Ruisleipa. Bread. What else? Okay, ever since I tasted Ruis from Nordic breads at New York City's Greenmarket at Union Square, I've been wondering if I could make it. I can. I can't. I can. Why the neurosis? Well, besides being a New Yorker, I'm intimidated by Finnish bread, and this is 100 percent Finnish, made of one hundred percent rye.
In truth, it's not difficult except first you have to translate Finn. Whatever, I did, and the photos prove it. My report on the bread? Good shelf life. Delicious with a slab of butter, cucumbers, and fish. A dense but manageable dough. So far as shape, you can make it either round, flattened disk, or in Western Finnish style, with a hole in the middle.