The best gluten-free Finnish Archipelago bread

The best gluten-free Finnish Archipelago bread

Hanneli Salo

A gluten-free version of the Finnish Archipelago bread… There’s a challenge. How to replace the cornerstones of this recipe, the rye flour and malt, with ingredients that are suitable for a person with celiac disease, but also to nail down the right taste, color and the composition? This has been a long-term challenge for me and I have played with this recipe in my mind for almost a year.

I have googled, pondered and compared different options and tasted different versions of the products sold in shops. Finally I dared to take the challenge and here’s the result: my version of a gluten-free Finnish Archipelago bread - which I can even dare to call Finnish Archipelago bread.

You will need the following for two loaves of bread:

  • 1 liter buttermilk
  • 75 g yeast
  • 0,5 dl psyllium
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 3 dl dark syrup
  • 2 dl crushed flax seeds + blueberry
  • 3 dl buckwheat bran
  • 6 dl buckwheat flour
For moisturizing
  • 0,5 dl syrup
  • 0,5 dl water
Instructions:
  1. Heat the yeast until lukewarm and then add the buttermilk and psyllium. Wait until the psyllium swells and the yeast dissolves.
  2. Add the syrup and the salt to the mixture and stir well.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until the dough is smooth. The dough can be left a bit loose.
  4. Divide the dough into two buttered loaf pans and let them rise in a warm place for about an hour.
  5. Brush the breads with the syrup-water mixture and bake them in 175 ℃ for an hour.
  6. Brush the breads again with the syrup-water mixture and bake them for an additional half an hour. If the surface of the bread gets too dark, place a piece of baking paper on them.
  7. When the breads have been baked for an hour and a half, take them out of the oven and brush them one more time with the syrup-water mixture. Let them cool for a little while.
  8. Take the breads out from the pans and let them cool completely.

This bread gets even better with time. Store the bread in the fridge wrapped in a plastic bag; this makes the bread juicier and deepens the taste. The bread can also be frozen after it has cooled down completely - when melted, the bread gets nice and moist.

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