Monthly Archives: March 2022

Perunablinipannari ja blinitäytteitä Gastro-tarjottimilla.

Oven-baked potato blini pancake

Oven-baked potato blini pancake

For a large Maku tray (40x30x2.5cm)

  • 1.5 dl milk
  • 11 g dried yeast / 25 g fresh yeast
  • 2 dl sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 1.5 dl buckwheat flour
  • 1 dl wheat flour
  • 300 g (starchy) potatoes
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 egg whites
  • 30 g melted butter
  1. Dissolve the yeast in lukewarm milk. Add the sour cream, wheat and buckwheat flour and sugar. Allow the dough to rise and sit under a cloth at room temperature for at least an hour, preferably several hours.
  2. Prepare the other ingredients of the dough while it rises. Peel the potatoes and boil them well in salted water. Mash the potatoes into a fine purée and allow to cool.
  3. Separate the egg yolks and whites.
  4. When the dough has risen enough, add the potato purée, egg yolks, melted butter and salt. Mix well.
  5. Whip the egg whites with an electric mixer to make a light foam. Finally, add the egg white foam to the dough by gently lifting. At this point, do not mix too heavily.
  6. Line a large Maku tray with baking paper and pour the dough onto the tray. Bake at 200 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until the pancake is light golden brown in color.
  7. If you want to garnish the pancake, let it cool before you spread the toppings on it. You can also enjoy the pancake while it is warm by arranging the toppings separately on small Maku trays.

 

Honey-roasted root vegetable salad

For a medium-sized Maku tray (31x24x2.5cm)

  • 1 small parsnip
  • half a celeriac or swede
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 dl liquid honey
  • handful of fresh thyme / 1–2 teaspoons of dried thyme
  • oil
  • salt
  • pepper

 

  1. Peel the root vegetables. Cut the parsnip, celeriac and carrots into small cubes. Finely chop the red onion and fresh thyme.
  2. Line the Maku tray with baking paper. Spread the root vegetable cubes onto the Maku tray. Evenly pour honey, chopped thyme, a drop of oil and a pinch of salt and pepper on top. Mix.
  3. Roast the root vegetables at 200 degrees for 30 minutes or until they are roasted golden brown. Spread the cooled salad in strips onto the pancake or serve it buffet-style straight from the Maku tray.

 

Janica Brander / @Savusuolaa

Savusuolaa blogger, author and freelance journalist specializing in restaurants and food.

 

Read Janica’s article on how she organized an easy Finnish-style blini party. You can access the article here.

 

Oven-baked potato blini pancake on the table.

Easy Finnish-style blini party

I love blinis, but they are slow to fry, so in recent years, I have switched to making oven-baked blini pancakes. This way, you will get the same flavors without the sizzling fat and you can step away from the stove. The blini party becomes even easier with Maku trays that can be used not only for serving, but also for prepping and baking. Get your pancake straight from the oven to the table with a beautiful tray!

 

Flavors from Finland

As we celebrated the Finnish Culture Day at the end of February, I pondered how I could add a Finnish twist to blinis. Finnish flavors are not as acidic as in Slavic cuisine, from where blinis originated. I softened the sour buckwheat dough with potatoes, the foundation of our cuisine. I whipped the egg whites into a foam, which makes the pancake extra light.

I also associate Finnish cuisine to root vegetables. Swedes, turnips and other offerings of the cold cellar kept people alive when there were no fridges or freezers. Root vegetables are incredibly delicious when you season and cook them well.

Traditionally, honey is poured on top of the blinis, but I served them in a new way. I used a Maku tray to roast root vegetables, which I seasoned with heaps of honey and herbs. I spread the cooled pancake first with smetana and then with decorative strips of honey-roasted root vegetables and pickles. This brought a sweet, salty and rich flavor to every bite.

 

Blini buffet with trays

I did not put onions and fish on the pancake because there was a vegetarian in our party and our child is hesitant to eat uncooked onions. Instead, I arranged gravlax, roe, onions and more pickles on smaller Maku trays. Those who eat fish could then add anything they wanted from the trays to their piece of pancake, and the table setting was harmonious as all the dishes were matching.

Of course, you can also serve the blini pancake as it is without any toppings. You can brush the freshly baked pancake with melted butter, and the diners can select the toppings to their own taste.

A pancake with toppings, on the other hand, is an easy yet visually impressive dish. You can also cut pickles lengthwise to create patterns, make gravlax roses or freely sprinkle roe on top of the pancake.

 

Machine wash and stack

It was easy to clean up after the blini party as the stainless steel trays can be washed in the dishwasher. Then, all that there was left to do was to stack and set them aside to await the next blini party.

My 8-year-old says it must be held soon, as the potato pancake and sweet vegetables became a hit. Yet another educative culinary experience for the young! Maybe next time we will dare to try the onion?

 

Janica Brander / @Savusuolaa

Savusuolaa blogger, author and freelance journalist specializing in restaurants and food.

Janica made us an oven-baked potato blini pancake recipe with a Finnish twist. Check the recipe here.

 

Porcini mushroom pizza on the table.

Porcini mushroom pizza

This Neapolitan pizza dough is my quick and easy go-to recipe that can be made on short notice whenever you get that craving for some pizza. Allowing the dough to rise for a few hours will guarantee a delicious pizza that you can serve for surprise guests or at a get-together with friends. I recommend the use of Tipo 00 flour, which is intended for pizza dough, but bread flour with a high protein content (approx. 12–14 grams) will also do. As the dough will rise quickly, the flour does not need to be particularly strong. A mixer, kitchen scales and large bowls for raising the dough in will make things easier, but you can also knead the dough by hand on a counter top.

