Thursday, 14 February 2013

Scandinavian style


You know that mystical place where elephants go to die (or Florida for Jews in certain American jokes)? That is what this house is for Scandinavian design. For someone who grew up around pale coloured birch wood, minimalism and clean lines the Scandinavian design has lost some of its charm. Not so for our Gentleman.

Since there are lots of other Scandinavians around here, it's also available in here. Though, Stockmann's - our local department store in Helsinki - shipping service has been well and truly satisfied with their loyal customer. In Fuengirola there's a shop specialized in Finnish design, and thanks to them we now have a 2-meter Marimekko cow occupying our kitchen wall.

Soon after the house was purchased we had a visit from an English electrician who could not believe his eyes. He just stood in the doorway, flabbergasted. "Are we still in Spain?" he wanted to confirm. Oh yes, we are.




But there's a ton of good to be said about the Nordics. Such as democracy, the welfare and gender equality. And knäckebröd- that crisp, thin bread full of grainy goodness! As our stock is running low, I made some myself.

Especially the Swedish kind is amazing and Östermalm market is a great place for sourcing some of the best varieties. In Fuengirola and Los Boliches where majority of the Finns live, you can also find speciality shops for those in dire need of Finnish foodstuffs. "Mustard, rye bread, coffee-you name it. We bring it all with us from Finland," confided once a retired Finnish couple we met in Granada. These days you can even get rye bread here.

In Arroyo de la Miel there are more Swedes, which is also reflected on the selection in the local supermercados. They sell Kopperberg cider and Kalles Kaviar, a salty cod roe-paste I lovelovelove! And it works well with these. More grown-up and sophisticated palates will be happy to know these work well with soups and dips, such as taramasalata.

Since The Gentleman prefers blondes (as you can see), I used some of that whole meal flour in these , lying around in the cupboard. But feel free to use just rye flour, the way I did for the heart-shaped ones on the left. The colour, however, won't get as dark as the one on shop-bought knäckebröd. Perhaps I should try substituting the salt in the dough with soy sauce...?

Feel free to get crazy with the spices and seeds, too. Poppy seed, flax seed, sesame seed, sunflower seed... Anything you like, as much as you like.



3.5 dl rye flour 
1 dl whole meal flour
1.5 dl water
1 tbsp oil
1.5 tbsp cumin seeds*)  +
2 heaped tbsp pumpkin seeds
(or 2 heaped tbsp pumpkin seeds
+ 2 heaped tbsp sunflower seeds) 


Mix the ingredients to a smooth dough. Roll in into a thin sheet on a lightly floured surface (as thin as you can) and cut into desired shapes. If making round, canapé-sized ones, this recipe makes appr. 48. The strips (depending on the size) you get about 20.

Prick with a cocktail stick before baking. Bake at 250° for appr. 7 minutes until brown and crisp.




In the honour of Valentine's Day you could also bake them like this...





*) I did mean to use caraway seeds, but too many things got lost in the translation... See, in Finnish caraway is kumina. And cumin is jeera. Enough to confuse minds greater than mine. Should you want to use caraway seeds, 1.5 tsp will do... Don't get me wrong- even with cumin seeds they are still very good. With a slightly Mexican tang to them...

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