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Danish Rugbrød (ryebread)

I spent the formative years after college living in Denmark in a small town on Jutland, the large peninsula above Germany. It was here where I experienced firsthand, a food culture inherently connected with the seasons. I fell in sync with the rituals and routines of the table and food preparation as I helped prepare the daily meals, coffee breaks and snacks for the family, alongside my Danish mother-in-law. I know for sure that this is where my life as a chef has its roots.

Nothing epitomizes Danish cuisine for me as much as rugbrød. I never thought I would be able to replicate this healthy, whole grain, toothsome sourdough bread, but this recipe comes pretty close! The Danes slice the bread very thin, cut the bread in half, spread a thin layer of delicious butter (a recipe for making butter will be in a later post) and place a variety of traditional toppings and garnishes on each half slice and eat it with a knife and fork. One can easily consume 4-5 little masterpieces at one sitting and still feel light and healthy.




• 1 cup sourdough starter

• 3 cups rye flour

• 1 cup water

• 1 cup dark beer

• ¼ cup melted butter

• 1 tsp sea salt

• ½ cup steel cut oats

• ¼ cup sesame seeds

• ¼ cup almonds, millet, amaranth or rye berries*


  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well. You can use your hands or a wooden spoon.

  2. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and let it sit for 12 - 24 hours until it doubles in volume.*

  3. Spoon the dough into a long greased and floured narrow rectangular pan (4” by 12”)

  4. Use wet hands to smooth the surface of the bread.

  5. Cover the pans and let rise for 1-3 hours or until the dough reaches the top of the pan.

  6. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

  7. Remove from oven. Completely cool on a wire rack and then store in a ziplock bag.

  8. The bread will keep 1-2 weeks at room temperature.

Until next time!

Alison Creating Healthy Food Zones

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