Knödel Love

Our kitchen this morning

The last and final event of the project ‘5 The dish’ took place last night at my home on Iso Roba. Starting at 5 pm, last guests left around 1:30 am – that would be 8,5 hrs of Knödel party! This morning, I woke up with a hangover of sorts (which was not caused by too much glögi) – was this really the last event? I feel sad, but also relieved; now, the writing can start, and tomorrow, I will take off to Austria and Germany afterwards for holidays (if the snow storm doesn’t wreck my travel plans).

‘Waste’ bread from the supermarket

Preparations started with a supermarket tour on Thursday morning, when I picked up a bag full of the bread that would have officially expired the next day (supermarkets usually sort out products one day before expiration date), and which would have gone to the bin. I felt a bit like Santa Clause with that huge heavy black plastic bag full of goodies on my back, tramping back home through the snow. I unpacked the bread to prevent it from becoming mouldy – my flat smelled like some sort of bakery for three days.

The plan was to make so-called ‘Knödel’ from the waste bread, a typical German dish that recycles stale bread. I am sure none of my guests would have expected those hot steaming round bread balls to be as tasty as they were – not even me! I have to admit, the first Knödel in my mouth just truly made my night – so hearty, warming, and comforting! (talking about food arousing memories) The kitchen was packed with people, and nevertheless we managed to cook together. People just started chopping up bread and following the recipe that hung next to the stove. I didn’t even count how many different doughs were made last night, but there were quite a few, ranging from rye-beetroot- over normal white-bread-parsley-onion- to mixed-bread-with-carrots-Knödels.

All photos but first two by Marina Ekroos

The night went on with our ‘analogue Facebook’ wall – visualizing the social network of people at the party and those who had participated in former events and workshops of this project. It only stopped when we ran out of stickers! When people left, ‘Knödel doggy bags’ with the recipe printed on them were handed out to be filled with leftover bread from the table. Long live the Knödel!

Check out more pictures taken by Marina of the night on Facebook or/and Picasa! Thanks to her again for the great support. :)


Open invitation to the big final 5th event!

The art and food event series ‘5 – The dish’ comes to an end with this big final event: an open invitation to the artist’s house! Welcome to bring as many friends as you want. The only thing I ask from everybody is to bring old bread – either from your own kitchen, salvaged from the supermarket waste bin, hunted for in a bakery, or from elsewhere – be creative! We will pile up the ‘waste bread’ and turn them into delicious ‘Knödels’.

This event is a chance to meet new and known faces, build up new networks, think of new projects, and reflect upon past, present, and things to come…

Date: December 5th 2010 (this week’s Sunday)

Location: at my home, on Big Mama’s 5th floor (where I share a flat with two girls). Iso Roobertinkatu 26 A 14, 00120 Helsinki

Time: starting from 5 pm onwards. Open end.

Looking forward to seeing you!

Rieska recipes, old and new
September 8, 2010, 6:41 am
Filed under: 1/5, Bread, Design, Food, Helsinki, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , ,

For the 1/5 event on Sunday, I asked people to bring their own rieska recipes, self-invented, inherited, stolen, found. Some came into being during the process of experimenting with the ingredients. In return, people received a water bottle as a memory of the event. For inspiration and to show the wide variety of possibilities of how to bake rieska in different ways (to each maakunta/region its own), I hung up traditional recipes taken from the book “Suomen maakunta leivät” by Jaakko Kolmonen. Here comes the recipes, old ones and new ones! …

The recipe wall

Daniel’s grandma’s peruna-rieska recipe

Hessu found this on the internet

‘Gluten-free’ oat-rieska

Just a preview of a page from the book (don’t wanna get into copyright troubles), but here the link to the authors webpage! http://jaakkokolmonen.com/tuotteet.html?id=6/

Have fun baking and eating!

free pdf
August 10, 2010, 10:38 am
Filed under: Design, Good to know, Making of, Recipes, Workshop | Tags: , , , ,

What would Simon say? With great inspiration from Simon’s free manual (which you can find from here: http://clayoven.wordpress.com/), I made this 2-page-pdf, easy to print out both-sided on one A4 to support your first oven-building-experience, to share with friends, to understand the basic construction and building steps of a cob oven.

Have fun and spread!!

