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Better with Bread

Traditional Scandinavian Recipes

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No matter what language you speak, fresh baked bread is synonymous with smiles. Cultures all over the world have their own special twist on the universal comfort food, and many of them are easier to master than you might think! Brontë Aurell brings us three Scandinavian bread recipes that require little hands-on time and are sure to please a crowd.

Scandinavian bread recipe for Rye Flat Rolls - rågkakor

Rye Flat Rolls - rågkakor

Servings: 4 large rolls
These light rye flat rolls are so soft that my kids refer to them as “pillow bread.” Traditionally, these are made with rågsikt — a flour blend of 40% sifted rye flour and 60% white bread flour.

Ingredients
  

  • 3 Tbsp. 50 g fresh yeast or 1 oz. (25 g) active dry yeast
  • 1 ¼ cups 300 ml water, heated to 97-99°F
  • 1 ¼ cups 300 ml whole milk, heated to 97-99°F
  • ¼ cup 50 g golden syrup or light corn syrup
  • 3 ½ Tbsp. 50 g butter, melted
  • 1 ½ cups 200 g light rye flour (type 997), sifted
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups 550 g white bread flour (more if needed)
  • ¾ cup 100 g old-fashioned oats (Run larger oats through the food processor to make them finer.)

Instructions
 

  • If using fresh yeast, add the yeast, warm water, and milk to a stand mixer with a dough hook. Mix until the yeast has dissolved. If using active dry yeast, pour the warm water and milk into a bowl. Sprinkle over the yeast and whisk together. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 15 minutes to activate until frothy and bubbly. Pour into the mixer.
  • Grease 2 to 4 large baking sheets and line with parchment paper.
  • Once the yeast is ready, add the syrup and melted butter and stir.
  • Add the rye flour, salt, and half of the white flour. Mix with the dough hook until fully incorporated.
  • Add the oatmeal. Continue adding white flour and knead for around 4 to 5 minutes, until you have a slightly sticky mixture that’s coming together and letting go of the sides of the bowl.
  • Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm place to rise for about 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
  • Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead through, then split into 4 or 8 equal parts and shape into balls. For 4 large rolls, roll out the balls into circles about 8 to 10 inches in diameter. For 8 smaller rolls, roll into circles about 4 to 5 inches. The rolls should be around 3∕8 inch thick.
  • Put the rolls on the baking sheets. Cut a hole in the middle of each with a small ¾ to 1 ¼ inch pastry or cookie cutter, cover, and leave to rise for another 20 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Prick the breads evenly all over with a fork, all the way to the base. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned and risen. Remove from the oven and immediately cover with a damp kitchen cloth to prevent a crust from forming. Serve.
Scandinavian bread recipe for Stoneage Bread - stenalderbrød

Stoneage Bread - stenalderbrød

Servings: 1 loaf
This Denmark staple is a favorite for those on a no-grain diet (the original recipe was invented by chef Thomas Rode). Feel free to adapt as long as you stick to the combined grams of dry ingredients, eggs, and oil (or else your loaf will crumble). It’s delicious for open sandwiches or with cheese and other spreads.

Ingredients
  

  • 14 oz. mixed seeds: sunflower, flax, pumpkin, chia, sesame, etc. (Chia seeds get quite gelatinous so use less of those.)
  • 5 ½-7 oz. whole nuts: raw almonds, hazelnuts, Brazil (use sparingly as they can be bitter), walnuts, etc.
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • cup plus 1 Tbsp. 100ml good-quality rapeseed or neutral tasting oil
  • 5 eggs, beaten

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oven to 325°F. Grease a 1 liter or quart loaf pan and line with parchment paper.
  • Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl using a spoon (no need to chop). Pour into the prepared pan.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for one hour.
  • Leave to cool completely before slicing thinly (approximately ¼ inch thick).

Notes

Variations: Add 3 ½ oz. chopped currants or raisins for a fruitier loaf.
Tip: This bread will stay fresh for over a week. You can pre-mix your nuts and seeds and store in bags, ready to mix with egg and bake.
Scandinavian bread recipe for Toasted Wheat Buns - Hveder

Toasted Wheat Buns - Hveder

Servings: 12 buns
In Scandinavia, the fourth Friday after Easter is Great Prayer Day (Stor Bededag). In 1686, a Danish bishop declared it a day without work — bakeries included! That meant people had to get their bread the night before. These delicious wheat buns were meant to be toasted and enjoyed on the next morning, but have now become commonplace throughout the year. They’re always freshly baked but still toasted on one side. Cut the bread open and pop it on a light grill or under a broiler for a few minutes until the top is toasted. Enjoy warm, spread with butter.

Ingredients
  

  • 1 oz. 25 g fresh yeast or ½ oz. (12 g) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup 200 ml whole milk, heated to 97-99°F
  • cup plus 1 Tbsp. 100 ml water, heated to 97-99°F
  • ¼ cup 50 g granulated sugar
  • 4 cups 550 g white strong/bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cardamom
  • 7 Tbsp. 100 g butter, softened
  • 1 egg, plus one for brushing

Instructions
 

  • Add the fresh yeast, warm milk, and warm water to a stand mixer with a dough hook attached. Mix until the yeast has dissolved. If using active dry yeast, pour the warm water and milk into a bowl. Sprinkle over the yeast and whisk together. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 15 minutes to activate until frothy and bubbly. Pour into the mixer.
  • Add the sugar and stir again, slowly adding half the flour, bit by bit.
  • Add the salt, cardamom, softened butter, and the egg and keep mixing.
  • Slowly add the other half of the flour. You may not need all the flour or you may need a bit more. Keep mixing until you have a uniform, springy dough (take care not to make it too dry, you can always add more flour later).
  • Leave the dough to rise, covered, for around 40 to 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  • Grease a quarter sheet pan or 9 ¾ x 14 inch baking sheet and line with parchment paper.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Place onto the prepared baking sheet, spaced about ½ inch apart. When they rise they’ll touch and stick together, giving them the traditional look. Cover and leave to rise again for 20 to 25 minutes under a kitchen towel.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Brush each bun lightly with beaten egg and bake for around 15 minutes or until baked through.

Brontë Aurell

Brontë Aurell shares her love of home baking and welcomes you to experience the warmth of her kitchen with this comforting collection of bakes and treats from Scandinavia.

For more from Brontë, find her online at bronteaurell.com and scandikitchen.co.uk and follow her on Instagram @bronteathome.

From “Brontë at Home: Baking from the SCANDI KITCHEN” by Brontë Aurell, Ryland Peters & Small. Photography by Peter Cassidy © Ryland Peters & Small, 2019.

Photography: Peter Cassidy

Brontë Aurell

Food Writer

Brontë Aurell is a food writer and Co-Founder of ScandiKitchen, a café, grocery shop, online store, and wholesale business. She and husband Jonas opened the acclaimed ScandiKitchen Café in London in 2007 because they missed the food from their homes in Scandinavia. Brontë has written a number of books about Scandinavian food and culture.

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