The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Norwegian breads

manicbovine's picture

Norwegian breads

I lived for awhile in Norway and had some things there that I have been completely unable to find outside of Norway. Norwegians make excellent bread -- the very best bread per my tastes. Many Norwegians complain about the quality of breads in other countries (I witnessed this even while travelling with Norwegians in Denmark and Sweden). Norwegian breads are typically very coarse, dense, and strongly flavored. After returning to the States, absolutely everything I've had seems as light and flavorless as white bread. (Incidentally, Norwegians also eat massive quantities of bread. I regularly watched my lunch companions eat a loaf of buttered bread for lunch, sometimes with small bits of cheese or meat for garnish.) 

The first thing I cannot find is a Spelt bread. My supermarket sold it as "100% Gastro Spelt bread". It was a dense loaf of spelt bread coated in sunflower seeds. The texture was similar to a Danish or German vollkornbrot, but with a more open crumb and a good toothsome crust. I ate it sliced as sandwich bread.  Can anyone point me in the right direction on this bread? (The Norwegian grocery chain ICA makes a good version of this bread.)

The second is actually what I'll call "Norewegian vollkornbrod". The Norwegian vollkornbrod, frequently called "Danish rye" in Norway, are much denser and coarser than their Scandinavian counterparts. The Norwegian version seems to consist of nothing more than very coarsely ground rye berries and some sort of sourdough starter. I've had "vollkornbrod" in Germany, Denmark, and Sweden, but none were the same as the Norwegian version. I joked with my Norwegian friends that Norwegians make better Danish rye bread than Danes. Does anyone know what I'm talking about, and can anyone point me toward a formula? The brand "Euro shopper" actually sold a good version that was simply labelled "rye bread".

I started baking regularly at home with the specific intent of building these Norwegian breads myself. I think I have enough experience to tackle some more complicated whole grain loaves.

Also, we had these great bread bags in Norway. They had tiny holes all over the bag that allowed the loaf to breath perfectly. Has anyone come across these in the US?

I just now started searching for these breads on the Norwegian sites, but I thought I'd cheat and ask here. I'll post an update if I find anything.




jannrn's picture

I'm sorry...I gave you the wrong link above....the one below is correct! SO SORRY!!

Hope it helps!!!

rhomp2002's picture

I wish they had this product in packs of about 200.   !500 is a whole lot of bags!!  Seems as if that would be about 5 years worth to me at least.


Are there produce bags that have perforations?  I have seen some that seem to have perforations on one side packaging grape and you can rinse them in the bag.  That might work for bread as well althoug I would really rather have Kraft paper bags with perforations..




Nickisafoodie's picture

Please update your post if you find the recipies, I am seeking similar style breads!!

Zeb's picture

Nils on ye olde breade blogge has some fabulous vollkorn bread recipes including his current one which is for a dinkelvollkorn bread....  I hope that's ok to put the link here to his blog. 


I have made his saftig kerniges roggenbrot, which is very grainful and very very good and his Guiness one and can really recommend his formulae! 

I have a friend with Norwegian connections and I will ask them if they have any family recipes too

cheers Zeb

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

I will be following this thread as I'm also trying to learn about the breads of this region. I love the dense ryes and seed breads, spelts. My mother is Finnish and my grandmother used to live with us for a short time, baking her wonderful breads for us.

My good friend in TX lived in Denmark for about 13 years and just last week he remarked on how he misses the heavy rye and seeded breads that are a meal in their own. He also spent some time in Norway. I'm going to bake him some Mini's favorite rye and perhaps give a go at a spelt or seeded variety and try shipping it back to Texas as a present to he and his wife.

rhomp2002's picture

I looked for inversecook and came up with this URL:


No idea why yours came up 2010/03/22.  I assume you got the URL from the website.  Very strange.  Anyway the URL above works.

Zeb's picture


Hi Rhomp2002!


yes I did get the url from the website but you are quite right it gives a not found now. I don't understand why.   Sorry, but if you do want to see the spelt bread (dinkelvollkorn) it's a different one from the one you have linked to.

Anyway the recipe and Nils post  is there -  if you look in his recent posts about half way down the right hand side.  I just copied it again and it looks the same as what I posted, sorry about that.....  I love vollkornbrot.  The one I made above  has a salted sourdough starter and a very coarse rye soaker, and an old bread and seed soaker,  its very grainy, juicy and absolutely delicious.  It is in a post called saftig kerniges roggenbrot but the post itself is in English!

 I have learnt a huge amount about working with rye and grains from Nils, so imho it is well worth visiting his blog  and looking through his old posts.  I just tried to copy the url again, and they work in preview mode but not when it posts properly, sorry I have no idea why.



manicbovine's picture

The photos of the dinkelvollkornbot look very similar to the spelt bread I was talking about. I just got a load of spelt flour, so I'll start this one tomorrow and go from there. Thanks!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

If you type "dense" into the site search box, you will come up with all kinds of recipes that made dense loaves much to the disappointment of the contributor.  It appears that making a dense loaf is so much easier than baking a fluffy one.   It wouldn't be hard to read through the problems and apply them to any recipe and come out with what you're looking for.

Other words to try:  compact loaf, heavy, brick, seeds, seedy, pumpernickel, vollkorn


Zeb's picture

Being english, we don't have beet syrup but I think I probably use molasses or any dark unrefined sugar syrup. Do you have such a thing, treacle, molasses, something of that sort. The hardest thing to get for these breads in England is the cracked rye, or coarsely ground rye which is what you need for the soakers very often. I get friends to bring them back from Germany. 

Mini I would agree that making a bad dense loaf is quite easy, but to make a good loaf showing clear aeration when you cut it,  out of a mix with a high proportion of seeds and grains and coarse flour is quite challenging.  There are many bakeries in England which sell 100 per cent rye bread, heavy, starchy and quite horrible. They don't have any understanding of how to preferment the rye and the grains and of how to create the traditional vollkorn style breads of Europe which when good have a spongey and almost bouncy texture. I don't know the Norwegian breads the original poster was looking for, so suggested Nils's work as a starting point in their search for great vollkornbrot!