March 8, 2011
Traditionally in Finland, Shrove Tuesday or “Laskiainen” (in Finnish) is the day kids go out to play with their pulk (pulkka, similar to a sled) downhill. Going to slide on the hill is what they call “pulkkamäki”.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t go pulkkamäki this year because my Pikkusiili is still sick. A huge disappointment for my other daughter, Luonnonvoima.
To make the day less boring, I offered her some Laskiaispulla and hot chocolate ^__^.
Laskiaispulla is a sweet cardamon-spiced bun served (and baked) on Shrove Tuesday. It is filled with strawberry jam (or raspberry) and whipped cream. Another version, common in Sweden, has almond paste inside instead of jam.
It serves the original purpose of Shrove Tuesday, the last festive day to eat “heavy” and prepare for Lent. Besides laskiaispulla, pea soup (hernekeitto) is often eaten too.
Laskiaispulla – Shrove Tuesday sweet buns
one recipe of traditional pulla (cardamon-spiced bun), strawberry jam and whipped cream
yields 20 small buns
adapted from here
- 2,5 dl milk
- 1 dl sugar (85g)
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 packet dry yeast
- about 7 dl special baking flour (I used erikoisvehnäjauho) – 1dl = 65g flour
- 100 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
Warm up the milk to 42 °C (to activate the dry yeast), mix sugar, salt and cardamom.
Lightly beat the egg and divide it in two portions (save the other to wash the buns before baking). Add one portion to the milk mixture, beating carefully.
Mix the dry yeast to part of the flour (about 1-2 dl ) and start pouring to the liquids, whisking to incorporate.
Add slowly the remaining flour (more or less, depending on the dough consistency. Too much flour and the buns will be hard). At last, add the melted butter.
Knead until dough is uniform, smooth and soft.
Place the dough in a large bowl and cover with a damp teacloth. Leave in a warm spot for about 40 minutes until the dough has doubled its size.
When raised enough, remove the dough from the bowl, knead it on a flour-dusted surface, “punching it down” (removes the gas formed during the fermentation). Divide the dough into 20 equal pieces.
Roll the pieces to form balls and place them on baking sheets (I use parchment paper). Let the little buns rise again covered in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 225 °C ( I bake in 220°C)
Brush the buns with egg and sprinkle sugar flakes on top (optional).
Bake in center of oven for 10-15 minutes (till golden brown), remove and let cool on a rack.
To assemble the Laskiaispulla:
Cut the tops of the buns (a “lid”) and using a spoon scoop a bit from inside the bun. Fill the cavity with a spoonful of jam, the crumbs and top with the whipped cream. Close with the “lid”. Dust with icing sugar if desired.
Serve with coffee or hot chocolate ^_^.
This picture is from last year´s Shrove Tuesday. It was taken in a playground nearby and what you see in the middle (kids surrounding it) is called “napakelkka“. Napakelkka is some sort of merry-go-round with a box (or sled) connected to a log of wood that slides in circles when you push it. I am not sure, but it also belongs to the tradition of the Laskiainen.
Kylmäsavuporo mustatorvisieni pizza. Pizza with cold-smoked reindeer meat and black trumpet mushroom
November 24, 2010
“What? Reindeer? What? Black mushroom?”… Hey, don’t look at me like that! ^_^
I explain you, this supposed to be just a Food Memo entry… We had this pizza on weekend and it was amazing… Flavors hit the spot I was expecting and I thought it would be nice to share the experience with you ^_^.
Everything started with a very “bothersome” mention from hubs, the day he met his old high school friends in a pizza party: “we baked this wonderful pizza , there was mustatorvisieni (black trumpet) and moose meat”. Ah… ok… WHAT?
Do you know when once in a while something comes to you and you try not to think about it but it just keeps poking you in your head? I was determined to make that pizza. Or at least, something close to the taste I’ve imagined.
First of all, to get the mustatorvisieni (craterellus cornucopioides) . Never seen it fresh. Never seen it in the forest. Never seen it dehydrated. Never seen it anywhere (just in my imagination ^_^). Oh wait! (Now hubs enters the scene) “hey, check this out, they have mustatorvisieni in brine today”. Right… hmm… let’s grab a box :P.
