How to Make Rugbrod (Danish Rye Bread)
Danish Rye Bread
Do you love Crusty Whole Grain Rye Bread?
This bread contains whole grains of rye, cooked, and then mixed with rye and a bit of all-purpose flour and a few other yummy ingredients to become two loaves of crusty on the outside, soft and rich on the inside bread you almost have to make to get. I make a batch every year because it's the present of choice for one of my dearest friends, and it's become my traditional gift for her. This year I thought I'd share the recipe witch the world. I use a recipe I found in a newspaper decades ago, as the starting point. I've incorporated my own techniques into it and enlisted Hubby to video the kneading process, since this is a heavy, sticky, bread, and I thought it might be useful for someone making it for the first time to see what to expect.
Now, let make Danish Rye Bread!
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This bread is for those who disdain the fluffy loaves that pass for bread in America and long for that heavy, crusty loaf that many Europeans favor -- a whole grain bread with body and lots of flavor. Try it. See if you become a fan!
- 3 Cups Water
- 1 Cup Whole Grain Rye (actual grains of rye)
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 3 Tablespoons Dark Molasses
- but you can substitute light
- as I did this time.
- 4 packages dry yeast. It's best to choose all of one type -- either fast-rising or regular. Fast rising will rise really fast. Don't even turn your back on it.
- 2 Cups Buttermilk. I used reconstituted powdered because I was out of fresh
- 5 cups Rye flour
- spooned loosely into measuring cups.
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Salt
- 3 -4 Cups all-purpose or bread flour
- 1 Egg
- l egg lightly beaten.
- First, bring the water to a boil in a saucepan of at least two quarts. When the water is boiling, add the whole rye grains, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, watching carefully to make sure it doesn't boil over.
- When rye is cooked, pour into mixing bowl with the cooking water. I used the bowl of my mixer. Add the butter. (I forgot and added it to the pan before pouring into bowl, and it didn't make any difference.) Cool to lukewarm.
- Add molasses, yeast, and buttermilk. Mix with wooden spoon. Let rest until you see mixture begin to bubble and you know the yeast is working.
- Stir in rye flour and salt, mixing well with spoon. If you are using a mixer, use a dough hook and turn it on for a few seconds to complete stirring.
- Add three cups of the white flour, reserving the rest for final kneading. I stirred with the wooden spoon until the flour was moist and then turned on the mixer to finish stirring in flour. I then turned mixer down to kneading speed, using dough hook to almost finish kneading. See pictures below.
- I finish kneading by hand on a pastry cloth. First I spread the reserved white flour on the cloth in a circle of about 11 inches. Then I remove the dough from the bowl to the center of the circle of flour. Scrape the last bits of dough out with a spatula and knife.
- When all the dough is on the floured cloth, I pull the cloth up over the dough and let it rest while I grease two large bread pans (at least 8.5 x 5 x 2 inches) very well. Then I knead it by hand until it is mostly smooth, shiny, and elastic. (See video below.)
- When bread is kneaded, shape it into two loaves (see video), and place each loaf into one of the greased bread pans. Cover first with wax paper, and then cover that with a warm, damp towel. With most breads, I just use the towel, but this one is very sticky and often rises so high it will stick to what it touches first. It's easier to unstick it from the wax paper.
- Let it rise until double. If the room is warm, it will rise much faster than the 2-3 hours the original recipe says to allow -- especially if you used the fast-rising yeast. These loaves rose in about 45 minutes. It might not quite be double, but if you let it rise too high it will fall back on itself. See my pictures for guidance.
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- When the loaves have risen, carefully remove towel and paper, using a knife to help, if necessary. Use a fork to prick the top in a series of rows, as shown in the pictures. When you finish pricking, brush egg over the loaves. If any dough hangs over the sides it's a good idea to push it back in. It's also a good idea to run a damp paper towel over the top edges to prevent baking bread from sticking to the top.
- When oven has finished preheating, put loaves in oven and bake for at least an hour.
- If you like a really crisp crust, you can remove it from the pans for the last 15 minutes of baking time, and finish baking without them. This will also help them finish baking faster.
- When you think the bread is done, remove a loaf from the oven and put it upside down on a cooling rack to test. Take a toothpick or cake tester and stick it in the center of the bottom to see if it comes out clean. If so, and if it's nice and brown, and makes a hollow sound when thumped on the bottom, it's done. If not, stick it back in the over for another 10 or 15 minutes until it's a healthy brown and passes the toothpick test. Cool right side up on racks. Let cool completely, preferably overnight. (Ok, I violated this and sliced while it was still slightly warm because I wanted to make sure it passed the taste test before going home. )
If you bake a lot, especially bread, these items will make your life easier.
