Finnish Whole-Wheat Flatbread

A small batch of a flatbread made without yeast, that means hot bread on the table in minutes, a welcome addition to a simple meal of soup or salad.

Finnish Whole-Wheat Flatbread ♥ KitchenParade.com, hot bread on the table in minutes.

Homemade Flatbread, Made from Scratch. Just Six Ingredients, All From the Pantry. Budget Friendly. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Easy DIY.

Curious Minds Want to Know

When I looked up how to spell flatbread, I was surprised to see the note, "traditional in Scandinavia".

Do you think of flat breads – ahem, flatbread – as universal? So do I.


#1 Is Flatbread Spelled One Word or Two? Flatbread vs Flat Bread?

One word! That's flatbread not flat bread.


#2 But Is Flatbread Really Popular in Scandinavia?

Apparently!

Nonetheless, my flatbread recipe is from Finland, a rustic favorite from when I lived there as an exchange student way back forever ago. It's a tender savory quick bread, just right to serve warm with a bowl of soup or alongside a salad or, with tea, say, for breakfast.


And for the record, yeah, I do know that technically Finland is "Nordic" but not "Scandinavian" – that's typically reserved for the nearby countries of Sweden, Denmark and Norway, places joined by similar languages and cultures.

But for most people, Finland also belongs in the cultural region called Scandinavia, connected by history, geographic proximity and common borders.

It's complicated. For the extra-curious, Wikipedia can help, Scandinavia vs Nordic countries.

Or you know, just explore with your tastebuds. Swedish Rye Bread. Norwegian Lefse. Danish ... oops, nothing specific from Denmark. But then, here, Finnish Flatbread made with whole wheat flour.

Say "Welcome Home" With Hot Bread

There’s nothing quite like warm-from-the-oven bread to say “welcome home” to a hungry family.

Finnish Whole-Wheat Flatbread is plain cooking at its best. It’s best hot, too, so make only enough for the meal at hand and perhaps for snacking within the next day.

It's made without yeast, that means there's no need (haha) for a rise time. Instead, the flatbread is leavened with a mix of baking powder and baking soda.

To get things moving, I do recommend kneading the bread for just a couple of minutes.

Nervous About Kneading? Don't Be!

Busy cooks often do two things at once: think of kneading as feeding your family and exercising your upper arms at the same time!

If you’re new to kneading bread, it’s really quite simple, just a press-fold-turn rhythm.

  • Sprinkle a plate-size area of countertop with a tablespoon of flour, keeping another couple of tablespoons within reach.
  • With your hands, form the dough into a flat round and place onto the floured area.
  • Palms down, grasp the dough lightly.
  • Press it firmly away from you with the heel of one hand.
  • Then fold the top third or half of the dough toward you.
  • Turn the dough a quarter turn.
  • Repeat the press-fold-turn process in continuous motion – you’re kneading bread!

Soon you’ll feel the dough become thicker and more pliant as the leavening (that's the baking powder and baking soda which make the bread rise) begins to work. If the dough starts to stick, just sprinkle a little more flour on the countertop.


Hungry Yet? A Simple Finnish Menu


Scandinavian Split-Pea Soup
Finnish Whole-Wheat Flatbread
(recipe below)
with
Smoked Whitefish Spread
Green Salad with Havarti Cheese

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How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If a recipe for hot bread in minutes hits the mark, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...

Finnish Whole-Wheat Flatbread ♥ KitchenParade.com, hot bread on the table in minutes.



FINNISH WHOLE-WHEAT FLATBREAD

Hands-on time: 15 minutes
Time to table: 55 minutes
Makes 6 wedges, easily doubled for more
  • 3/4 cups all-purpose or bread flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 94g
  • 6 tablespoons whole wheat flour, fluffed to aerate or 47g
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) cold salted butter
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • For kneading, additional flour
  • For sprinkling on top, good salt such as Maldon or something fresh like Everything Bagel Seasoning
  • For brushing after baking, olive oil

Heat the oven to 350F/175C. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Combine flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl.

With the large holes of a cheese grater, "grate" the butter to create the perfect size pieces for flaky, tender bread. With your hands, toss the butter into the flour mixture to coat and distribute; work quickly, you don't want the heat of your hands to soften the butter.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, pour in the buttermilk and with your hands, work in until just moistened.

Knead the dough for two or three rounds right in the bowl, then move the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 1 - 2 minutes. Work in a little flour to keep the dough from sticking but use as little as possible, the more flour, the heavier the bread. As the leavening begins to work, you'll feel the dough begin to firm up and "poof".

Shape the dough into a flat round with smooth edges and arrange on the parchment paper. With a benchknife or the dull side of a knife, "score" the dough into six pieces (or as many as you want), cutting into the dough but without cutting all the way through. Sprinkle with a little salt.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is turning gold. Remove from oven and brush lightly with olive oil. Cool for 10 minutes, then serve immediately.

ALTERNATIVES for BAKING Don't like the rustic bread look? The bread will appear slightly more "together" when the dough is arranged for baking on a lightly buttered 12” pizza pan (this size works best for a double batch) or a 9-inch cake pan or in a square pan such as an 8x8.


VEGAN FLATBREAD For a vegan flatbread, use vegetable shortening instead of butter, this is how I first made the recipe back in 2003.

Adapted from The Finnish Cookbook (affiliate link) by Beatrice Ojakangas. That's the original edition, the cookbook my Finnish mother gifted to my own mother the year I was an exchange student in Finland. It is a faithful representation of authentic Finnish cuisine, adapted for American ingredients and measurements. There's also a newer edition of The Finnish Cookbook (affiliate link).
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Piece (assumes 6): 99 Calories; 4g Tot Fat; 3g Sat Fat; 11mg Cholesterol; 311mg Sodium; 12g Carb; 1g Fiber; 3g Sugar; 3g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 2 & PointsPlus 3 & SmartPoints 4 & Freestyle 4 & myWW green 4 & blue 4 & purple 4

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Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ buttermilk recipes ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.

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