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Trilogy of Scandinavian breads Part 2: Kneippbrød

Apr 4, 2013

I don’t think there is a translation for Kneippbrød, because this bread was named after Sebastian Kneipp, a Bavarian priest and doctor who  was also one of the founders or naturopathic medicine movement. He is most commonly associated with the “Kneipp Cure” form of hydrotherapy- the application of water through various methods, temperatures and pressures which he claimed to have therapeutic or healing effects (source: wikipedia).


In Norway however, Kneipp is most famous for his whole wheat bread recipe.  Dr. Kneipp was the first person to use the entire grain (the outside shell, kernel, germ, etc) when making bread. He believed that a healthy diet consisted of water and bread and many doctors and dentists prescribed kneippbrød for healing stomach, teeth and blood ailments.    Søren Mittet, a book publisher,  brought back the recipe to Norway after a hospital stay in Germany.   A baker named Hansen baked Norway’s first kneippbrød in 1895 and since then, kneippbrød has remained one of the most commonly eaten breads in Norway. It is estimated that 60  million kneippbrød are sold yearly in Norway, which means every Norwegian eats at least one bread per month…

Kneippbrød is a whole wheat flour bread, often a mixture of whole wheat and white whole wheat flour.

I used these flours in my recipe:


Skim milk is often the liquid base, and the bread has a crispy crust, which gives it a nice texture.  There truly isn’t a bread like it anywhere else in the world, that is how special I feel this loaf is!


While growing up this used to be my absolute favorite bread – mostly because my mom would not make it (and I think most would resort to buying it at the bakery as well), it was finer and much different from the breads my mom would make.  So of course I could only get it if my mom was in a good mood (or extremely busy and didn’t have time to bake her own bread)  and went to our local bakery to get it… Excitement always lies in something different, doesn’t it??:)

I was incredibly happy with my recipe for this bread- I don’t often brag about my breads, but this really turned out just like I wanted it to. I will say also that upon researching kneippbrød,  it was not easy to come upon a recipe ! So… to toot my own blog, I’m happy to include one and hopefully one that you will thoroughly enjoy! Keep in mind that baking times vary – some ovens are really strong, while others may take longer, keep an eye on the bread- baking it in the lowest rack does sometime cause a bit of burning on the bottom so please check within 30 minutes of baking that all is well.  Also please note you may have to experiment a little, perhaps adding a bit more liquid, flour, etc.

Happy baking!


Makes 2 loaves

2 cups dairy free milk

1 cup water or more, until you have a consistent dough

1 packet instant yeast or 50 grams fresh yeast

3 tbsp rapeseed oil

2 tsp salt

2 tsp sugar

4 cups whole wheat flour

4 cups white whole wheat flour

Heat the milk and water until about 37c/98F. Add the oil and then the yeast, let sit for a couple of minutes to proof.  Add in the whole wheat flour first along with the sugar and salt, then add in the white whole wheat flour.  Knead the dough for several minutes until you have a smooth and firm dough.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap place in a warm spot and let proof  for about one hour. Alternatively, place it in a cold spot for hours (called cold proofing)- if you choose this method, add the yeast to cold milk/water (see above), don’t heat it.  Proofed dough after one hour:


Knead the dough once again on a floured work surface, add more flour if necessary. Divide into two loaves, shape them and place into buttered loaf pans, and let them proof again for 1-2 hours.  Proofed loaves after one hour before they went into the oven:


Preheat oven to 400F (200C).  Bake in oven on the lowest rack for about 45 minutes.  Pour a bit of cold water over the breads about 5 minutes before they are done. Leave them in the oven until a crust has formed and is dried.  Cool on rack.


They are of course best when just out of the oven, but when stored correctly, these breads can last for several days (not in my house though! 🙂



  1. outsideoslo

    Isn’t it so rewarding to embark on recipe development for a dish and then be delighted with the results? Nice work!

    Also, I added Arctic Grub to my blogroll the other day! You do such a great job putting foods into context.

