In a time when many of us are isolated at home, the kitchen has become more of haven. A safe place of comfort, sustenance and, quite frankly, pleasure as we experiment with the ingredients we have on hand. For me and my family, baking has become an integral part of each day. A rye sourdough starter bubbles in the corner and we throw together loaves of bread in the same way the generations before us would – with whatever we can access and with our intuition. The scale is hardly used, which for someone who relies heavily on measurements, is incredibly freeing and exhilarating. Baking is something we’re doing for ourselves and it’s invigorating.
One of the ‘breads’ I have been making recently is a loaded nut and seed bread, also known as steinalderbrød or stone age bread – referring to the paleo diet that inspired it’s creation in Denmark as an alternative to the traditional rye bread. It’s made without any flour and yeast and is held together with eggs. It’s one of those breads that’s nutritious, delicious, and comes together in no time at all. It reminds me a little of knekkebrød, a flat crisp bread that is often made with nuts and seeds and is used in place of bread. In a time when flour might be scarce for some, this is a great alternative.
I was inspired to share this bread after speaking with my mother and others who are having a hard time accessing flour right now. The wonderful thing about nut and seed bread is that it doesn’t require any flour at all. It’s also quite forgiving and flexible in regard to the ingredients. You can swap out the almonds and hazelnuts for other nuts of preference. You can add in dried fruits, coconut, chocolate, and other mix-ins you want to use. For a savory loaf, omit the dried fruit and add in herbs and spices. If you don’t have any oats on hand, you can omit them as well and use one less egg.
Serve this sliced thinly with the toppings of your choice. As the recipe is, I enjoy serving it with sharp cheeses, honey, cured meats, nut butters, jams, and slices of fruit. For a savory version, with the dried fruits omitted, I like to top it with things like smoked salmon, hard boiled eggs, raw vegetables, a variety of cheeses, sliced meats and a good smear of butter. Let your ingredients and palette guide you.
Loaded Nut and Seed Bread (Steinalderbrød)
Makes 1 large loaf
- 2/3 cup (100 g) almonds
- 2/3 cup (80 g) hazelnuts
- 2/3 cup (100 g) pumpkin seeds
- ¾ cup (100 g) sunflower seeds
- 2/3 cup (100 g) sesame seeds
- 2/3 cup (100 g) linseed / flax seeds
- ½ cup (100 g) steel cut or quick cooking oats
- ½ cup (about 65 g) dried fruit or other mix-ins, optional but recommended
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup (60 ml) cold pressed rapeseed oil or a mild-flavored oil
- 6 eggs
Preheat the oven to 350 F / 180 C. Line a large loaf/bread pan (I used a 28 x 13 cm/ 11” x 5”) with parchment paper. If you don’t use parchment paper, the bread will stick to the pan and make it very difficult to remove.
In a large bowl, combine all the nuts, seeds, oats, dried fruit, if using, and salt. Add the oil and eggs and mix thoroughly until you get a somewhat wet batter. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 hour, until golden brown on top and set. Let the bread cool completely, about 1 hour, before slicing.
To serve, slice thinly and top with your favorite toppings. Store in the refrigerator or an airtight container for 1 week or freeze and save for later.
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