My new cookbook, Norwegian Baking Through the Seasons, has just been published! It’s the natural follow-up to my first book, and I’ve organized it according to Norway’s ‘five’ seasons featuring 90 sweet and savory recipes – including traditional baked goods for Norwegian holidays, celebrations, and special occasions. Rustic Spelt Crackers, Candied Almond Cake, Wild Blueberry and Oregano Bread, Troll Cream Oatmeal Cookies, World’s Best Cake, and Lefse with Cinnamon Buttercream are just some of the recipes you’ll find as you’re transported to the gorgeous Norwegian landscape.
In celebration of the book launch, I want to share this Hearty Whole Grain Bread with you. There’s nothing quite like the smell of homemade bread baking in the oven. The warmth of the oven envelops the kitchen and you’re filled with the anticipation of taking the first bite. Bread is an absolute staple in Norwegian cuisine, with the beloved skive — “slice of bread” — acting as a springboard for the many possibilities of an open-faced sandwich.
You’ll find in Norway, more often than not, an emphasis on hearty breads that rely on a variety of flours, whole grains, and seeds. This loaf incorporates whole flours, where the whole kernel — the bran, germ, and endosperm — are ground into a fine flour, creating a coarser and more nutritious product. The seeds on top offer a nice bit of texture, and you can mix and match to your preference or leave them out altogether. If you like a little sweetness in your bread, add two tablespoons of honey when you add the water.
Hearty Whole Grain Bread (Grovbrød)
Makes 1 loaf
- 2 cups (240 g) whole wheat flour
- 2 cups (240 g) strong white bread flour
- 1/3 cup (40 g) whole rye flour
- 1 cup (50 g) wheat bran
- 1 teaspoon (1/8 ounce (3.5 g)) instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (480 ml) warm water
- 3 tablespoons mixed seeds, such as sunflower, pumpkin, flax, and sesame
In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the whole wheat flour, strong white bread flour, whole rye flour, wheat bran, yeast, and salt. Add the warm water and knead on medium-low for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel, and let rise in a warm spot for about 3 hours.
After about 3 hours, preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Butter a 9 x 5 inch (23 x 13 cm) loaf pan.
On a lightly floured surface, gently form the dough into a round shape and let rest for 10 minutes. Form the dough into an oblong shape and place in the prepared loaf pan. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm spot for about 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Once the dough has doubled in size, using a pastry brush, brush the top of the dough with water and sprinkle the seeds on top, pressing them gently into the dough to stick. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Store in an airtight bag at room temperature for up to 2 days.