congrats!

  6. Oh, it is long time since I baked karelian pies. I have to bake them soon =). Actually I cooked rice porridge today (my intention was to bake carelian pies tomorrow) but kids ate the porridge... =)


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