5 reasons to love Norwegian bread

As a typical bread-loving Norwegian, it can be difficult to live in a country that is protein obsessed and deathly afraid of carbs.  But it didn’t stop me from making today’s recipe of whole grain, multi-seeded loaves of bread that

I think I’ve shared my first experience arriving in the U.S. seeing all the plastic wrapped breads sitting on the shelves for weeks, thinking, “how is this possible? Why doesn’t the bread go bad?”  Yes, I know – I was pretty naive. Then I picked up a slice, only to discover that it was mostly air, and I was able to squeeze it in the palm of my hand and shape it into the size smaller than a ping pong ball.  I knew then, that this was not something I particularly wanted to put in my body.

This is when I became slightly obsessed with baking my own breads, buying specialty flours online and seeking out health food stores that would have the kind of darker, whole wheat and grain types we use back home.

Why eat Norwegian style bread, you ask? Here are a few reasons:

  1. Whole grains and seeds contain lots of nutrients and fiber, the latter helping you to stay fuller longer, causing you to eat less
  2.  It will help lower your cholesterol
  3. Stabilizes your blood sugar levels, helping you stay more energetic throughout the day
  4. Contributes to good digestion and gut health
  5. Can help prevent diseases like cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease

A bonus reason is that as opposed to white bread, whole grains and seeds contain tons of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that help keep your body healthy. Why not opt for both healthy AND delicious if you’re going to eat? Norwegian bread is the way to go!

I am a believer in using quality grains and flours when making bread, cookies, pastries and cakes. I use organic products from smaller producers whenever I can, and wholeheartedly believe that if everyone would do the same, we would see less people intolerant of gluten and grains, and less obesity.

Yes, that’s right.  There has never been as much obesity in the world since the widespread popularity of the Atkins Diet, where red meat, bacon, eggs and cheese were touted as “health food” and food to eat if you wanted to slim down, whereas bread, pasta and rice were looked upon as the devil himself.

Come to think of it, growing up in Norway, we ate bread for breakfast, lunch and “kveldsmat” (a late night meal after dinner, because Norwegians eat dinner super early, around 5pm), and I never really saw any overweight people around. Food for thought, literally.

If you’re new to my blog, you might want to read my previous blog post about bread from my home region of Sunnmøre, which goes into more history and detail about breadmaking in Norway, and includes another recipe for bread.

I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say there are MILLIONS of recipes for homemade bread in Norway, we just love bread that much.   The best thing about making your own bread is that you know exactly what is in it, there are no fake additives and preservatives that may wreak havoc on your body, and of course: it tastes ten times better than any store bought version you will find! That is, if you follow my recipe of course! 🙂

This bread is made in two stages. You’ll combine the ingredients in the first batch as listed below, then wait a few hours before you add the ingredients from the second batch.  Trust me, the breads will be well worth your efforts! You can also double the recipe to make six loaves and freeze them so you have for weeks to come (or if you’re as big of a bread lover as I am, only for two weeks, hahaha).

Happy baking and please comment if you do try it out or if you have any questions! You can also stop by my FB page, Arctic Grub, and join in on the discussion about Norway and Norwegian food there!

MULTI-SEED, WHOLE GRAIN NORWEGIAN BREAD

Makes 3 loaves

1st batch:

a heaping 1/2 cup (75g) wheat bran

a heaping 1/2 cup (75g) chia seeds

a heaping 1/2 cup (75g) sunflower seeds

a heaping 1/2 cup (75g) pumpkin seeds

a scant 1/2 cup (100 grams) organic old-fashioned oats

1 cup (200 g) organic whole wheat flour

1 cup (200g) organic dark rye flour

4 cups (900ml) cold water

2nd batch:

1 cup (200ml) water

2 tbsp maple syrup or light syrup

2 tbsp sea salt

1 packet dry yeast or 50 grams fresh yeast

4-4 1/2 cup organic all purpose flour

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients from batch #1 in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl) and cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel. Let sit for at least 2 1/2 hours at room temp, or overnight if you can. This will expand the seeds and make them chewy, which will help bind them to the dough.