To go with it… Kylmäsavuporo , the cold-smoked reindeer meat. They sell it in the charcuterie part of the supermarket. No kidding, just normal. Not an everyday cold-cut anyways, it is very strong.
Ah yes. The girls (we have little ones in this house don’t we?)… they didn’t want this pizza. I don’t blame them :). They are just kids right? So I made them a child friendly pizza with minced meat ;).
Have I told you that minced meat pizza is very common here? And it is one of Finnish kids favorite… yep.
Kylmäsavuporo mustatorvisieni pizza
Yield 3 ∅ 30cm pizza + 4 mini ones (2 mushrooms pizzas, one medium and 4 small sized “bolognese”)
- 400 g chopped canned tomatoes (I used organic)
- 1 tbsp of tomato purée
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 1/3 tsp salt
- one pinch of sugar
- fresh ground black pepper
- oregano and basil if you like
Mix all the ingredients in a small pan (except for the black pepper) and bring to simmer for 30-60 minutes, until sauce is reduced and tomatoes are melting. Add the black pepper to taste.
If you like a smooth sauce, smash the cooked tomatoes or use a blender. I like it “chunky” ^_^.
about 150 – 200 g grated mozzarella cheese
- 3 dl warm water (about 42°C)
- 3 tsp active dried yeast (I used Sunnuntai Kuivahiiva)
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- about 6-7 dl durum wheat flour
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- a pinch of raw sugar
- corn meal (optional)
Pour the water into a large bowl, mix the salt, sugar and olive oil. In another measuring cup, mix the dry yeast with a small amount of wheat flour.
Using a fork, bring the flour and yeast to the liquid, swirling to combine. Add the rest of the flour, being careful not to add too much and make the dough too heavy.
The right moment to stop adding is when it starts to come together. Knead until you have a smooth, soft and springy dough.
Place the dough in a large bowl greased with olive oil and flour the top of it. Cover the bowl with a damp teacloth and place in a warm spot for about 1 hour until the dough has doubled in size.
When you are ready to use it, remove the dough from the bowl, knead it on a flour-dusted surface, “punching it down” (removes the gas formed during the fermentation). Divide the dough into 4 pieces and roll the pizzas out. It is better to roll one pizza at a time, unless you have a good timing on preparing everything ^_^.
Heat oven to 250°C
Sprinkle your baking tray with corn meal. If you have a baking stone, leave it waiting inside the oven. I don’t own one, so I just left my flat baking sheet heating up while I rolled the dough on parchment paper.
Brush the top of the pizzas with olive oil, spoon the tomato sauce, place the toppings and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake pizza one at a time until the crust is browned and the cheese is golden, about 10-15 minutes.
Cold-smoked reindeer meat and black trumpet mushroom topping
- 30 g sliced kylmäsavuporo – cold smoked reindeer meat (I used Lapin Liha sliced roast)
- 50 g (drained weight) black trumpet mushroom preserved in salted water (I used Kaskein Marja mustatorvisieni)
- a knob of unsalted butter
- 1 juniper berry (“katajanmarja”), crushed
- 1 small onion, diced
- fresh ground black pepper
Soak the mushrooms in water to remove the excess of salt. Dry them gently and put aside. Heat the butter in a small skillet and fry the onions until soft and fragrant. Add the mushrooms, the juniper berry and pepper to taste.
Cut the meat into small pieces.
Brush the top of the pizzas with olive oil, spoon the tomato sauce, place the reindeer meat and the mushroom mixture, sprinkle with cheese. Add oregano if desired.
Bake the pizza until the crust is browned and the cheese is bubbling golden, about 10-15 minutes.
Jauheliha pizza topping – pizza “bolognese”
- 200 g minced meat
- 2 small onions, chopped
- dried oregano and basil
- salt and pepper to taste
This is pretty simple. Fry the onions and the meat until golden brown, add the herbs and spices to taste.
Brush the top of the pizzas with olive oil, spoon the tomato sauce, sprinkle the meat mixture and top with cheese. Add oregano if desired.
Bake the pizza until the crust is browned and the cheese golden, about 10-15 minutes.
My notes about the recipe:
One could say there´s no point in writing the recipe, once the ingredients are “exotic”. Remember I said it supposed to be my “food memo” entry? Yep, you are right, I want the recipe for my reference too… (but hey, don’t you think it is entertaining just to read about something different?)