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. :)


Event 1
September 5, 2010, 9:45 pm
Filed under: Bread, Design, Helsinki, Workshop | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The first event out of the 5-food event series just took place. About 20 people gathered in this experimental rieska workshop on a Sunday afternoon at Kalasatama and created all sorts of rieska – from really thin barley rieska over small thick delicious potato rieska, on cabbage leaves baked oat “röpörieska”, aronia berry-filled and potato-filled rieska, forestal porrige rieska, to beer-butter rieska (which tasted like croissants!) – people didn’t stop being creative! Wow!

Check out another hundreds of pics here.

Thanks to Aki Arjola from Maatilatori for the genorous sponsoring of the nice flours!! They are produced by miller Pekka Nikkilää , who earned last year’s title for making the best organic flour of Finland! Jam!

And, of course, thanks to all the participants for coming, the big interest, and creating those beautiful pieces of… art?

Reminder: First event 1/5 this sunday afternoon, 3-6 pm, at kalasatama’s oven!
September 3, 2010, 2:16 pm
Filed under: Bread, Design, Food, Helsinki, Making of | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Looking out of the window today, and spending time outside gathering firewood and things for the first official event weekend around the cob oven at Kalasatama, one might not believe there is any hope for even one single sunray left. But there is! http://foreca.fi/Finland/Helsinki

And here again the link to the Facebook event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=113585698695682

So get prepared to spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon outside, baking Finnish flat bread (Rieska) together with Helsinkians, in the urban cob oven “Archie” at the container square at Kalasatama. The afternoon starts early with firing up the oven, so that around 3 pm we can start together to mix ingredients and bake the first bread experiments in the oven. Be prepared for some surprises!

day 2 – sun/sand/bricks/circles/coffee/music/1-min-decisions/2-min-reactions/thunderstorms/rain dance/container parties/tea/candles/warm food/sleep!

If you want to have a most wonderful weekend full of fun and surprises, I can recommend: build a cob oven with a group of strangers. You will end up having lots of fun, start to believe in the power of cob ovens to save the world, and make great new friends. I shot about 700 pictures this weekend, so I need to make a bigger gallery, which I will put on a public photo gallery in the net. I will publish the link as soon as it is done. Here just one pic of how the building on Sunday night ended, right on time after finishing the second layer – the thunderstorm Helsinki has been waiting for since the whole summer finally arrived!!! (and the oven survived!) Curious to see more?

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

lost in clay digging (and maunula)
August 6, 2010, 2:27 pm
Filed under: Foraging, Good to know, Helsinki, Making of, Workshop | Tags: , , , ,

Last night, some crazy people headed to a beautiful spot in suburban Helsinki, a forest between Maunula and Metsälä, to dig up clay from a small river. With success! The most beautiful clay was found, a car-load dug up, and transported to Kalasatama for the building of the clay oven tomorrow! Yeah!!

exciting planning night @ hub
August 4, 2010, 8:31 pm
Filed under: Bread, Design, Helsinki, Network, Workshop | Tags: , , , , , , ,

20 people all together gathered tonight at the Hub in Helsinki city centre to plan the cob oven building at Kalasatama! A big success! First, we all introduced ourselves, most people were from Finland, but we also had some international guests from Norway, Turkey, Scotland, Mexico, and Germany. After a short brainstorm, Tanja showed some pictures from her cob oven building experience at a workshop in Germany. Everyone with some experience shared their stories and knowledge. Then, we divided into three groups (material, tools, design) to get organized, which was great fun because we only had very basic knowledge, but still managed to plan everything. The next two days will be busy with retrieving building material from Helsinki and its suburbs, finding information from the internet (free manuals etc.), and planning the workshop weekend. Stay tuned!

Great links:




Cob oven workshop scheduled!

Good news to all bread, pizza, and oven enthusiasts! Something similar to what you can see on this picture might soon be standing in the middle of Helsinki!

