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5 Reasons to Love Norwegian Bread

Oct 27, 2017

As a typical bread-loving Norwegian, it can be difficult to live in a country that is protein obsessed and deathly afraid of carbs. But it didn’t stop me from making today’s recipe of whole grain, multi-seeded loaves of bread.

I think I’ve shared my first experience arriving in the U.S. seeing all the plastic-wrapped breads sitting on the shelves for weeks, thinking, “how is this possible? Why doesn’t the bread go bad?” Yes, I know—I was pretty naive. Then I picked up a slice, only to discover that it was mostly air, and I was able to squeeze it in the palm of my hand and shape it into the size smaller than a ping pong ball. I knew then, that this was not something I particularly wanted to put in my body.

This is when I became slightly obsessed with baking my own breads, buying specialty flours online and seeking out health food stores that would have the kind of darker, whole wheat and grain types we use back home.

Why eat Norwegian style bread, you ask? Here are a few reasons:

  1. Whole grains and seeds contain lots of nutrients and fiber, the latter helping you to stay fuller longer, causing you to eat less
  2.  It will help lower your cholesterol
  3. Stabilizes your blood sugar levels, helping you stay more energetic throughout the day
  4. Contributes to good digestion and gut health
  5. Can help prevent diseases like cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease

A bonus reason is that as opposed to white bread, whole grains and seeds contain tons of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help keep your body healthy. Why not opt for both healthy AND delicious if you’re going to eat? Norwegian bread is the way to go!

I am a believer in using quality grains and flours when making bread, cookies, pastries, and cakes. I use organic products from smaller producers whenever I can, and wholeheartedly believe that if everyone would do the same, we would see fewer people intolerant of gluten and grains, and less obesity.

Yes, that’s right. There has never been as much obesity in the world since the widespread popularity of the Atkins Diet, where red meat, bacon, eggs, and cheese were touted as “health food” and food to eat if you wanted to slim down, whereas bread, pasta, and rice were looked upon as the devil himself.

Come to think of it, growing up in Norway, we ate bread for breakfast, lunch and “kveldsmat” (a late-night meal after dinner, because Norwegians eat dinner super early, around 5 pm), and I never really saw any overweight people around. Food for thought, literally.

If you’re new to my blog, you might want to read my previous blog post about bread from my home region of Sunnmøre, which goes into more history and detail about breadmaking in Norway, and includes another recipe for bread.

I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say there are MILLIONS of recipes for homemade bread in Norway, we just love bread that much. The best thing about making your own bread is that you know exactly what is in it, there are no fake additives and preservatives that may wreak havoc on your body, and of course: it tastes ten times better than any store-bought version you will find! That is if you follow my recipe of course! 🙂

This bread is made in two stages. You’ll combine the ingredients in the first batch as listed below, then wait a few hours before you add the ingredients from the second batch. Trust me, the bread will be well worth your efforts! You can also double the recipe to make six loaves and freeze them so you have for weeks to come (or if you’re as big of a bread lover as I am, only for two weeks, hahaha).

Happy baking and please comment if you do try it out or if you have any questions! You can also stop by my FB page, Arctic Grub, and join in on the discussion about Norway and Norwegian food there!

MULTI-SEED, WHOLE GRAIN NORWEGIAN BREAD

Makes 3 loaves

1st batch:
a heaping 1/2 cup (75 g) flax seeds
a heaping 1/2 cup (75 g) chia seeds
a heaping 1/2 cup (75 g) sunflower seeds
a heaping 1/2 cup (75 g) pumpkin seeds
1 cup (100 g) organic old-fashioned oats
2 cups (200 g) organic whole wheat flour
2 cups (200 g) organic dark rye flour
4 cups (900 mL) cold water

2nd batch:
1 cup (200 mL) water
2 tbsp maple syrup or light syrup
2 tbsp sea salt
1 packet dry yeast or 50 grams fresh yeast
5-6 cups organic all-purpose flour

Directions:
Combine all the ingredients from batch #1 in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl) and cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel. Let sit for at least 2 1/2 hours at room temp, or overnight if you can. This will expand the seeds and make them chewy, which will help bind them to the dough.

After the mixture from batch #1 has been sitting for several hours or overnight, add in the ingredients from batch #2, perhaps holding back a bit of the flour. Fit the dough hook of the stand mixer on and mix for 5 minutes at low speed, then increase to high speed and knead the dough for another 5 minutes. Add more flour if necessary, until you get a smooth, elastic dough.

