Thursday, March 31, 2005

Ham on Rye with beefsteak tomatoes and pickled gherkin (evening snack)

There is no beating Finnish Rye bread. There are so many varieties but my favourite is "Jälkiuuni" sour rye bread. First off the bread is sour and salty. This is due to fact that the starter for the sourdough has lactobacillus, which produces lactic acid to give the bread that acid bite.

This bread is called and "after-oven" bread. Once all the other bread has been baked at the bakery and the oven is cooling down this is when the Jälkiuuni Rye bread is put into the oven. It is circular and has a hole in the centre. In the olden days once the bread was baked a pole was shoved through the hole and the rye bread hung from the rafters. Because of its sourness it was a bread that could be kept for a long time.

Due to to baking process of a long slow and low temperature the bread is a very tough and it gives good exercise to the teeth just to eat it. I love it with oak smoked ham, beef steak tomatoes, and pickled gherkin, and even though it is quite salty I am not averse to grinding some sea salt on the tomatoes for that extra ping.

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