|Sweet Potato Finnish Flatbread. Mysteriously, there are already a few missing…|
I know my last post was about sweet potatoes too. I know. But I had a hankering for a nice, soft, warm bread today, and rieska, a Finnish flatbread, came to mind. Rieska is an unleavened flatbread made with barley flour and/or rye flour for a very thin bread that looks similar to crisp bread but is not dried completely; or in the case of perunarieska, with white potatoes that have been cooked and then mashed (a great way to use up your leftovers) for a thicker, softer, slightly smaller flatbread.
I didn’t want white potatoes and I didn’t want the white flour that is typically added to rieska nowadays either, so I decided that it was a fine day for a Finnish flatbread makeover to make these beloved treats a little healthier.
With a sweet potato staring up at me from the countertop, waiting to be used, the choice was obvious as to what could be swapped in for the standard spud: Sweet Potato Finnish Flatbread was born.
It’s easy. It’s fast. You can serve it up in all the places when you would use naan, soft flour tortillas (though these are a lot thicker than your standard tortilla), or if you have made rieska before, than definitely try this recipe instead. You can use rieska to make an open face sandwich; use it as a pizza base; serve it warm with a little butter alongside a light soup or salad, or, instead of making the larger version in the photos, make small ones and cover them with different toppings for an appetizer or party food (hello again, Super Bowl fans).
Keeping with my theme of trading up ingredients for their healthier cousins, I went back to the roots of the traditional Finnish flatbread and used whole grain barley flour instead of standard white flour and
reduced the sugar to one teaspoon (some recipes call for up to 1/2 cup!!!) – the sweet potato is nice and sweet on its own, so you could probably skip that too. I used olive oil instead of the butter only because I didn’t want to melt butter, but either option is fine.
Boil the chunks of sweet potato; drain & mash. Add egg & oil. Dump in flour and its friends. Stir well with spatula to combine. Bake. Wait briefly. Begin piling on your toppings of choice.
Today we topped the warm Finnish flatbreads with cold smoked salmon a.k.a. gravlax; a little plain yogurt with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and some fresh alfalfa sprouts. Perfection. Go crazy. Make a big pile. They freeze really well, and all of your friends will want seconds anyway.
|Finnish flatbread topped with cold-smoked salmon, lemon yogurt and alfalfa sprouts|
Sweet Potato Finnish Flatbread a.k.a. Bataattirieska
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large egg
1 teaspoon coconut sugar, Indian sugar, maple syrup or liquid honey (optional)
4 dl / 1.5 cups whole grain barley flour or whole wheat flour
1.5 teaspoons salt
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
Put the sweet potato cubes into a small pot and cover them completely with water. Bring the pot to a boil; reduce the heat to a steady simmer, and cook the sweet potatoes until they are tender when poked with a fork; 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat; drain; set aside to cool.
Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
In a large bowl, beat together the egg, oil, and your choice of sweetener if using. In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder.
Mash the sweet potato until it is smooth. Measure 2 cups / 5 dl of sweet potato mash into the bowl containing the egg and oil mixture (save any remaining sweet potato for another use). Whisk the sweet potato – egg mixture with a fork to combine. Add the flour mixture, and using a spatula, fold and stir the mixture until the flour is fully incorporated. Let the dough rest 10 minutes.
Spoon the dough out into 12 equal portions onto two parchment-lined baking trays. Sprinkle flour over the top of each mound of dough. Using heavily floured hands, pat each dough mound out into an even circle. Poke each circle with the tines of a fork to make holes.
Bake for 15 – 18 minutes or until nicely browned.
Makes 12 flatbreads