Let the dough rest for another 2 hours. Prepare three loaf pans by greasing them lightly with oil. Then pour the dough onto a clean work surface, divide it into three equal pieces. Fit the pieces into each loaf pan (if you don’t have loaf pans you can also free bake them by shaping the pieces into loaves and placing them onto a baking sheet).

Cover the loaves with a clean towel, and let rest for another 45 minutes at room temp. Meanwhile, heat your oven to 440° Fahrenheit (220° Celcius).

Brush the top of the loaves with a little water, and sprinkle additional chia, sunflower and pumpkin seeds on top. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or so until the bottom is hard and make a hollow noise when you tap them.

Cool for about an hour (if you can wait) before slicing into it. Serve with vegan butter and a cup of coffee or tea!

62 Comments

  1. Ramona Baird

    Hi Sunny,

    It’s “da farm”. I am a national educator and for personal purposes, I like to keep my personal and professional things separate so I use “da farm” for my personal Facebook page. For my professional page it is: https://www.facebook.com/sewingguild (in case you are interested). I do sewing education and machine embroidery education–another reason I’d like to visit Norway; I’m sure I could come away with some great ideas for artwork to digitize and sell.

    For extra income I sell digital designs on http://www.EmbroideryDesigns.com and my most recent project was on the cover of “Creative Machine Embroidery”.

    [image: Inline image 1]

    My full-time “job” is online sewing education, my passion is machine embroidery and my second love is baking–and collecting old cook books. Over the years I’ve been trying Norwegian recipes–especially since we moved to SW WI five and a half years ago. There are several Norwegian communities around here. I also wrote you some time ago when you wrote about wine, telling you that if you ever get to this part of the state you also need to check out the local grape growers and wineries–there are many really delicious wines coming out of this area. You were also gracious enough to translate the words flour and sugar into Norwegian for me a couple of years back.

    Here is the link to “Craftsy”: https://www.craftsy.com/ Craftsy has been around for several years now. It is on-line learning for the masses. Each person has to sign up to create an account and then I believe each person can still view one class for free upon signup. For members of where I teach online, the American Sewing Guild offers discounts on classes–but Craftsy also offers discounted classes and they are offered for those who sign up for their emails. Recently Craftsy was purchased by NBC Universal (https://www.craftsy.com/blog/2017/05/announcement/). Once a person signs up and purchases a class, they can watch the classes any time, chat with instructors, and the class is theirs to keep for a lifetime. I have taken some drawing classes, a cookie decorating class, a photography class (for work), and a couple of others on sewing. The instructors are professionals in their area of expertise and the filming is done at the studios in Colorado; I don’t know anything about their pay structure.

    I hope I’m not being too forward, but I “chatted” on the site with a guy named Arnold just a few minutes ago and told him about you. Right now he said they are not accepting any more instructors, but I gave him your blog site and Facebook page and told him I think you would be an incredible asset to the Craftsy lineup. He’s going to check out your pages and tell the “powers that be” about you. I don’t know if it will lead anywhere or not, but I think you’d fit right in with their repertoire of instructors.

    Thank you again for all you do to keep us informed about our heritage and transforming recipes!

    Ramona Baird

    Reply
    • Sunny

      Hi Ramona!
      Thank you so much for your message, I really enjoy getting to know my readers and I absolutely LOVE the sound of what you do for a living! Super interesting and great to know there is such a huge interest for your craft.
      I’m also very touched and grateful you think I’d be a good asset to Craftsy – while I’m not familiar with that particular channel, it sounds similar to Udemy and Creative Live – these things are right up my alley so I really appreciate you taking time out to put in a good word for me! You rock!!
      If there is anything I can do for you in return, I hope you won’t hesitate to ask.
      In the mean time, thanks so much for your support of my work and blog, it really means a lot!
      Have a great weekend and speak to you soo!
      Sunny xo

      Reply
  2. Johanne

    Finally a bread recipe right up my alley! A wonderful sandwich starts with the right bread. Yours looks perfection.

    Reply
  3. Jennifer Bliss

    LOVING this recipe and this blog! Hope you don’t mind if I link you! Always looking for more veggie blogging buddies from around the world!!!

    Reply
    • Sunny

      Hi Jennifer! So glad you found my blog and of course- link away!! Veggie buddies rock! Looking forward to staying in touch! 🙂 Sunny

      Reply
  4. veganmom7

    Heading to the kitchen now to start some bread. Thanks for sharing! I spent a year as an exchange student in Finland during university and really miss the bread – I love to make my own but haven’t been able to find a really good scandinavian recipe (or two) that feels authentic. So glad I found your blog!