The cob oven-building workshop is finally scheduled and will take place during the first week of August, divided into two phases: the design/ planning phase, and the actual building phase. In between, we will organize and retrieve the materials needed together.
The design phase will be a relaxed meeting at the Hub in the city centre on Wednesday, 4th of August, at 5 pm. Feel free to bring any info ma…terial, photos or stories on oven building with you! We will most probably be joined by some professional oven builders who will share their knowledge, all other information can be retrieved from the Internet. You can bring your own laptop if at hand, otherwise, there are some computers at the Hub we may use. We plan to get all building materials for free, e.g. sand and bricks from construction sites, and clay from nature in the Helsinki area.

The building phase will take place on the weekend of the same week, 7th and 8th of August, at the container square in Kalasatama, starting from 1 pm until later at night. Sunday night, we will celebrate the successful building with drinks and grilling. At the same time, we can start to plan events that involve the use of the oven. Because it needs to dry out for about 2 weeks, we cannot inaugurate it immediately, but keep your second weekend after the building free!

There is no limit of participants for the planning workshop, so welcome to the Hub! To sign up for the building part, please send an email to: saviuunihelsinkiin@gmail.com, even if you registered for it on Public School. At the building site there can be max. 10 participants at the same time.

Dates & places:

1) Planning workshop: 04.08.2010, 5 pm @ Hub Helsinki, Aleksanterinkatu 16-18, 00320 Helsinki
2) Building workshop: 07.+ 08.08.2010, 1 pm – open end @ Kalasatama’s Konttiaukio/ Container square, 00580 Helsinki

Things to bring along:

– water!
– working clothes
– sun protection (sun lotion/hat/etc.)
– energy and enthusiasm :)

Sign up quickly so you can participate! If the workshop is already full, you are still welcome to join us, to watch, discuss, take pictures, film, or just hang out! Any help or interest is welcome!

Contact & registration:


Katharina, Salla & Tanja
Public School Helsinki & Hub Helsinki

Strange treasures
June 22, 2010, 3:14 pm
Filed under: Bread, Good to know | Tags: , ,

Back from Sodankylä’s film festival in Lappland (I actually found some useful books and objects for this project from the numerous fleamarkets in the town)!  Juhannus is approaching, and life slows down in the cities and the whole country. The 1-month-jubilee of this blog today requires another new post, so I will just share something I might be using somehow later on :

I have been collecting some old proverbs and saying about bread from different cultures. Here are some examples from Finland that I liked, with a translation of sorts:

Kenen leipää syöt, sen lauluja laulat./ Sen laulua laulat jonka leipää syöt.

(Whose bread you eat, whose songs you’ll sing.)

Leipä vahvin suksen voide.

(Bread is the strongest wax for skis.)

Hapan leipä ja jauhokalja ei tuu koskaan vanhanaikaseks.

(Sour bread and beer will never be old-fashioned.)

Nyt on meillä ilo suur, kun on meillä leivän juur.

(Now our joy is great, since we have a root for bread.)

Happy Juhannus!


U. Rauramo: Ruis; Suomalaisten salainen ase; Atena Kustannus Oy, Keuruu 2004



Baking workshop @ Avikainen
June 9, 2010, 6:51 pm
Filed under: Bread, Food, Helsinki, Making of, Production, Workshop | Tags: , , , , , ,

Today, the first workshop of the “5” event series took place, at Avikainen bakery in Kallio, Helsinki. The small family bakery produces daily fresh bread since 1955. The sourdough root they are using now is about 50 years old! My friends and fellow students Iina from Finland, Valeria from Russia, Jens and Jakob from Germany, and David and Giovanna from Mexico watched and kneaded the rye sourdough that Jenni Avikainen had already prepared for us. We made about a dozen of reikäleipä, ten of those are hanging now on my curtain pole to dry and wait to be used in one of the upcoming events. Reikäleipä used to be stored like that over the winter. Its taste gets stronger and stronger with time, and its consistency harder and harder to chew on. I am exited to try it!

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A big thanks again to Jenni and her mum, Jani, the half-German-half-Finnish who used to work in the bakery and told interesting stories, and the baking students for your participation and interest!