Tasty bread

Delicious till the last crumb

Tasty crackers, crispbread, flatbread, wheat loaf and rye loaf baked over the fire or in the oven are served with homemade butter, cream cheese, honey and ham. It smells fantastic and tastes even better.

Below are the Vikings' recipes which are easily altered if you prefer baking your bread in a modern oven. Still, why not try bread making over a fire in the garden, on the grill on the terrace etc.

Large loafs which have been left to rise, must bake in an oven to turn out successfully. Flat breads and biscuits can be made either in an oven or over a fire.

Crispbread

0.5 jug lukewarm water
6 cups rye flour
6 cups wheat flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 cups rye flour for rolling out the dough

Mix all the ingredients and knead well. Divide the dough in 20 pieces and form into balls. Roll out each ball in plenty of rye flour and into a thin round. Cut out a hole in the middle and score each crispbread. Or if you prefer, cut the dough into strips instead of rounds. 

The fireplace must be warmed up well ahead. Before placing the crispbreads on the bottom of the fireplace, sweep it to remove ashes. Turn the crispbreads when slightly browned.

Place to keep the crispbreads on a stick or store the crispbread in a closed bread box of birch bark or wood.

Flatbread

4 cups wheat flour
1 cup rye flour
1 cup barley flour
3 cups liquid (whey, buttermilk or water)
2 teaspoons salt

Mix liquid, salt and flour and knead well. It may be necessary to add a little more flour or liquid. Divide the dough into small pieces. First, form them into balls and, next, into flat and thin breads.

Bake the flatbreads on a hot pan over the fire or in an open oven. During baking turn over the breads several times. The flatbreads must be slightly browned and sound hollow when you tap them.

Slow rise wheat loaf

First day:
2 cups cultured milk/Acidophilus
2 cups water
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
250 g wheatmeal 
Sourdough (see recipe for rye bread below)

Second day:
2 cups water
1 tablespoon honey
500 g wheat flour

First day:
Mix Acidophilus, water and sourdough in a bowl. Add salt, honey and wheatmeal and mix for a thin, smooth batter. Cover the bowl with a linen cloth and leave to rest at room temperature until the next day.

Next day:
Add water and honey to the batter and mix in the wheat flour a little by little. You may not need to add all the flour. Mix the batter to reach a smooth consistency of a very thick porridge. Pour the batter into a floured bread rising basket and leave to rise until double in size. 

Carefully turn out the unbaked loaf onto a floured, wooden peel score the bread and place the bread in the hot oven. Baking time is a couple of hours approx.

Rye loaf with sourdough

First day: 
1 jug lukewarm water
0.5 kg rye meal 
1 kg rye flour
3 tablespoons salt
Sourdough

Second day:
0.5 jug lukewarm water
1 kg rye flour

First day:
Mix rye meal, water, salt and sourdough and leave to rest till the next day.

Next day:
Add water and some rye flour to the batter and mix well. Take some of the batter to keep in a container (new sourdough). Add the rest of the flour to form a loaf. Leave to rise for a couple of hours. Meanwhile, light a fire in the oven. When the oven is hot, push the coals to the sides and sweep the bottom to remove ashes. Sprinkle a handful of wheat flour onto the bottom of the oven. If it turns very dark, the oven is too hot. If it goes slightly golden, the oven temperature is just right. With a wooden peel place the loaf in the oven. Close the oven completely and bake the loaf for 1.5 - 2 hours. When the loaf is done, wrap it in a damp flax cloth.

Sourdough:
1.5 cup buttermilk
A little salt
200 g rye flour
Mix well and leave to rest for 4-5 days before using.

Barley crackers 

4 cups barley flour
2 tablespoons linseed
¾ cup water, whey or cultured milk/Acidophilus
2 tablespoons honey
1 egg
A little salt

Mix all the ingredients to form a dough. Roll out and cut into squares. Bake the crackers on a dry pan over the fire until slightly browned on both sides.  

1 jug = 1 liter approx.
1 cup = 150 ml approx.

Ribe VikingeCenter's 2012 project 'Nordic food is Viking food' is supported by  Region Syddanmark.