    Reply
    • Sunny

      Hi Amie,
      Thanks so much for your comment, I’m so glad you found my blog too! I hope you will like my recipe, it’s my husband’s favorite and I make it weekly. Happy baking! Hope to see you back on the blog soon. Sunny xx

      Reply
  5. Jerrene

    I loved the breads from north when I was there! Thank you for the recipe! I also a an entire loaf of the very black sweet rye bread served on Silva ferry trips buffet!! Do you know what it is called? I have tried and tried, my next attempt is to use barley malt from a home brew shop? I just can’t get it correct.
    Jerrene

    Reply
    • Sunny

      Hi Jerrene, thanks for your comment! I’m not sure exactly what bread you are referring to but it sounds Finnish as they use a lot of rye in their breads… Was that were you were? I found this link, not sure if it’s anything like you had, but I know they use molasses many times and often barley syrup too https://finnishfoodgirl.com/2013/05/finnish-rye-bread-ruisleipa/

      Reply
    • Kotikissa

      Sounds like you are looking for the finnnish limmpu. It’s a very dark, sweet rye bread originally from eastern Finland. Delicious! I can only find recepies in finnish 🙁

      Reply
  6. Cris T

    Dear Sunny, thanks very much for the recipe of this fantastic Norwegian Bread. I have bread for the next 6-7 days . Next week I want to try other of your recipes, Thanks for sharing!!!

    Reply
    • Sunny

      Hi Cris! How great to hear that you enjoyed the bread recipe, thanks so much for your comment and for trying it out! Hope you will continue to check in! 🙂

      Reply
  7. Deb

    Can you use all whole grain flour?

    Reply
    • Sunny

      Yes although they most likely will be denser in consistency and you might want to add a little more water.

      Reply
  8. Karin

    i tried your recipe and must say what a superb bread. I am from Germany and love BREAD … good bread that is … lol …. Even my husband who doesn’t really like ‘seedy’ bread loves it. I t will become a regular in my household….. the only thing i messed up on was the chia seeds, bought ground instead, but the bread still came out nice .. but I did need to add loads more flour. Wasn’t really sure what the dough suppose to look like, however, the end result…… YUMMMMMMM thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe ….

    Reply
    • Sunny

      Hi Karin – so glad to hear you liked my recipe, thanks so much for your comment! Yes, I feel that sometimes you have to add lots more flour, it varies from time to time, the humidity of where you are, etc. it’s a favorite in my household too – my husband demands it weekly! Lol! xo

      Reply
  9. sigrid

    Sunny, I so agree with you. I am born and raised in Germany where we too eat a lot of whole grain breads. I totally get your statement about the plastic wrapped breads in America. Fresh bread from our local village bakery is the thing I miss the most living here and for that reason I also started bread baking some years back. Pumpernickel and sunflower seeds are my favorite to bake. I order my flour from a small mill in Oregon.
    Reading your blog feels very familiar with me. Good to know I am not alone on this topic.

    And me and my hubby are big bread eaters and are also both very slender. Meat is almost non existing in our diets.

    Happy baking, Siggy

    Reply
    • Sunny

      Hi Sigrid! Nice to hear from you and I’m glad you found my blog! Many Europeans have resonated with my bread post, and am happy to hear it does with you too. I believe if you eat quality grains/wheat, it’s beneficial for your health – without additives and other unhealthy ingredients. Hope you will continue to check in at Arctic Grub and stay in touch! Have a great week, Sunny

      Reply
  10. Cary

    What size stand mixer are you using? I just tried making this, and it did NOT fit in my standard Kitchen-Aid. I almost ruined my mixer. The dough went up over the hook and into the mixer. I had to turn it out and knead it by hand.

    Reply
    • Sunny

      Hi Cary, sorry to hear of your troubles. I have a professional 6 Kitchen Aid standmixer..haven’t had any feedback like this, did you add all the flour at once? It’s best to add it in batches and that way you can monitor how big the dough gets. Typically it reduces down after kneading on slow for 5 minutes first like the recipe says…

      Reply
      • Cary

        Yeah, mine is the standard one, which is 4.5 qt, according to Amazon. I did add the flour in batches, but it is definitely too much for that size.

        Reply
        • Sunny

          Ah ok – I think mine is 6-8 qts. Again sorry to hear and hope the bread still turned out good!

