If you want to see two Finns fight ask them what kind of a bread is rieska. In different parts of the country the same word is used to describe very different types of leavened and unleavened breads. Generally younger people of the day already share a common view: rieska is the kind of flat, unleavened, usually round or rectangular bread sold in all Finnish grocery stores. It's most typically made of barley or potatoes with possibly wheat as a binding agent. Around Scandinavia there are probably hundreds of ways to use rieska.
For starters, here's one very basic rieska recipe:
- 5 dl ice cold water
- 0.5 tbsp salt
- 9-10 dl barley flour (preferably coarse kind though it's hard to find)
Dissolve the salt in the water. Add the flour little by little. Mix the dough with a wooden fork rather than your hand since it should stay cold. Knead quickly on floured table. Pat the dough into four thin (about 0.5 cm thick) discs (or make one big layer and use a bowl to cut circles from it). Sting holes on them with a fork. Place into a 300°C oven for about 5 minutes. If possible, use a plain grate instead of a tray so they'll get more evenly baked.
Rieskas are done when they've got some colour. If successful, they feel light, the cover is crispy and the inside is done but a bit sticky. Wrap them inside a towel to soften up (mine never do cause I keep forgetting them in the oven for too long).
Rieska can be eaten as it is in the same manner as Indian naan bread or French baguette. You can also use it for wrappings like Mexican tortillas, cover it with toppings like Italian pizzas or crumble it into cold oat milk or gravy like um... Well, I'm sure there's some example of this one too somewhere in the world. In any case, rieska is best when still fresh.
Nutritional values / 1 rieska:
energy 509 kcal
fat 3 g
protein 13 g
carbohydrates 105 g
fiber 12 g