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Havrebrød – Norwegian Oat Bread

Jun 13, 2020

It’s no secret that Norwegians love bread. Not only do we love and eat a lot of it in general, but many are also fantastic bakers. I think it’s generally more common for people in Scandinavia to make their own loaves at home than in any other region of the world. We eat bread for breakfast, lunch, and even as a late evening snack before bed. Whether it’s for our lunch box or the more fancy open-faced sandwiches, bread has always played a huge part in our diet.

Oats today is a very popular ingredient in Norway and the nordic countries because it adapts well to the cold northern European climate. It is considered the 3rd most popular grain after wheat and barley.

In more recent years, it has also become in demand and fashionable because of its health benefits. It has high fiber content and is high in antioxidants, and has also been shown to be able to lower cholesterol levels and keep blood sugars in check.

In other words, not all carbs are bad for you- oats are great for our digestive health and because of the fiber, keeps us full for longer.

For those of us who follow a vegan diet, there are oat-based products now made into everything from butter, whipped cream, and ice cream to milk, sour cream, and cream cheeses. It’s simply a magical food!

I’ve always wanted to come up with a really great recipe for oat bread, or as we call it, “havrebrød”. It always reminds me of being at home in Norway and is still my favorite thing to have for breakfast. I’m happy to say I think the recipe I’m sharing today came out fantastic, so of course, I had to share it with all of you!

NORSK HAVREBRØD (Norwegian Oat Bread)

2 cups (5 dl) non-dairy milk (I used Oatly oat milk)
2 cups (5 dl) water
1 packet (2 ¼ tsp) active dry yeast
6 tbsp maple syrup (or other syrup)
4 cups (10 dl) whole wheat flour
4 cups (10 dl) sifted unbleached, all-purpose flour (plus perhaps another ½ cup to adjust the dough)
2 cups (5 dl) old fashioned oats + extra for sprinkling on top of loaves
1 stick (8 tbsp) vegan butter, melted
2 tbsp kosher or sea salt
Additional butter or oil for greasing the loaf pans

Heat the water and milk mixture to about 98° Fahrenheit (37° Celsius) and add it into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle in the yeast and add the maple syrup and let sit for 5-10 minutes until you see the mixture bubbling up.

Fit the stand mixer with a dough hook and slowly add the rest of the ingredients (butter last) and knead for about 6-8 minutes on medium speed until you have a fairly cohesive dough.

Let dough rest under a clean towel until double in size, about 1-2 hours.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit (200° Celsius) and grease two large loaf pans.

Remove the dough from the bowl and transfer onto a clean work surface lightly dusted with flour and punch out the air in the dough. Divide the dough in half and shape each piece into a rectangle the length of your loaf pans. Fold in from the longest side, tuck the sides in and place it in the prepared loaf pans.

Cover both with a clean towel and let rest again for another 30-40 minutes.

Brush the tops with either water on non-dairy milk and sprinkle each loaf with oats.

Bake in the oven on the lower rack for 40-50 minutes until golden on top and when it has a ‘hollow’ sound if knocking on the loaves. Rest and cool on a rack completely before slicing into it.

This bread is also great for freezing!

NORSK HAVREBRØD (Norwegian Oat Bread)

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Servings: 2 loaves

Ingredients

  • 2 cups 5 dl non-dairy milk (I used Oatly oat milk)
  • 2 cups 5 dl water
  • 1 packet 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
  • 6 tbsp maple syrup or other syrup
  • 4 cups 10 dl whole wheat flour
  • 4 cups 10 dl sifted unbleached, all-purpose flour (plus perhaps another ½ cup to adjust the dough)
  • 2 cups 5 dl old fashioned oats + extra for sprinkling on top of loaves
  • 1 stick 8 tbsp vegan butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp kosher or sea salt
  • Additional butter or oil for greasing the loaf pans

Instructions

  • Heat the water and milk mixture to about 98° Fahrenheit (37° Celsius) and add it into the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle in the yeast and add the maple syrup and let sit for 5-10 minutes until you see the mixture bubbling up.
  • Fit the stand mixer with a dough hook and slowly add the rest of the ingredients (butter last) and knead for about 6-8 minutes on medium speed until you have a fairly cohesive dough.
  • Let dough rest under a clean towel until double in size, about 1-2 hours.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit (200° Celsius) and grease two large loaf pans.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and transfer onto a clean work surface lightly dusted with flour and punch out the air in the dough. Divide the dough in half and shape each piece into a rectangle the length of your loaf pans. Fold in from the longest side, tuck the sides in and place it in the prepared loaf pans.
  • Cover both with a clean towel and let rest again for another 30-40 minutes.
  • Brush the tops with either water on non-dairy milk and sprinkle each loaf with oats.
  • Bake in the oven on the lower rack for 40-50 minutes until golden on top and when it has a ‘hollow’ sound if knocking on the loaves. Rest and cool on a rack completely before slicing into it.
  • This bread is also great for freezing!

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