Do you just love breads that are heavy, dense and nourishing, speckled with grains, and moist inside and crispy outside? Then Norwegian bread is for you! Here’s the trade secret that keeps us from baking it in our bakery ovens but lets you make it at home. You must absolutely put it into a very hot oven, preheated to 500°F (260°C), and then decrease the oven’s temperature to 400°F (200°C). The rest of the recipe is child’s play. This bread keeps well in the refrigerator for a little over a week.
Preparation : 30 minutes
Baking : 2 hours
Efficiency : 4 servings
dried fruit variation
1. In a medium bowl, combine the sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, flax and buckwheat seeds with 1/2 cup (125 ml) lukewarm water. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast, salt and molasses into the remaining 1 1/3 cup (330 ml) lukewarm water. Let stand for 5 minutes.
3. In a small bowl, combine the spelt and rye flours. Add these dry ingredients to mixture in large bowl, mixing by hand until texture becomes somewhat thick and sticky but malleable.
4. Incorporate sticky mixture to soaked seeds in medium bowl and gently knead by hand for 10 minutes. Let stand, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
5. Butter or oil a 9 × 5-in. (23 × 13 cm) bread pan and line with 2 long parchment paper strips, extending the paper over edges of the pan.
6. Transfer dough to prepared pan without packing it too much. If dough is too sticky, handle it with moistened fingers. Sprinkle dough with the rolled oats.
7. Cover pan with a cotton tea towel and let stand until dough rises to 1/2 in. (1 cm) above the top of the pan, 30 to 45 minutes.
8. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 500°F (260°C). Quickly put the bread in centre of the oven and close the door to avoid heat loss.
9. Bake the bread for 5 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 400°F (200°C) without opening oven door, and bake bread for another 35 minutes.
10. Remove bread from the oven and turn out onto a rack. Let stand for at least 2 hours before slicing and serving. Very often, it tastes even better the next day!
dried fruit variation
1. Once you’ve finished kneading the dough, gently mix in the cranberries, raisins, figs and dates for 1 to 2 minutes
2. Then follow remaining recipe directions.