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Black Bread

"There’s nothing more distinctively Nordic than a loaf of dark bread set on the kitchen table. Each...
Black Bread
The New Nordic/Simon Bajada

Black Bread

"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." — Simon Bajada, author of The New Nordic: Recipes from a Scandinavian Kitchen


Special equiptment: You'll need a kitchen scale to weigh the ingredients for this recipe.


  • 10 ½ Ounces whole-wheat flour
  • 9 ½ Ounces (scant 2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 2 ¾ Ounces coarse rye flour
  • 1 Ounce wheat bran
  • 1 ¾ Ounce wheat germ
  • 5 Ounces cracked wheat
  • 1 Teaspoon mixed spices (like ground caraway and fennel seeds)
  • 1 ¼ Tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ Teaspoon salt
  • 5 Ounces light molasses
  • 12 Ounces whole milk
  • 18 Ounces unsweetened yogurt
  • 1 ¾ Ounce raisins
  • 1 ¾ Ounce sunflower oil, for greasing
  • 2 Ounces sunflower seeds


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine the flours, wheat bran, wheat germ, cracked wheat, mixed spices, baking 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. Grease two 10-inch loaf pans. Sprinkle the sunflower seeds over the base of the tins and try to get some to stick to the sides too.

Divide the dough between the tins and cook on the bottom shelf of the oven for 2 hours.

Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to rest in the pans for 10 minutes before turning the loaves 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.


Nutritional Facts
Calories Per Serving402
Total Fat11g16%
Vitamin A25µg3%
Vitamin B120.3µg4.7%
Vitamin B60.4mg21%
Vitamin C0.4mg0.7%
Vitamin D0.4µg0.1%
Vitamin E4mg19%
Vitamin K2µg2%
Folate (food)53µgN/A
Folate equivalent (total)112µg28%
Folic acid35µgN/A
Niacin (B3)4mg22%
Riboflavin (B2)0.3mg19.8%
Sugars, added9gN/A
Thiamin (B1)0.6mg37.4%