The Fresh Loaf

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Advice regarding Rugbrot (Danish Rye Bread)

knightsofneech's picture

Advice regarding Rugbrot (Danish Rye Bread)

Hello Bakers,

Been lurking the forum a while now and need some advice. Anyone here make Rugbrot often?

I am using the recipe by 

Nordic Food living:

Great, great recipe. Heavy equal amounts of flaxseed, sunflower seed, rye kernel and cracked wheat.

Started with a rye sourdough. It has been nice and lively since the first making of it. I have used and replenished it about 10 times so far. Still going strong.

Here are my questions:

1) There is no advice given about when to cut into/NOT cut into the bread. Does moisture need a certain amount of time to re-distribute before slicing? Anyone have advice on this/slicing?

2) Recipe calls for creating the wet "mash" overnight, then adding the flours/syrup/salt and letting rise another 1-2 hours. THEN pouring into bread tins and letting rise *another* 1-2 hours. Can someone explain the reasoning for such a long rise time in both my batter bowl and then again in the loaf pans? This is still a dense seed bread after all.

3) The wet "mash" of sourdough, water and grains/seeds stays overnight. This does soften the rye kernels well and plumps up everything (so nothing crunchy in the baking process), so no problem there but how much of this does add to the health of the bread? I'm not quite "sprouting" the seeds, but was curious why these steps

Anyone around that can explain the specific steps and why? This bread has a dark crusty finish.

Here is a picture of the final bread. It's a very lovely recipe but I have not quite mastered the steps after baking... storing.. cutting.. etc... any advice welcome.


pjkobulnicky's picture

I read the recipe and its comments and I suspect that the author of the recipe is not really an experienced bread baker. That said, my question would be, what is the hydration of the starter and what flours are in the starter? I would assume 100% hydration and that the flours are blended the same as in the final dough. What did you do?

As for the proof times, you need time to let the natural yeasts ferment the rye and white flours and to develop lacto-bascillic acids.  I see no problem with the times indicated. I would be inclined to do 2hrs and 2hrs but at cool room temps (60-65 F) to develop the acids that ryes like.

Not sure what you mean to "the health of the bread". Do you mean the strength of the dough or the received healthiness of the bread. In either caseI would think that it doesn't do much. You are just softening the grains and making sure that teeth are not cracked in the eating of it :)

I would say that if you came out with a loaf you liked, don't over think it. Your loaf looks great.


knightsofneech's picture

Thank you Paul! You are very sweet for the help! I've tried this recipe 5 times now and have the following info

-The rye flour came in bulk. It seems to be pretty right on in terms of liquid needed to get the right consistency (I think!)
-The all-purpose flour is King Arthur (same there about liquid ratio)

I have let the "wet mash" develop for 8 hours, then 10 hours, then 12 hours, then 14 hours. At all the times it doesn't smell or look like alcohol has formed, but the longer times 10+ hours seems to give a larger rise to the finished bread. 

Do you have any advice about cutting into this dense loaf and storing it? Someone said the loaves would hold better and re-distrubute the moisture if it is cooled then put into a bag or wrapped tightly for a day before cutting into it.

Note: The pre-packaged German/Nordic loaves you can buy have an even moisture and dense, wetter feel. I toast the bread thoroughly in thin slices and it is divine so far. I just want to know if I am storing/cutting/waiting to the best advantage. If you have any advice let me know. Here is what I was trying to duplicate (and improve :)):

Another note: I asked the guys who sell sprouted seeds at my farmer's market and they said sprouted seeds would probably loose their nutritional value in the baking process, but that the normal sunflower/flax/cracked wheat/rye berries are good.

Thanks again for your awesome reply. Very helpful

Neland's picture

Hi Paul,

I'm a native Dane and I have been baking Rugbrød for nearly 30 years now.

I have had a number of different recipe's over the years, but over the last 10 years or so I have used one and only one recipe as it is fool proof and comes out great every time.

I can't comment on the recipe you found, but i'll like to give you mine:

This is for one bread for my Rye-bread pan, measuring 10 x 10 x 30 cm

Day 1:

65g cracked rye (or rolled rye is good too)

65g cracked wheat (or rolled wheat)

65g sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds

65g flax seeds

65g whole rye flower

210g bread flour (King Authors is good)

6,25dl water

1-2dl rye sour dough

Stir everything together and let it sit at room temp at least overnight. Take your sour dough (125g) out for next week at this stage.

Day 2:

2 dl water (or dark beer as I like to use)

20g salt

400g whole rye flower

2 Tbsp malted barley flour (for the good rye taste)

Pour it all into your bread pan and let it rise. At room temp it takes 2-4 hours, but you can also put in into the fridge and let it rise overnight.

Bake at 160 degree Celcius for 2 hours, once the top is dense from baking poor a bit of oil over it so it becomes nice and glossy. Take the bread out of the mold and bake it 1 hr at 100 degree Celcius. Once it come out of the oven wrap it in a dish towel and let it cool completely. If the crust of your bread has become very hard (don't break your teeth) put it into a plastic bag and wait 24hrs, that usually does the trick and the crust becomes more soft.

It is a well known fact the rye bread has to sit for 24 hrs before you cut it as is can be sticky in the middle.


In terms of the seeds you add to the dough on day 1 you can change them from time to time and thus change the taste and the presentation of the bread. The only thing I would recommend is not to omit the flax seeds as the control the moisture of the bread. 

Dansk Rugbrød

Neland's picture

I got confused, i should have read Dear "Knightsofneech" and not Paul

But anyhow, Sry the picture is not showing - If you click on the link it opens in another window in your browser.


Neland's picture

AllanRI's picture

Hi Neland - You sound like you've had lots of experience, so maybe you can give me some advice?   How sour is Danish rye bread?  The one I just made is very sour.   I used the recipe that came with my new Ankarsrum mixer: 

Danish Rye Bread


Day 1
450 g (2 cups) water
400 g (1.75 cups) coarsely-ground rye flour
115 g (1/2 cup) sourdough starter
120 g (1/2 cup) toasted sunflower seeds (toast them in a dry pan on the stove)
30 g (2 Tbsp) flax seeds
1 tsp salt

Combine all of the ingredients in the stainless-steel bowl. Cover with plastic wrap so that it is tightly covered. Let the dough stand at room temperature for at least 12 hours.

Day 2
The dough from Day 1
200 g (3/4 cup) water
10 g (2 tsp) yeast
225 g (1 cup) coarsely-ground rye flour
150 g (2/3 cup) wheat flour
115 g (1/2 cup) sourdough

Add of the ingredients to the dough from day 1. Knead on the lowest speed with the help of the dough hook for 20 minutes. Cover the bowl with the lid and allow to rise for 2 hours. Grease a bread pan with a neutral oil and scrape the dough down into the pan. Cover thoroughly and let the dough rise up to the edge of the pan. Bake in a 210°C (420° F) oven for approximately 45 minutes. The bread is ready when the temperature in the middle is 98°C (208° F). 

The process is a little different from your recipe, but I don't think there are significant differences ... 

I'm just trying to determine whether my bread is too sour, or whether that's the way it's meant to be.