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Active time
45 minutes
Total time
7 hours
8 servings

1 ⅔ cups (4 dl) water
3 cups (7 dl) rye flour
1 ¼ cups (3 dl) all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons (50 gr) butter
2 teaspoons salt

1 ¾ pounds (800 gr) small fish (vendace, perch)
7 ounces (200 gr) side pork or bacon
1 tablespoon salt

  1. Clean the fish and strain well. Prepare the dough. Mix the flours and salt and then stir them into the water. Add the soft butter and knead into a firm dough. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a circular, approximately 1 cm thick crust (the center of the crust should be thicker than the edges). Sprinkle the center of the crust with rye flour.
  2. Place the fish, salt and side pork, in layers, onto the center of the crust. Raise the edges and close the seam tightly with water and flour. Form into a round shape. Place the pie upside down (the seam downwards) onto a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper.
  3. Bake at 400°F (200°C) until the crust has a brownish color. Wrap the pie in foil, lower the heat to 200°F (75 — 100 ° C), and bake for approximately 5 — 6 more hours. After removing the pie from the oven, cover it with a kitchen towel to soften the crust.

“The unopened kalakukko will keep for a long time and it can be eaten either warm or cold, which in the olden days made it a perfect dish for long trips.” Kaisa Poutanen

Note: the photo above is not of kalakukko, but of various rye-dough pastries, some containing fish, at the Market Hall in Helsinki.


Recipe courtesy of Kaisa Poutanen. Oldways photo from Cynthia Harriman.


Calories: 460
Total Fat: 19 g
(Saturated Fat: 8 g)
Sodium: 1730 mg
Carbohydrate: 44 g
Fiber: 4 g
Protein: 28 g.

Yield: 8 servings

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