Black bread

Black bread

The New Nordic
2 x 800g loaves or 1 x 1.6 kg loaf
Simon Bajada

There’s nothing more distinctively Nordic than a loaf of dark bread set on the kitchen table. Each country has its own version made from varying grains, resulting in an array of textures, but they are almost always sweetened with molasses, malt or some form of syrup. This recipe is a tribute to the diversity of grains and flours available on the Nordic supermarket shelf. While it cheats a little with the use of baking soda, you cannot tell from the end product. Persevere in finding the ingredients and you will have a truly delicious loaf.


Quantity Ingredient
300g wholemeal flour
270g plain flour
80g coarse wholemeal rye flour
30g wheat bran
50g wheat germ
140g fine cracked wheat
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 1/4 tablespoons bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
140g light molasses
350ml full-cream milk
500g natural yoghurt
50g raisins
50ml sunflower oil, for greasing
60g sunflower seeds


  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C.
  2. Combine the flours, wheat bran, wheat germ, cracked wheat, mixed spice, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large bowl. Add the molasses, milk, yoghurt and raisins and mix well. The dough will be wet, like cement, and it should fall off your hands if held up.
  3. Grease two 25 cm x 10 cm loaf (bar) tins or one 30 cm x 15 cm tin. Sprinkle the sunflower seeds over the base of the tins and try to get some to stick to the sides too.
  4. Divide the dough between the tins and cook on the bottom shelf of the oven for 2 hours.
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to rest in their tins for 10 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool. I suggest serving with butter and thin slices of cheese or, as in the photograph, with some peas and fresh cheese mixed with grated horseradish.
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