Finnish potato flatbreads - Perunarieska


Traditional Finnish unleavened potato flatbreads

These unleavened soft little flatbreads are made with mashed potato and are best eaten warm smeared with butter. I made a batch of fresh mash for these, but the recipe is perfect for using up any leftover boiled potatoes or mash. That's how the recipe probably originally was born. Finns used to eat potatoes pretty much at every meal in some shape or form, usually just boiled. Nowadays many are venturing into the realms of rice and pasta as our world has become more global, as they say, which I think is a bit stupid, but it just means people know more about other countries and cultures and are less stuck in their ways.

My parents generation is still very much unglobal, stuck in their ways and having a love affair with their potatoes. My Mum ever the adventurer sometimes makes pasta. Dad's not a fan and last time I spoke to them he was tangibly traumatized by having had to eat pasta three days in a row. Mum still sometimes cooks the same amounts as when there were 7 of us there instead of just the two of them. Even when I'd finished my chat with Dad and was speaking to mum I heard him muttering to himself in the background about the neverending pastathlon whilst watching Midsomer Murders. They watch more British TV in Finland than we do here.

We took them to Oxford once when they were visiting. We walked around the pretty town centre and they kept pointing buildings to each other saying oh we've seen this and look at that one, remember that? We were a bit surprised because we didn't think they'd been there before. They explained that they know the place because Inspectors Morse and Lewis live there. Obviously.

I made these potato flatbreads for our Saturday brunch and served them with an omelette and a salad. Husband was a bit suspicious pinching the bottoms of the breads asking if they were actually done. The consistency is soft and moist and unlike normal bread because of the mash. But after I explained this and confirmed that indeed they are supposed to be like that (a sentence I used to have to use a lot in my early days of domestic goddessness) he seemed happy and in the end gave me his Del Monte man approval announcing "This bread is very good".

Finnish potato flatbreads - Perunarieska

Soft unleavened no-knead flatbread
I baked them on a wire rack and after patting them nice and round I turned them around to get the rack pattern on top before pricking with a fork and baking. Fiddly but pretty.
Soft and moist baked potato flatbread

Baked Finnish  unleavened no-knead flatbread

Recipe: Traditional Finnish Potato Flatbread - Perunarieska

2 cups of potato mash (mashed potatoes, 50g butter, a splash of milk, salt)
2 cups of barley flour (I had no barley flour so I used wholemeal and plain half and half)
2 eggs

Heat oven to 250C (my oven only goes to 225C so I turned the broiler on a bit to give the breads nice colour on the surface).

The original recipe calls for barley flour, but don't be too hung up on that. You can use plain flour if you want, or a mix of plain and wholemeal for a healthier option. You could chuck in some oats or rye bran.

Mix all ingredients together until well incorporated, but don't overmix to avoid the dough becoming tough. Definitely don't knead. Taste to check you have added enough salt.

Flour the work surface lightly and divide the dough into 4 balls. Flatten each ball into a half an inch or slightly thinner circle. Place on a baking sheet covered with non-stick baking paper and prick with a fork.

Place in a preheated oven and bake for about 15 minutes (or a bit longer if your breads are not very thin) until the breads have got some nice colour. Originally these would have been baked in a masonry oven so you can just imagine how delicious they would have been. Wrap in a clean tea towel and serve immediately with butter.

They stay fresh for a few days or you can also freeze them. Just warm up before serving.

 Breakfast plate of omelette,no-knead potato flatbread and salad

As this is a great recipe for using those left over potatoes or the mash I am linking to Credit Crunch Munch at  Fuss Free Flavours and Fabfood4all 

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  1. These flatbreads look so delicious, I must make some extra mash in order to make some! Thanks for a fab and thrifty entry to #CreditCrunchMunch:-)

  2. My mum makes something similar to these, though even more basic and I LOVE them, I split 'em and add cheese and onion then grill them! I'm definitely having a go at your version as they are much nicer looking and I've never used barley flour before, but I have spotted some in the local health food shop.
    My dad hates pasta, and out right refuses to eat it! I managed to keep everyone happy when we were in Scotland and everyone ate everything...pigs, I made loads! :)

    1. Would love to hear about your Scottish adventure... Yes, these breads are so easy, must try splitting and filling them actually. I bet you could add cheese to the mix already. Can't go wrong with potatoes and cheese really, match made in heaven, if ever there was one.

  3. These look lovely, and are indeed a fab use of leftover mashed potato! Although being greedy we really have any! Certainly one to make. Thanks for sharing with #creditcrunchmunch