There's been some discussion about a mystery Danish bread. I saved
these several years ago thinking they might be interesting to try.
Never got around to it. These are not mine, all credits to Katrine
>From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Katrine Kirk)
>Subject: Rugbroed: Danish Rye Bread (corrected)
>Date: 15 Nov 1994 19:34:53 GMT
RUGBROED: Danish rye bread
The virtues of rugbroed are many. The taste & texture are wonderful.
It's cheap and simple to make (although you must allow for some
trial & error). It's extremely healthy - very low fat, very fibrous,
and very good for your digestive system. It's the one thing I missed
the most when I lived in the States for a year and didn't have an
oven. Delicious! What more can I say? Except that I'm biased, of
The following recipe was given to me by my aunt Fro. It's a "modern"
version of the ancient staple food of Denmark: Rugbroed (=Ryebread).
Traditionally, rugbroed was made only from sourdough, rye flour and
water, and the process involved a lot of hard work with kneading. My
grandmother still makes rugbroed that way, and the results are deli-
cious, but very different from the recipe below.
This bread is very easy to make, in that it requires little work and
no kneading at all. The finished bread is extremely heavy, very dark
brown, and keeps well for about a week at room temperature. It's not
very sour, but has a "dense" flavour that compliments good cheese
superbly. We eat it with all kinds of toppings, and rugbroed is
the only appropriate bread to have with pickled herrings or pate
or coldcut meats in this country. Rugbroed is very similar to
German Schwarzbrot (not pumpernickel), also a pure rye flour.
Making rugbroed is quite different from making any other kind of
bread. You can't rely on your intuitions about texture or baking
times. I've tried to make careful notes during my own baking process
to assist first-time rugbroed bakers, but you should be prepared to
attempt this a couple of times before giving up. The "difficult"
element is getting the baking time and - temperature right, and no
two ovens are the same. (After moving to a new apartment this sum-
mer, I had to make rugbroed 4 times before I got it "right" again,
simply because I had switched from an electric oven to a gas oven.)
If you haven't already got a sourdough starter, you need to allocate
a week or so from you start till you are actually eating rugbroed.
With a starter on hand it will take three days. (But I think it's
Note: I'm including metric measures. I know they don't correspond
exactly to the Amercian units, but if you follow all the
metric units consistently, the proportions will be correct.
I'm unsure about some of the ingredients. If you can't find
malt beer, use any dark beer (NOT Budweiser) or even just
water and some malt powder. When I say "cracked rye" I mean
rye kernels that are not whole, but chopped up into about 3-4
pieces on average. You could use whole rye kernels/berries,
but then you must allow for at least 8 hours rising time
before baking (to soften the kernels). "Rye flour" in the
recipe is a rather coarsely ground 100% rye flour - with
little bits of grain clearly visible in it. "Graham flour" is
100 % wheat with the texture of corn meal; it's probably
called something else in other countries. You could omit it
and just use rye flour in its place. The same goes for the
cracked wheat (wheat grains chopped coarsely) - replace with
cracked rye. But I must say that the presence of a little
wheat considerably improves the flavour of the bread.
Fro's rugbroed - recipe for one 2-quart size loaf
day 1 Make the sourdough (5 minutes work)
day 5 Make the sponge (15 minutes work)
day 6 Make the dough (10 minutes work)
... 3 - 9 hours to rise...
Bake the bread (5 minutes work)
... 2 hours to bake ...
Cover (2 minutes work)
day 7 Begin to eat.
I find it's not a problem to find time to do all this if
I make the sponge on an afternoon or in the evening, make
the dough next morning before going to work, and bake it
in the early evening.
1 cup buttermilk (2 1/2 dl)
1/2 cup rye flour (1 1/4 dl)
1/2 tsp salt
Mix buttermilk, rye flour and salt in a bowl,
leave to stand uncovered on the counter. (The
amounts are approximate - the mixture should
be quite fluid. Add more buttermilk or water
if the starter thickens too much.) You can also
use a good plain yoghurt instead of buttermilk,
but add some water if you do.
Stir the starter with a spoon at least once a
day. Keep it loosely covered with paper or foil
from the second day. Don't refrigerate.
From the second or third day, you should see little
air bubbles forming in the starter, and it will pro-
bably have a more grayish colour than it did at first.
It should begin to smell slightly sour, but the smell
disappears upon stirring.
Usually the starter takes about 5 days to make. It's
ready when it has swollen somewhat in volume and the
air bubbles are plentiful after resting for 6 hours
or so. The quality of the starter is not terribly
crucial; rugbroed doesn't (and shouldn't) rise very
much during baking.