After the mixture from batch #1 has been sitting for several hours or overnight, add in the ingredients from batch #2, perhaps holding back a bit of the flour.  Fit the dough hook of the standmixer on and mix for 5 minutes at low speed, then increase to high speed and knead the dough for another 5 minutes. Add more flour if necessary, until you get a smooth, elastic dough.

Let the dough rest for another 2 hours.  Prepare three loaf pans by greasing them lightly with oil.  Then pour the dough onto a clean work surface, divide it into three equal pieces.  Fit the pieces into each loaf pan (if you don’t have loaf pans you can also free bake them by shaping the pieces into loaves and placing them onto a baking sheet).

Cover the loaves with a clean towel, and let rest for another 45 minutes at room temp. Meanwhile,  heat your oven to 440 degrees Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celcius).

Brush the top of the loaves with a little water, and sprinkle additional chia, sunflower and pumpkin seeds on top. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or so until the bottom is hard and make a hollow noise when you tap them. Cool for about an hour (if you can wait) before slicing into ti. Serve with vegan butter and a cup of coffee or tea!

bread1

 

bread2

6 thoughts on “5 reasons to love Norwegian bread

  1. Ramona Baird says:

    Hi Sunny,

    It’s “da farm”. I am a national educator and for personal purposes, I like to keep my personal and professional things separate so I use “da farm” for my personal Facebook page. For my professional page it is: https://www.facebook.com/sewingguild (in case you are interested). I do sewing education and machine embroidery education–another reason I’d like to visit Norway; I’m sure I could come away with some great ideas for artwork to digitize and sell.

    For extra income I sell digital designs on http://www.EmbroideryDesigns.com and my most recent project was on the cover of “Creative Machine Embroidery”.

    [image: Inline image 1]

    My full-time “job” is online sewing education, my passion is machine embroidery and my second love is baking–and collecting old cook books. Over the years I’ve been trying Norwegian recipes–especially since we moved to SW WI five and a half years ago. There are several Norwegian communities around here. I also wrote you some time ago when you wrote about wine, telling you that if you ever get to this part of the state you also need to check out the local grape growers and wineries–there are many really delicious wines coming out of this area. You were also gracious enough to translate the words flour and sugar into Norwegian for me a couple of years back.

    Here is the link to “Craftsy”: https://www.craftsy.com/ Craftsy has been around for several years now. It is on-line learning for the masses. Each person has to sign up to create an account and then I believe each person can still view one class for free upon signup. For members of where I teach online, the American Sewing Guild offers discounts on classes–but Craftsy also offers discounted classes and they are offered for those who sign up for their emails. Recently Craftsy was purchased by NBC Universal (https://www.craftsy.com/blog/2017/05/announcement/). Once a person signs up and purchases a class, they can watch the classes any time, chat with instructors, and the class is theirs to keep for a lifetime. I have taken some drawing classes, a cookie decorating class, a photography class (for work), and a couple of others on sewing. The instructors are professionals in their area of expertise and the filming is done at the studios in Colorado; I don’t know anything about their pay structure.

    I hope I’m not being too forward, but I “chatted” on the site with a guy named Arnold just a few minutes ago and told him about you. Right now he said they are not accepting any more instructors, but I gave him your blog site and Facebook page and told him I think you would be an incredible asset to the Craftsy lineup. He’s going to check out your pages and tell the “powers that be” about you. I don’t know if it will lead anywhere or not, but I think you’d fit right in with their repertoire of instructors.

    Thank you again for all you do to keep us informed about our heritage and transforming recipes!

    Ramona Baird

    • Sunny says:

      Hi Ramona!
      Thank you so much for your message, I really enjoy getting to know my readers and I absolutely LOVE the sound of what you do for a living! Super interesting and great to know there is such a huge interest for your craft.
      I’m also very touched and grateful you think I’d be a good asset to Craftsy – while I’m not familiar with that particular channel, it sounds similar to Udemy and Creative Live – these things are right up my alley so I really appreciate you taking time out to put in a good word for me! You rock!!
      If there is anything I can do for you in return, I hope you won’t hesitate to ask.
      In the mean time, thanks so much for your support of my work and blog, it really means a lot!
      Have a great weekend and speak to you soo!
      Sunny xo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s