          Reply
  11. Pam

    Hello Sunny! Reaching out to you today from cold, drizzley Kansas City. Getting ready to make this yummy-looking bread and have one question: Do I just toss the yeast in to the mixture or “bloom” it in water first?

    Thanks so much for this – I am in love with breads like this!! I’ll let you know how it turns out. 🙂

    Reply
    • Sunny

      Hi Pam! Great to hear from you and thanks for stopping by. Yes you can just toss the yeast in the mix, no need for it to bloom.. because the bread mixture will be rising for so many hours, it’s a slow development for the yeast, part of the reason why this bread is so yummy! Happy baking and yes, do let me know what you think! I make these every other weekend, my hubby is addicted! 🙂

      Reply
  12. Lois Murray

    Hello Sunny –
    After traveling in Norway and Sweden I have been on the lookout for good Scandinavian bread recipes. This one looks gorgeous! I have a question – in batch one it says 1 cup of whole wheat flour, 200 grams in parentheses. However 200 grams is almost 2 cups of flour. Better to go with cups or grams? Thanks much!

    Lois Murray

    Reply
  13. Cher

    This sounds great. I have been collecting Norse recipes as I am 1/2 Norwegian. Miss my grandma’s lefse. Is this bread better for diabetics. I try not to eat any bread but the 35 calorie stuff that tastes like cardboard. I’m trying to lose weight also.

    Reply
    • Sunny

      Hi Cher, yes this bread is as healthy as they come, you can reduce the amount of regular flour and increase whole wheat flour if you’d like. And the bread has no processed sugar. Of course bread is to be consumed in moderation if you’re trying to lose weight, but if you want to eat some, definitely try this one! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

      Reply
  14. Gramma Di

    Made this today and……thank you for the recipe.
    I don’t have your big Kitchen Aid , mine is smaller so I divided the recipe in half.
    I used whey from my kefir instead of water and didn’t have wheat bran so I omitted it. LOVE this bread, will make again.
    This is a 5 star bread.

    Reply
    • Sunny

      Hi Gramma Di! So glad you liked my recipe and thanks so much for taking the time out to write me, it’s very much appreciated! Thanks again and hope you will continue to stop by from time to time! Cheers, Sunny

      Reply
  15. Pam H

    This is an absolutely delicious bread! Love the texture with all the seeds, and the whole grain flours. Have made this one twice so far, and it will be a frequent presence in my kitchen!. Thank you

    Reply
    • Sunny Gandara

      Hi Pam,
      I’m so glad to hear you were happy with the recipe, thanks for your kind comment, yay!!

      Reply
      • Linda Steele

        this bread looks delicious . can’t wait to try it, would make a nice Christmas gift!

        Reply
        • Sunny Gandara

          Thanks, Linda! Let me know how it turns out for you – and what a great idea to make it as a gift!

          Reply
  16. Rose Soares

    Could you please confirm if this information is correct?
    1 cup (100 g) organic old-fashioned oats
    1 cup (200 g) organic whole wheat flour
    1 cup (200 g) organic dark rye flour

    200 grams = 2 cups…….or should l be using the cup amount or gram amount?

    Hope to hear back from you. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Sunny Gandara

      Hi Rose! Please use the gram amounts – it should be 2 cups each of the whole wheat and dark rye flours. Apologies about the mistake and I’ll get that fixed! Happy baking!

      Reply
      • Rose Soares

        Thank you so much for getting back to me. The bread looks amazing! I’ll let you know how it turns out.

        Reply
        • Sunny Gandara

          Of course and so happy you are inspired to make it – look forward to seeing the results!

          Reply
  17. Sunny Gandara

    Hi Karen, the recipe calls for either 50 grams of FRESH yeast (which is not the same as active dry yeast and can be found at specialty stores in the refrigerated section) or 1 packet, equal to 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast. So you added too much dry yeast, essentially…If you are using active dry yeast, just add 2 tsp and that should be enough. Hope that clears is up!! Thanks for your comment and hope your bread turns out perfect next time! 🙂

    Reply
  18. Aida

    Hi, is there a sourdough version of this bread?

    Reply
    • Sunny Gandara

      Hi Aida, not yet but working on it! 🙂

      Reply
  19. Deborah

    I want to make this but 75 grams of wheat bran measures almost 2 1/2 cups. Which measurements do I follow?

    Reply
    • Sunny Gandara

      Hi Deborah, thanks for your note and so sorry about this – it should read flax seeds, not wheat bran! No idea how that happened but the recipe has been updated. I always recommend weighing your ingredients when baking so I would use the 75 gram measure. Thanks so much and happy baking!