If mold forms on the starter just scrape it off. It's
not of a dangerous kind. (So sayeth Fro, our all-purpose
reference cookbook and my bread cookbook.)
If you don't plan to use the starter immediately, cover
it tightly and refrigerate. It will keep for several
Making the sponge:
sourdough starter (all of it, min. 1/2 cup) (1 - 2 dl)
3 cups lukewarm water (7.5 dl)
3/4 cup packed "graham flour" = coarse wheat flour (125 gr.)
3/4 cup packed all purpose flour (125 gr.)
1/2 cup flax seeds (75 gr.)
1/2 cup plain raw sunflower seeds (75 gr.)
1 cup cracked rye grains (175 gr.)
1 1/4 cup cracked wheat grains (200 gr.)
2 tsp. kosher or sea salt (if tablesalt, use less) (2 tsp)
Note: when making this a second time, omit salt,
since it has already been sprinkled on your starter.
Mix all ingreadients together in a large bowl, cover with wet towel,
and let stand at warm room temperature until next day. (At least 12
hours, but up to 36 hours is fine. Sourness increases with standing,
but won't be very predominant in the final result anyway.) Dampen
towel when dry to prevent moisture loss from the sponge - which
could affect the final result.
(The sponge is very thin and liquid when just mixed, but will
quickly become quite thick from the grains absorbing liquid.)
Making the dough:
1 cup malt beer (or water + 1 tbsp. malt powder) (2.5 dl)
1 tbsp. packed brown sugar (or dark syrup) (15 ml.)
1 tsp. ground caraway seeds (optional) (5 ml.)
3 cups cracked rye grains (500 gr.)
Stir all ingredients together with the starter and pour into a
greased loaf pan that will hold 2 quarts (2 liters). If you think
you'd like to make this bread again, save 1 cup of dough to use as a
starter next time. Put this in a jar, sprinkle with 2 tsp. coarse
salt, cover tightly and refrigerate. The dough should be wet and
just barely liquid, like a very thick porridge.
Let the bread rise in the loaf pan, covered with a damp towel, for
at least 3 hours, or even the whole day, at room temperature.
(Warmer if you take the shorter rising time.)
The bread won't rise very much, perhaps only an inch or so.
Paint the top of the bread with melted butter or cold water. Put it
in a cold oven and set the temperature at 390 F (200 C). From the
time the oven is warm, the baking time is about 90 minutes. If the
top looks like it's blackening, cover with tin foil.
It's very difficult to tell when the bread is done. Take it out of
the loaf pan and give it a knock on the bottom with your fist. If it
doesn't resonate hollowly, it certainly isn't done. If it sounds
hollow, insert a bamboo skewer into the middle. If the tip comes
out clean, it's _probably_ done. The crust should feel quite hard.
If in doubt, leave the bread in the oven as the oven cools.
Don't attempt to slice the bread for at least 10 hours after baking.
It's actually best 2 or 3 days old.
Place the bread on a rack and cover with a towel (unless you are
leaving it in the oven). Leave it till next day.
Slice rugbroed very thinly (1/4th inch, 0.5 - 0.75 cm) and serve
with butter and/or cheese.
>From the day after it's baked, store rugbroed in a bread box or
plastic bag at cool room temperature. It freezes quite well, but
tends to become a little crumbly after thawing. Rugbroed stays fresh
for about a week.
If you have problems:
If the bread seems very wet inside upon slicing, try putting it back
in the oven to be warmed through at a fairly low temperature. I
think about 1/2 hour at 100 C / 210 F would be appropriate. Even a
perfectly baked loaf will be a little sticky the day after it's
baked, but it improves over another day or two. If the crust stays
extremely hard on the second day, try lowering the oven tem-
perature a little and extending baking time the next time you
attempt. Much depends on the shape of your loaf pan (wide & flat or
short & tall make a world of difference) and on the actual moistness
of the dough. I can only recommend that you make careful notes about
what you are doing so you know what to adjust a second or third
If you like the _taste_ of the bread, but not its crust or wetness
the first time, please try making it again. It really is a learning
And if you happen to _really_ like this recipe, I think it would be
fun if you sent my aunt a postcard. She has no idea what Internet
is, but does understand English. (She doesn't even know I've
published her recipe here.) Her address is:
This was a longwinded post. I hope you've born over with me. Thanks
are due to Bill (email@example.com) and Barnaby
(firstname.lastname@example.org) for help in figuring out how to
"internationalise" my ingredients.
>From: email@example.com (Katrine Kirk)
>Subject: Pure Rye bread.
