I don’t think there is a translation for Kneippbrød, because this bread was named after Sebastian Kneipp, a Bavarian priest and doctor who was also one of the founders or naturopathic medicine movement. He is most commonly associated with the “Kneipp Cure” form of hydrotherapy- the application of water through various methods, temperatures and pressures which he claimed to have therapeutic or healing effects (source: wikipedia).
In Norway however, Kneipp is most famous for his whole wheat bread recipe. Dr. Kneipp was the first person to use the entire grain (the outside shell, kernel, germ, etc) when making bread. He believed that a healthy diet consisted of water and bread and many doctors and dentists prescribed kneippbrød for healing stomach, teeth and blood ailments. Søren Mittet, a book publisher, brought back the recipe to Norway after a hospital stay in Germany. A baker named Hansen baked Norway’s first kneippbrød in 1895 and since then, kneippbrød has remained one of the most commonly eaten breads in Norway. It is estimated that 60 million kneippbrød are sold yearly in Norway, which means every Norwegian eats at least one bread per month…
Kneippbrød is a whole wheat flour bread, often a mixture of whole wheat and white whole wheat flour.
I used these flours in my recipe:
Skim milk is often the liquid base, and the bread has a crispy crust, which gives it a nice texture. There truly isn’t a bread like it anywhere else in the world, that is how special I feel this loaf is!
While growing up this used to be my absolute favorite bread – mostly because my mom would not make it (and I think most would resort to buying it at the bakery as well), it was finer and much different from the breads my mom would make. So of course I could only get it if my mom was in a good mood (or extremely busy and didn’t have time to bake her own bread) and went to our local bakery to get it… Excitement always lies in something different, doesn’t it??:)
I was incredibly happy with my recipe for this bread- I don’t often brag about my breads, but this really turned out just like I wanted it to. I will say also that upon researching kneippbrød, it was not easy to come upon a recipe ! So… to toot my own blog, I’m happy to include one and hopefully one that you will thoroughly enjoy! Keep in mind that baking times vary – some ovens are really strong, while others may take longer, keep an eye on the bread- baking it in the lowest rack does sometime cause a bit of burning on the bottom so please check within 30 minutes of baking that all is well. Happy baking!
Makes 2 loaves
2 cups skim milk
1 cup water
1 packet instant yeast or 50 grams fresh yeast
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
4 cups whole wheat flour
4 cups white whole wheat flour
Heat the milk and water until about 37c/98F. Add the oil and then the yeast, let sit for a couple of minutes to proof. Add in the whole wheat flour first along with the sugar and salt, then add in the white whole wheat flour. Knead the dough for several minutes until you have a smooth and firm dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap place in a warm spot and let proof for about one hour. Alternatively, place it in a cold spot for hours (called cold proofing)- if you choose this method, add the yeast to cold milk/water (see above), don’t heat it. Proofed dough after one hour:
Knead the dough once again on a floured work surface, add more flour if necessary. Divide into two loaves, shape them and place into buttered loaf pans, and let them proof again for 1-2 hours. Proofed loaves after one hour before they went into the oven:
Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Bake in oven on the lowest rack for about 45 minutes. Pour a bit of cold water over the breads about 5 minutes before they are done. Leave them in the oven until a crust has formed and is dried. Cool on rack.
They are of course best when just out of the oven, but when stored correctly, these breads can last for several days (not in my house though! 🙂