silent hunt

I live very near the Helsinki City center, and there's a constant flood of cars driving past our apartment block building. The noise of the traffic is present night and day. There's lime and maple trees growing nearby, and a nice park too. But sometimes all the traffic gets on my nerves, and I have to get away from it, to walk in the woods, breathing the air filtered through the leaves of firs, oaks and pines. I remember going on a trips to the forests of my mother's family's farm. We went all year around, sometimes made a fire, picked up berries or mushrooms, spend good time in the silence. There's something pure about forests. It's like coming home.

So, we left on a cloudy Sunday morning. Me, Q, my Dad and the dog of my family. We drove to the northern Sipoonkorpi, and spend a fine day in the forest, hunting trumpet chanterelles.

We had salad with us, plus some left over pizza. We also baked bun over the campfire (called "tikkupulla" in Finnish). We made the dough ready home and packed it in a tight plastic box. It rose nicely in the airtight container, and was ready to be used couple of hours later. Bun baked on a stick is a Nordic phenomena practiced quite rarely. One simply takes a thin round strip of bun dough and wraps it around peeled finger thick stick (juniper is good), and bakes the bun over the embers.

The original, here trifle modified recipe is from a book Nuotiokirja (Campfire book) by Jaakko Heininmäki and Jyrki Yli-Uotila, photographed by Sami Repo.

Bun on a stick

½ litres soymilk
25 g fresh yeast
½ tsp salt
2 tsp cardamon
2 dl/ ¾ cups sugar
1 kg wheat flour
100 g melted vegan butter

Warm the milk lukewarm, crumble in the yeast, salt and sugar. Whisk well to mix all ingredients. Add flours  and knead the dough until it's pliable, soft and firm. You can use a mixer to help to knead the dough, or do it by hand. Add the butter last, and knead it well in. Let rest about an hour. Knead the dough a little more just before baking, roll it into a thin strips and roll around sticks. Bake over embers, slowly turning the stick around to bake the bun evenly. Delicious on a cold day with hot chocolate or coffee!

It rained a little, just enough to decorate the fallen aspen leaves with water droplets, and to clear the air. Later on sun started to shine. Smoke clang on my jacket and followed me the following days, reminding me of the colours in withered brackets, scent of tar in the pine logs and the wonderful feeling of time not existing in the world.

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