>Date: 18 Nov 1994 12:25:40 GMT
cetfers (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote:
: Does anyone out there have any experience making whole grain rye
: bread with NO trace of wheat or added gluten? (With Sourdough or
: I've tried to bake with whole grain home milled rye flour, but
: So far, I've ony managed to create giant sticky blobs, and during
: proofing, the blob just oozes out sideways.
I don't "know" much about making rye bread except how to do it. So I
can't really explain what your problem is. I know of two basically
different approaches to rye bread. You can either make a regular
dough that needs kneading, or a rather thick porridge using whole
grains that are left to set via water absorption. (I've posted a
recipe of this second type here a few days ago.) Since I don't know
what your approach is, I can't comment on your problem, but I can
tell you how kneaded rye bread is made in Denmark.
The sourdough we use for rye bread is made from buttermilk and rye
flour left uncovered for a day or two, then loosely covered and
stirred regularly for another 3-5 days until it smells right. 3/4
cup is enough for a large loaf.
Use water, sourdough, salt and rye flour. Replace some of the water
with dark beer for better flavor, or add some malt. Make a dough
that is somewhat wetter than for white bread, and let it rest a good
half hour or more. On my grandmothers advice:
1/2 to 1 cup sourdough
1/2 to 1 Tbsp. sea salt (or Kosher salt)
1 cup lukewarm water
Stir these together until well mixed. Add the following:
1 1/2 pound rye flour (a fairly coarse grind)
(For those who don't mind wheat: replace slightly under 1/2 pound of
the rye with regular all-purpose flour. This will produce a chewier
bread with a slightly lighter texture.)
Hold back a little of the rye to see if you need it all. You might
need more. Rye flour takes longer to absorb water than wheat flour,
and that is why it needs to seem "wet" just after mixing. Leave it
in a large, flat bowl to rest (to prevent "oozing"). Then knead the
dough on your countertop or in the bowl by punching the middle thin
and folding the sides over the middle repeatedly. My grandmother
does this for about 10 minutes, and the dough becomes smoother and
more elastic as she works it. Don't expect it to achieve the texture
of of white bread dough.
Save a 3/4 cup lump of dough at this stage, if you plan to make the
bread again. Put in a jar with a tight-fitting lid, sprinkle salt on
top, and refrigerate for up to a month.
Shape the dough into an elongated loaf and press it into a
well-greased 2 to 2 1/4 quart loaf tin. (If using anything smaller
the baking times below will be off.) Run a wet hand over the top,
cover with a damp towel, and leave to rise to near double size,
typically 4-6 hours, in a warm place.
: What ends up coming out of the oven is more like a giant elongated
: rye falafel, than a loaf of bread. (So far, I've used Yeast rather
: than sourdough, since I am still learning how to handle this stuff
Run a wet hand over the top of the bread again before placing in
heated oven. Bake at a much lower temperature than you would for
wheat. 1/2 hour at 200 C followed by 1 1/2 hour at 175 Celsius is
probably about right. A bamboo skewer inserted into the middle
should come out free of large bits of dough, but slightly sticky to
the touch. Take it out of the oven, sprinkle a little cold water on
the crust if it seems very hard, and leave to cool on a rack covered
by a slightly damp towel.
This traditional bread is supposed to be a little sticky on the
inside when it is freshly baked. It is also supposed to be sliced
very thinly, revealing a thick, dark crust (which frankly is a
little hard on your teeth) and a moist brown bread with many, many
little airbubbles. It should taste distinctly sour.
This bread is best at least a day after it is baked. It will keep
for a week or so.
: Leonard's "The bread book" instructs to use more water with Rye
: than with wheat, but my experience so far is that exactly the
: opposite is true.
Again, I think you need to be patient before beginning to work the
dough. Give the rye time to absorb the water.
: [accidental snip]
: shape the loaf, I pretend the blob is a chunk of clay (it looks
: just like clay) and I use wet hands rather than flour on my hands.
This shouldn't be necessary with the recipe I've given you.
: Any clues would be greatly appreciated!
Experiment, take notes of what you do, and change baking times,
temperatures, or wetness of dough next time if you aren't satisfied.
Good luck doesn't hurt either. Best wishes...
P.S. Like I said in the other recipe for Danish rye bread, I think
it would tremendous fun if you have success with the recipe to send
it's creator a postcard. My grandmother would be thrilled. She
originally came from the Faroe Islands in the 1930's, taking this
recipe with her. I don't know where it originated, but she received
it from her older sister with a lump of sourdough before my
grandmother set sail for Denmark. Her address is as follows:
Peder Gydes Vej 57
No obligations, of course. :)