Slicemonger’s easy and reliable dough

Makes four pizzas roughly 30 cm in diameter (240 g per ball of dough)

  • 350 g (350 ml) lukewarm water
  • 4 g (1 tsp) dry yeast
  • 18 g (1 tbsp) fine sea salt
  • 600 g (900 ml) Tipo 00 flour
  • Extra flour for dusting the work surfaces

Mix the yeast and salt in with the water. Add the flour and knead for about three minutes until the dough no longer has any noticeably floury spots left.

Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for about 10 minutes.

Continue to knead the dough for another 10 minutes until it comes off the bowl easily.

Shape the dough into a ball and cover the bowl with clingfilm or an airtight lid. A damp cloth over the bowl will also work. Let the dough rest for approximately three hours in room temperature.

Once the dough has risen, divide it into four pieces. Roll the dough into balls and let them rise again in a bowl, covered with an airtight lid or clingfilm, or a proofing box for an hour.

Porcini mushroom pizza

  • 1 ball of Slicemonger’s trusty dough
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 50 g mature Emmental cheese
  • 50 ml parmesan flakes
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 medium-sized, thinly sliced porcini mushroom
  • 3 tbsp crème fraîche
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

(If you want a meatier pizza, you can add thin slices of cold-smoked reindeer on top after the baking.)

 

Place a ball of dough onto a pizza peel, dusted with flour. Alternatively, you can shape your pizza and add the toppings on a wooden cutting board or an oven tray. Press out the air in the dough, from the center toward the edges. Stretch the base to make it round (Ø approx. 30 cm). Leave about 1 cm of crust around the pizza. Remember to use enough flour under the dough to stop it from sticking.

Coat the base evenly with the crème fraîche, followed by the grated Emmental. Arrange the parsley and mushrooms and pour the olive oil in a thin stream on top of the pizza.

Slide the pizza onto a hot pizza stone or tray by using a peel. Bake for 3–5 minutes at the top of the oven under the grill or until the pizza has a beautiful golden color.

Add some ground pepper, parmesan flakes and, if you want, a few slices of cold-smoked reindeer as a finishing touch.

 

     

 

A pizza stone or a baking steel

The important thing when baking a pizza is to get the base and the toppings to cook through simultaneously. Achieving a crispy base is often difficult, but a pizza stone or a baking steel will help. Both work the same way: the stone or the steel is heated up in an oven where it stores the heat. As steel conducts heat better, it will give your pizza that crispy base quicker. Baking steels are more expensive than pizza stones, but they are also more durable and will not crack like pizza stones, which are often quite sensitive to impacts.

Place your pizza stone (or baking steel) at the bottom of the oven and heat up the oven to its maximum temperature. This will take around half an hour. If you have an infrared thermometer, measure the stone’s internal temperature – it should be at least 250 °C. Place an oven rack at the top of the oven. Place the stone with the pizza on top at the bottom of the oven and turn on the grill. Bake the pizza for roughly 3–4 minutes at the bottom, until the base has got some color. Then, use the peel to lift the pizza onto the rack and continue baking it until the toppings are properly browned.

 

Jukka Salminen / @Slicemonger

Jukka “Slicemonger” Salminen is a Tampere-based photographer, musician and pizza maker who has been working on pizza for years. The sociability is also important to Jukka – cooking and eating together is the best thing a person can do.

Read what Jukka says about pizza in Finnish food culture. The article can be found here.

Porcini mushroom pizza on the table.

Finnish pizza

Finnish pizza culture is very young, as the first pizza places in Finland were opened in the 1970s. All Finns are probably familiar with the pizzas grandma used to make; ketchup instead of San Marzano tomatoes and ground beef instead of air-dried salami. In recent years, however, Finland, too, has seen a pizza-making revolution. This has been brought on by passionate restauranteurs and enthusiastic home pizza chefs who have brought pizza ovens to their backyards. A pizza chef group on Facebook has more than 26,000 members discussing the purposes of different types of flour and the best pizza base recipes.

Due to the long winters, preserves and seasonal products have been characteristic of Finnish cuisine. Today, supermarket shelves are full of food items from all over the world, and being able to find high-quality pizza flour in your local grocery store is the norm.

The pizza that we now eat originated in Naples in the south of Italy in the 18th century. Pizza used to be a cheap option for commoners, until it became one of the world’s most popular dishes in the 20th century. Finnish cuisine and Italian pizza have simplicity and the purity of the ingredients in common. Pure Finnish nature and the concept of Everyman’s Rights, including the right to pick wild berries and mushrooms and fish, ensure that you can pick your pizza toppings in the local forest, if you wish. Penny buns, freshwater fish and game, for example, are excellent and special ingredients to top your pizza. Combined with high-quality cheese and dough, Finnish pizza must have some of the best flavors in the world. Now you can make it at home!

 

Jukka Salminen / @Slicemonger

Jukka “Slicemonger” Salminen is a Tampere-based photographer, musician and pizza maker who has been working on pizza for years. The sociability is also important to Jukka – cooking and eating together is the best thing a person can do.

Jukka developed a porcini mushroom pizza recipe for us, inspired by Finnish food culture. You’ll find the recipe here.