This is my bread of choice for the most god-awful stinky cheeses I can get my hands on. It’s probably not a traditional use for it but it works for me. This rough and crispy flatbread is perfect for slathering with the funkiest of room temperature washed rind cheeses. I haven’t tried the stinkiest cheese as determined by a computerized electronic nose, but I’m sure it will also pair well with this 100% rye bread.
So what’s the deal with the shape? Supposedly breads are baked in the western regions of Finland only a couple of times a year. Hundreds of these breads would be baked at the same time and hung on poles right under the ceilings. The acidity from the use of a wild yeast starter and its inherent dryness help preserve the breads until the next oven firing.
I painstakingly recreated such poles as I imagined it in the ceiling of a Finnish kitchen. Not included in the photo are four tomato cans used as rests for the wooden dowel.