      Reply
  20. Noreen Gamble

    Hi Sunny, I’m sorry I’ve never baked bread with seeds before. Are the seeds raw or roasted? I’m assuming no salt unroasted. Just wanting to double-check.

    Thank you,
    Noreen

    Reply
    • Sunny Gandara

      Hi Noreen, yes, the seeds are raw and unsalted (they will ‘toast’ in the oven) 🙂 Hope you’ll enjoy the loaves, they are a favorite in my household!

      Reply
      • Noreen Gamble

        Thank you!!

        Reply
        • Noreen Gamble

          Hi Sunny, sorry one more question as I am making this tomorrow. Dry Yeast, I’m assuming this is the same as Active Dry Yeast here in the states? I googled it and had somewhat conflicting answers so I was concerned.

          Thank you again,
          Noreen

          Reply
          • Sunny Gandara

            Hi Noreen,
            Yes you can safely use Active Dry Yeast, that is what I use too 🙂 Happy baking!

  21. Kenysha

    Hi Sunny! I just stumbled across your blog through Pinterest and found this bread recipe! I am so excited to try this out, I couldn’t agree more with you aboutNorth American bread. I live in Canada and struggle with my love hate for carbs! Thank you so much for posting this, I was so happy to see it was vegan!!
    Kenysha

    Reply
    • Sunny Gandara

      Hi Kenysha, thanks so much for your note and so happy you want to try my bread recipe out! I make this every few weeks regularly in my house, my husband is addicted, lol! Happy baking! 🙂

      Reply
    • Noreen Gamble

      Thank you so much for your quick response!

      Reply
  22. Sunshine

    Hi, do you have any suggestions for making this gluten free? Gf baking can be so tricky with different flours being excessively absorbent and throwing off the recipe. I want this bread so much but can’t eat the gluten!

    Reply
    • Sunny Gandara

      Hi Sunshine, thanks for your message. I honestly haven’t experimented much with gluten free baking and admit it’s not my forté unfortunately… You are right that the gf flours are super absorbent which make the breads dense but I know there must be a trick to successfully replacing the white flour (the whole wheat flour you could easily replace with a gf flour). I’m not sure I was much help here – sorry!

      Reply
      • Sunshine

        I appreciate the quick reply! I’m going to experiment, if I get it right I’ll happily share what I did! My aim is to keep it as nutritional and tasty as yours.

        Reply
        • Sunny Gandara

          Ok great! Can’t wait to hear what you come up with!

          Reply
  23. Gail

    Will the bread have a rye flavor? If so, strong or light flavor?

    Reply
    • Sunny Gandara

      Hi Gail, no rye flavor at all!

      Reply
  24. Rose Soares

    Do you use a convection oven at 440F or regular oven? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Sunny Gandara

      Hi Rose, I have a regular oven but you can keep the same temperature for a convection oven too (even better!). Hope that helps 🙂

      Reply
  25. Eleni

    I tried this recipe this weekend. The loaves were absolutely gorgeous but they had a pungent sour smell and taste. I was not able to eat them. Is this normal? Maybe I made an error somewhere but I wonder if the two batches is what caused this sourness. Thanks

    Reply
    • Sunny Gandara

      Hi Eleni, that doesn’t sound normal at all… I haven’t had anyone tell me this happened to them either. Did you follow the recipe exactly? How long did you let the first step sit (with the seeds and whole grain flours)?

      Reply
  26. Julie

    Good morning, may I assume that the loaf pans used are the 8.5″ x 4.5″?
    Also…..I plan on making either a 1/3 or 1/2 recipe. I live alone and cost of ingredients lead me to do this. I know sometimes that making a partial recipe changes the outcome. Have you or any reader made a half recipe with complete success?
    All of my ancestry comes from Scandinavia. I am excited to make this recipe. It’s what I’ve been hoping to find. Now…..my next adventure is the quest for an exceptional Julekake Christmas Bread! But…..this bread comes first! Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    • Sunny Gandara

      Hi Julie,
      My loaf pans are about 5.5 x 9.5 inch I think but you can use yours fine. I haven’t made half the recipe personally but I know of other readers who have done so successfully. The only thing I wouldn’t halve is the amount of yeast – I would keep that the same.

      I happen to also have a great recipe for julekake/Christmas bread, you can find that here: https://arcticgrub.com/norwegian-julebrod-part-2/

      Happy baking and let me know how the bread comes out for you!

      Reply

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