Baltic black bread, traditionally made with rye flour and sourdough starter, is dense and sour, with a tight crumb. Its lush rye flavor gives this vegetarian soup earthy depth. A sprinkle of homemade cheese curds and fresh herbs lighten up each bowl.
Unsalted butter adds a creamy richness to the lean whitefish and potato filling, making it easier to spread into the cabbage leaves, and keeping the rolls moist through browning and simmering.
A generous ratio of butter to flour helps the dough spread in the oven, resulting in thin, crispy cookies with lacy golden brown edges. Chill the dough before baking to control spreading and concentrate the flavor of the cookies.
More tender and fluffy than store-bought farmer’s cheese, this easy-to-make fresh version can be prepared up to three days ahead of time. Leftovers are delicious spread on toast with jam or mixed with herbs for a bright dip.
Cookbook author and photographer Simon Bajada explores the surprisingly modern, locavore flavor of a stunning Baltic city.