Cob Oven Manual

Not quite the perfect rieska yet, but soon!
June 3, 2010, 1:24 pm
Filed under: Bread, Making of, Recipes | Tags: , , ,

Any recipe proposals (but without yeast, eggs, and soda, I want to use only plain ingredients)?  There are millions of recipes around, and every Finn would say, he knows the best one. They differ from region to region, some use only water and barley flour, others use milk, piimä (sour milk), or even cream as a fluid. Mostly, they are made from barley, since it is the only grain that could grow under the harsh conditions in the North of Finland. There are also recipes with potato flour or oat. They are best buttered and fresh.

Finnish bread series 1): Ruislimppu
June 3, 2010, 12:30 pm
Filed under: Bread, Good to know, Production, Recipes | Tags: , , ,

As promised, here comes the first recipe for a sourdough bread. Chronologically, I should maybe start with a recipe for the first unleavened flat bread in Finland, rieska, but I have not found a satisfying recipe yet (or my methods were completely wrong, but they were quite hard). And since I have already posted a recipe for the starter, you might find a use for it now.

First, the starter needs to be activated, to be ready for baking. There are three steps with falling temperatures – 1.) 6-8 hrs, 26-28 °C, e.g. bathroom, 2.) 6-8 hrs, 22-26 °C, e.g. living room, 3.) 3-4 hrs, 18-22°C, e.g. hallway. I usually just feed the dough once or twice and let it go for a few hours. Still, I got good results. A sourdough is a bit like a pet, you really have to take care of it, as good as you can. It should smell flourlike and sour, and produce bubbles, then it is ready for baking.


500 g sourdough starter

500 g rye flour

1 tablespoon salt

250 ml warm water

Turn on the oven on 50°C. Mix all ingredients. It will be sticky! If needed, add more water or flour. It depends on the consistency of the sourdough starter how the dough behaves. Knead the dough a little, not too much, since rye flour does not contain a lot of gluten that would need to be activated. Form a loaf in a shape you like, spray water on the surface, and put it in the warm oven. Turn off the oven after 20 min., but let the light burn. Let the bread rest for about 2-3 hrs.  Wet the surface every now and then. When the bread grew remarkably and the surface breaks open, it can be taken out. Put the oven on maximum temperature (mostly 250°C) and bake the bread for about 60-70 min. After 10 min., lower the heat to about 220°, after 20 more to about 200°. When bread was baked in old ovens, heat would naturally drop down. Spray the surface a last time with water 20 min. before taking it out to get a nice crust. The bread is ready when it produces a hollow sound when you knock on its bottom side. Wrap it in a clean kitchen towel and let it cool down for at least 3-4 hrs. It will taste even better the next day!

Sources: http://www.der-sauerteig.com/; Suomen Maakunta Leivät, J. Kolmonen (1986, Patakolmonen Ky, Helsinki); and some of my own experience :)

Next week, there will be a short baking workshop in the only remaining traditional family bakery of Helsinki. I might do some corrections after! ;)

Sourdough bread
May 20, 2010, 5:32 pm
Filed under: Bread, Good to know, Production, Recipes | Tags: , , ,

Not many people bake bread themselves or have ever tried doing it before. Bread is very easy to make though, and once you start, you can get quite obsessed with it (I am!). To leaven the bread, you can either use yeast or a sourdough starter – I prefer the sourdough, since it gives the bread a special taste and a juicier crumb. If you want to use rye flour (which is quite common for Finnish bread, the good old “ruisleipä”), yeast is not even suitable for making the dough rise, because rye does not contain enough gluten. Plus, most people usually already have everything you need to start a sourdough in their cupboard, so you do not even depend on open shops to buy yeast. The only two ingredients are: water & flour. Nothing else.

This is how it goes:

Mix a handful of flour (rye, spelt, or wheat, it does not need to be an exact amount) with as much handwarm water to achieve a texture similar to that of pancake or waffle dough. Cover the dough with a dishtowel and let it rest at a warm place (e.g. by a radiator with a plate underneath). Every 12 hours, whip the dough thorougly and put it back where it was. Now, you need to feed the dough for 4-5 days in a row; once a day, add a handful of new flour and warm water to mixture. With time, the dough will start to throw bubbles and smell sour, but don’t be afraid, that is a very good sign! Your very own individual sourdough is ready to use!

— a recipe for your first sourdough bread is coming soon! Stay tuned!

Source: http://www.der-sauerteig.com/ (Sorry, in German only)