Norwegians love to bake, and it’s a craft they have mastered to perfection. From cakes to cookies, breads and everything in between, there is something so special about baked goods from my home country. Most creations fit in the “rustic” category, and this brytebrød is typical of what you may find on modern Norwegian tables today. As with so many dishes, a trend seems to spread quickly across the country (taco Friday, anyone?), and in the past couple of years I’ve seen brytebrød in almost every Norwegian household! Shaped as buns and baked close together in the oven so they attach, the buns retains moisture and get extra juicy when made this way.
I am convinced that this bread must have been created in honor of the old, Norwegian saying that goes “Den som gir stakkaren tørt brød, skal sjølv få lide svolt og nød“, which translates into “He who gives the poor man dry bread, shall himself suffer hunger and despair.”
These buns will guarantee a happy life filled with tasty food, as these are super moist, light and fluffy and an an absolute delight to snack on!
Not unlike the knekkebrød recipe I posted the other day, this also contains a variety of seeds and thus makes for a bit of a healthier, but also more exciting option for breakfast, lunch or as an addition to your breadbasket or plate for dinner along with a soup and/or salad. Thank you to my sister, Agnes, for providing the recipe listed at the bottom of this post!
This can also be considered a bread recipe for beginners, because it’s so simple to make and comes together pretty quickly. The buns stick together after baking and the procedure of breaking them apart (“bryte” means break in Norwegian) is fun as you see the moist inside of bun appear and heat rising from them.
Play around with the below recipe. Change it up by reducing some of the all purpose flour and adding in some oatmeal for extra texture and flavor or use spelt, whole wheat or nut flours in the dough. Add in some chopped, fresh herbs, like rosemary, tarragon, thyme and/or oregano or fill it with some sauteed garlic or nut based cheese. Shape it into a loaf and slice it like a regular bread if you don’t want buns!
You can even make the dough the night before, and put it in the oven the next morning and you will have fresh bread for breakfast!
50 grams or about 3.5 tbsp each of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, poppy seeds or whatever seeds you have in your pantry
50 grams margarine or vegan butter
50 grams fresh yeast or 1 packet (2 1/2 tsp) dry yeast
3 – 3 1/2 cups water
1 tbsp flaxseed mixed with 3 tbsp water or 1/3 cup applesauce or 1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
About 2 lbs or about 8 cups all purpose flour
Line a 13 X 9 inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Gently heat up the water and margarine in a small pot, until slightly warm. Mix in the yeast. In a separate bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all the dry ingredients, pour in the yeast-water-margarine mixture with the flaxseed mixture or applesauce or vegetable oil and combine. Knead until a firm, smooth dough forms, about 10-15 minutes. Cover dough and let rise in a warm spot (away from draft) for about 1 hour.
Divide the dough into desired sized pieces and roll into pieces that fits the palm of your hand. Place them in the prepared baking pan, slightly apart (they will rise in the oven and stick together, which they should). Brush the top of the buns with a little almond milk (or other plant based milk you have in your fridge) and sprinkle on a variety of seeds of your choice. I like to mix it up and sprinkle different seeds on each bun, that way everyone can pick their favorite flavor and crunch :)
Bake in middle rack for 30-40 minutes until nice and golden on top. Let cool on wire rack and dig in!