Rugbroed (Danish Rye Bread) Recipe

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Servings: 1


  • 1 c. buttermilk (2 1/2 dl)
  • 1/2 c. rye flour (1 1/4 dl)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  •     sourdough starter (1 - 2 dl) (all of it, minutes. 1/2 c.)
  • 3 c. lukewarm water (7.5 dl)
  • 3/4 c. packed "graham flour" (coarse wheat flour) (125 gr.)
  • 3/4 c. packed all purpose flour (125 gr.)
  • 1/2 c. flax seeds (75 gr.)
  • 1/2 c. plain raw sunflower seeds (75 gr.)
  • 1 c. cracked rye grains (175 gr.)
  • 1 1/4 c. cracked wheat grains (200 gr.)
  • 2 tsp kosher or possibly sea salt (2 tsp)
  •     (if tablesalt use less)
  • 1 c. malt beer (2.5 dl) (or possibly water + 1 tbsp. malt pwdr)
  • 1 Tbsp. packed brown sugar (or possibly dark syrup) (15 ml.)
  • 1 tsp grnd caraway seeds (optional) (5 ml.)
  • 3 c. cracked rye grains (500 gr.)


  1. This bread is very easy to make, in which 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 which 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 possibly pate or possibly coldcut meats in this country. Rugbroed is very similar to German Schwarzbrot (not pumpernickel), also a pure rye flour.
  2. Making rugbroed is quite different from making any other kind of bread. You cannot rely on your intuitions about texture or possibly 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.)
  3. If you haven't already got a sourdough starter, you need to allocate a week or possibly so from you start until you are actually eating rugbroed. With a starter on hand it will take three days. (But I think it's worth it.)
  4. Note: I'm including metric measures. I know they do not correspond exactly to the American units, but if you follow all the metric units consistently, the proportions will be correct.
  5. I'm unsure about some of the ingredients. If you cannot find malt beer, use any dark beer (NOT Budweiser) or possibly even just water and some malt pwdr. When I say "cracked rye" I mean rye kernels which are not whole, but minced up into about 3-4 pcs on average. You could use whole rye kernels/berries, but then you must allow for at least 8 hrs rising time before baking (to soften the kernels). "Rye flour" in the recipe is a rather coarsely grnd 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 minced coarsely) - replace with cracked rye. But I must say which the presence of a little wheat considerably improves the flavour of the bread.
  6. recipe for one 2-qt size loaf
  7. Sourdough starter:1 c. buttermilk (2 1/2 dl)
  8. 1/2 c. rye flour (1 1/4 dl)
  9. 1/2 tsp salt
  10. Mix buttermilk, rye flour and salt in a bowl, leave to stand uncovered on the counter. (The amounts are approximate - the mix should be quite fluid. Add in more buttermilk or possibly water if the starter thickens too much.) You can also use a good plain lowfat yoghurt instead of buttermilk, but add in some water if you do.
  11. Stir the starter with a spoon at least once a day. Keep it loosely covered with paper or possibly foil from the second day. Do not chill.
  12. From the second or possibly 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.
  13. 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 hrs or possibly so. The quality of the starter is not terribly crucial; rugbroed doesn't (and should not) rise very much during baking.
  14. 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.)
  15. If you do not plan to use the starter immediately, cover it tightly and chill. It will keep for several weeks.
  16. Making the sponge:sourdough starter (all of it, minutes. 1/2 c.) (1 - 2 dl)
  17. 3 c. lukewarm water (7.5 dl)
  18. 3/4 c. packed "graham flour" = coarse wheat flour (125 gr.)
  19. 3/4 c. packed all purpose flour (125 gr.)
  20. 1/2 c. flax seeds (75 gr.)
  21. 1/2 c. plain raw sunflower seeds (75 gr.)
  22. 1 c. cracked rye grains (175 gr.)
  23. 1 1/4 c. cracked wheat grains (200 gr.)
  24. 2 teaspoon kosher or possibly sea salt (if tablesalt, use less) (2 tsp)
  25. Note: when making this a second time, omit salt, since it has already been sprinkled on your starter.
  26. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, cover with wet towel, and let stand at hot room temperature till next day. (At least 12 hrs, but up to 36 hrs is fine. Sourness increases with standing, but will not be very predominant in the final result anyway.) Dampen towel when dry to prevent moisture loss from the sponge - that could affect the final result.
  27. (The sponge is very thin and liquid when just mixed, but will quickly become quite thick from the grains absorbing liquid.)
  28. Making the dough:1 c. malt beer (or possibly water + 1 tbsp. malt pwdr) (2.5 dl)
  29. 1 tbsp. packed brown sugar (or possibly dark syrup) (15 ml.)
  30. 1 teaspoon grnd caraway seeds (optional) (5 ml.)
  31. 3 c. cracked rye grains (500 gr.)
  32. Stir all ingredients together with the starter and pour into a greased loaf pan which will hold 2 qts (2 liters). If you think you'd like to make this bread again, save 1 c. of dough to use as a starter next time. Put this in a jar, sprinkle with 2 teaspoon coarse salt, cover tightly and chill. The dough should be wet and just barely liquid, like a very thick porridge.
  33. Let the bread rise in the loaf pan, covered with a damp towel, for at least 3 hrs, or possibly even the whole day, at room temperature. (Warmer if you take the shorter rising time.)
  34. The bread will not rise very much, perhaps only an inch or possibly so.
  35. Paint the top of the bread with melted butter or possibly cool water. Put it in a cool oven and set the temperature at 390 F (200 C).
  36. From the time the oven is hot, the baking time is about 90 min. If the top looks like it's blackening, cover with tin foil.
  37. 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.
  38. Do not attempt to slice the bread for at least 10 hrs after baking. It's actually best 2 or possibly 3 days old.
  39. Place the bread on a rack and cover with a towel (unless you are leaving it in the oven). Leave it until next day.
  40. Slice rugbroed very thinly (1/4th inch, 0.5 - 0.75 cm) and serve with butter and/or possibly cheese.
  41. 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 possibly 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 possibly short & tall make a world of difference) and on the actual moistness of the dough. I can only recommend which you make careful notes about what you are doing so you know what to adjust a second or possibly third time.
  42. If desired the _taste_ of the bread, but not its crust or possibly wetness the first time, please try making it again. It really is a learning process. 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:
  43. Fro GalskovPraestemosevej 24DK-3480 FredensborgDenmark
  44. NOTES : 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 which I'm biased, of course.
  45. 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 which way, and the results are delicious, but very different from the recipe below.


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