    • Sunny

      Thank you so much!! I will go ahead and put your blog on mine as well – I’ve been meaning to update my blog roll for a while anyway. Thanks again for the nice compliment, that means a lot! 🙂

  2. Sophie33

    These vreads that aren’t that dark also look amazinbg, tasty & good for us! 🙂 Yummm!

  3. Darek

    This looks great! I would like to follow your footsteps and make this bread; can you please let me know:
    – what is the weight of your packet of instant yeast?
    – what is the size of 1 loaf tin?

    • Sunny

      Hi Darek! Many thanks for stopping by my blog and for your comment! I am happy to hear you will try my bread out! 1 packet of yeast weighs 7grams (or 1/4 oz) and measures 2 1/2 tsps. A regular 1 lb loaf pan measures 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches but I think the one I used was 9×5 inches. Either one will work just fine. Hope that was helpful – let me know how you go! Cheers, Sunny

  4. Darek

    Hi Sunny

    I have just spent 10 minutes writing long comment which was not published on your website so instead of writing it again, I will just say that recipe worked, however I didn’t find White Whole Wheat flour in Dublin! I have no idea what is the difference between these two and how unbleached flour can be white… Anyway, I bought two packs – one organic Whole Wheat flour fine and second same but coarse. It worked fine, but some parts of the bread are little bit wet;( however the bread is really tasty, and very unique flavor. Tomorrow, Norwegian person at work will try it and give me final verdict, she loves Kneippbrod and can’t wait to try (in Dublin it’s probably impossible to find it).

    Thank you for delicious afternoon~!

    • Sunny

      Hi Darek, so happy you tried out my recipe – thank you! Keep in touch, loved hearing your feedback! Sunny 🙂

      • Kristine Bartz

        Dear Sunny,
        I’m going to be attempting to make Knieppbrod for my family TODAY, after enjoying it immensely every time we’ve been to Norway. Can you please tell me if it’s truly “rapeseed oil” and not “grapeseed oil” that you use? I’m having a difficult time finding rapeseed oil (if that’s not a typo in your recipe). Do you know what can be substituted for rapeseed oil if I can’t find it? I bought Grapeseed Oil AND Canola Oil, after our son looked online that the components of rapeseed oil was close to Canola oil. Can’t wait to hear from you!

        • Sunny

          Hi Kristine! Great to hear that you will be baking kneippbrød today, how exciting! It was not a typo when I wrote “rapeseed”, I prefer it to canola because it is typically higher quality but I also know it’s not always easy to find. That said, you can successfully use canola and it won’t affect the outcome at all. Happy baking and let me know how the bread comes out! 🙂

  5. Oystein Bach

    I have baked the bread 5 times now. But I really think there is a mistake regarding the liquid. I think the correct amount of water should be 2 cups.

  6. Sunny

    Hi Oystein, did it come out dry all five times? It really depends on the humidity of where you live, for instance here in the U.S. it is more humid than in Norway many places, and also on the day, etc. I also recommend adding more or less liquid and flour until you have a dough that looks good to you… Thanks for your comment, I appreciate it and will note it in the original post for readers who try it in the future!

    • Oystein Bach

      First time, I had to add liquid after I added about 6 cups of flour, next 4 times, I started with 4 cups of liquid (and I am a Norwegian living in Connecticut missing the Norwegian breads).

  7. Sunny

    Hmmm good to know Øystein – sorry about the measurements not working for you, I’m going to do another test run of these later this month and see what I come up with! Thanks again for the heads up and I hope you still came out with some decent loaves!

  8. Hanner

    Hodgson Mill seems to have been acquired by another company and maybe isn’t making this flour anymore? Looks like what USA-folks would call a Graham-style flour, and maybe in Ireland a coarser, whole wheat grain flour like for brown bread.

    • Sunny Gandara

      You can use Bob’s Red Mill whole wheat flour or King Arthur’s or any whole wheat flour really… I like to choose an artisan/organic flour as often as possible 🙂


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