RYE CRISPBREAD (HARDTACK)
Makes 4 (10- to 12-inch) rounds.
Note: From "The Finnish Cookbook," by Beatrice Ojakangas.
• 1 pkg. active dry yeast
• 2 c. warm water
• 1 tsp. salt
• 4 1/2 to 5 c. rye flour, divided
Dissolve yeast in 2 cups warm water. Add the salt and gradually beat in 4 cups of the flour. The dough should be soft. Cover lightly and let rise in the mixing bowl in a warm place until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour).
Sprinkle a board generously with flour and turn the dough out onto it. Shape into a smooth ball and divide into 4 parts.
Form each into a round ball, using flour freely to keep the dough from sticking to your hands or to the board, but be careful not to work the extra flour into the dough. Roll out carefully, powdering any sticky spots with flour, until the dough is about 1/4- to 1/2- inch thick. Keep the shape round.
Using a large spatula, remove the round to a baking sheet that has been greased and floured. Prick the round all over with a fork; cut a hole in the center (using a small round cutter about 2 inches in diameter), and let rise in warm place about 15 minutes.
Bake in a very hot oven (450 degrees) for 10 to 15 minutes or until the bread feels firm when touched. The rounds should still bend when they are removed from the oven. Cool on a rack.
For the breads to become properly crisp, they must be dried after cooling. Traditionally, they were strung up on poles to dry. However, you may place them on the racks in the oven after the oven has cooled, and let them dry overnight or for about 6 to 8 hours.
To serve, break into pieces and spread with butter.
Nutrition information per round of crispbread:
Calories 102 Fat 0 g Sodium 150 mg
Carbohydrates 22 g Saturated fat 0 g Calcium 8 mg
Protein 3 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 4 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1½ bread/starch.
Grilled Nordic Flatbread
Makes 3 (10-inch) rounds.
Note: This recipe was developed by Nordic food teacher, historian and cook Patrice Johnson of Roseville, who writes, "Think of it as radish pizza; a celebration of the simple flavors we take for granted in Minnesota. The humble radish reminds me to appreciate small blessings."
For the crust: • 1 tsp. yeast
• 1 tbsp. maple syrup (honey or sugar also work)
• 2/3 c. warm water
• 1 3/4 bread flour (plus 1/4 c., if needed)
• 1/3 c. rye flour
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/2 tsp. caraway
• 2 tbsp. melted unsalted butter
For the toppings:
• 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 2 tbsp. cream cheese, at room temperature
• 6 tbsp. chèvre or soft sheep cheese
• 1 1/2 c. shredded Parmesan or Asiago cheese
• 2 c. thin sliced radishes
• Fresh dill and basil
• 1/4 c. sour cream
• 1 to 2 tsp. prepared horseradish
• Olive oil
In small mixing bowl combine yeast, maple syrup and 2/3 cup warm water; set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes.
Place dry ingredients (bread flour, rye flour, salt and caraway) in food processor and process until well combined and caraway is broken up. While continuously processing, add yeast mixture and 2 tablespoons melted butter through feeding tube. Continue processing until smooth silk dough forms (add additional flour if dough is too wet).
Place dough ball in oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for at least 2 hours. Divide dough into 3 balls and roll each into thin 10-inch round.
In small mixing bowl combine 2 tablespoons butter, cream cheese and chèvre.
Have all other ingredients prepared and next to your grill or cooking area: Parmesan, radishes, dill and basil. Combine sour cream and horseradish and place in squeeze bottle.
Grill each flatbread uncovered over direct heat until dark marks appear and the top side begins to bubble, about 3 minutes depending on how hot your grill runs.
Remove from grill and spread 1/3 of the butter-cheese and shredded cheese over cooked side of crust. Dot evenly with 1/3 of the radishes and return crust to grill. Cover with lid and cook until cheese melts; 3 to 5 minutes.
Check every minute or so to be sure crust does not burn; if crust cooks too quickly move the flatbread to a cooler part of grill and continue cooking with lid down until cheese is melted.
Top hot flatbread with lots of dill and basil and season with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Squeeze a drizzle of sour cream mixture over the flatbread. Serve hot off the grill or at room temperature.
Nutrition information per half of each round:
Calories 420 Fat 21 g Sodium 730 mg
Carbohydrates 39 g Saturated fat 13 g Calcium 388 mg
Protein 18 g Cholesterol 54 mg Dietary fiber 3 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 2½ bread/starch, 1½ medium-fat meat, 2½ fat.