They aren't all necessary, but it's sure handier when you have them around. If you bake much, you probably already have some of them, since many are needed for more than making bread.
This is great for gently adding flour to measuring cups and then leveling off the top. It can also help loosen edges of baking pans when removing breads and cakes.
I have used plastic spatulas and rubber spatulas, and the only one I've ever been happy with is my rubber one with a wooden handle. It's almost impossible to get the grease completely off of a plastic one, and that makes it bad to use when scraping the mixing bowl when beating egg whites to stiff peaks. When I'm lucky enough to find real rubber spatulas with wooden handles I buy several to make sure I always have one.
If you're going to get a rolling pin, which you will need for pie crusts and should have for shaping bread loaves, making cinnamon rolls, etc, you may as well get a good one that will work well and last forever. It's an essential tool for anyone who makes pies, biscuits, rolled cookies, and other baked items.
I use a pastry cloth rather than a pastry board because I've not yet figured out a way to keep the dough from sticking to a board. I use it for kneading and shaping bread and for rolling out a pie crust. The rolling pin cover that comes in the set is an essential tool for me, since I can flour it to keep dough from sticking to the rolling pin.
This and the following modules will focus on visual support for making Danish Rye Bread - Pictures will help with any questions you may have.
Even if you have made bread before, this bread has some unusual characteristics, stickiness being one of them. I will mix pictures and videos taken as I made the bread so you can see how the dough, and then the bread, really look at different stages of mixing, kneading, rising, baking, and testing for doneness.
The first step is to cook the whole grain rye in boiling water for 30 minutes.
Pour into mixer bowl and add butter. - Since I have arthritis, I like to do most of the mixing and kneading with an electric mixer.
A wooden spoon will work if you have lots of muscle strength. This is a very heavy dough and will make you very tired if you do it all by hand.
Add molasses, yeast, and buttermilk.
Stir wet ingredients. - Be careful not to use a high enough speed to splash.
After stirring, let sit until yeast creates some bubbles so you know it's working.
Measure rye flour.
I spoon it into the measuring cup loosely and level with a flat spatula edge.
Add rye flour and salt to wet ingredients.
Add three cups white flour and stir gently until it is moist.
Stirring in White Flour with Mixer at Low Speed
The white flour must be stirred in before you start kneading. I have the mixer guard in place to keep flour from shooting out the top.
Getting Danish Rye Bread Dough Ready to Knead with Mixer
I have narrated this to explain what you are seeing.
Dough is almost kneaded and ready to be finished by hand
This is narrated with explanations and tips for knowing when to know bread is ready to move from mixer to finish kneading by hand.
Have you ever made bread?
There's nothing quite like baking your own bread. I've never used a bread machine. I think I'd feel too removed from the process. I need to feel the dough in my hands as a living thing.
Have you made bread?
Fresh from the Oven.
Kneading Danish Rye Bread
This is one of the more complicated breads to knead, so I have narrated this video with tips for recognizing when your kneading is complete.
Kneading Danish Rye Bread
These are a perfect size for making Danish Rye Bread. Be sure and get two, since almost any bread recipe will make two loaves and you will want pans of equal size. The non-stick feature is great for making bread easy to remove from the pan.
Preparing bread pans to receive loaves of Danish Rye Bread
It's very important to grease them very well.
The Bread is Rising
Letting the Bread Rise
Once I have the bread in the pans, I put the pans close to each other and cover first with wax paper, in case dough sticks while rising, and then with a warm, damp, thin tea or dish towel to help protect bread from drafts. I then let it rise until double or when a finger stuck in the dough will leave an exact impression and not spring back at all. See video below for the rest of rising and preparation for oven.
Getting Risen Danish Rye Dough Ready for Oven
This will show you what the dough looks like when it has risen enough and how it is punched down and prepared to go into the oven.
The Best Way to Make Bread
As I've stated, I've never tried to use a bread machine. I was never confident enough to be sure I understood the directions, and I'm not usually at the house where the machine is long enough for the process to complete. If I were to leave it and the power went out, I'd never know it in time to save the bread.
I've never really had a problem with making bread by hand (or with a bit of kneading help from a mixer), so I've never felt the need to try the machine I inherited from my mother. I usually make unusual whole grain breads, and I'm not sure how they would turn out with a machine. Others I know love their machines and use them all the time.
What is the best way to make bread?
In the Pans, ready for Oven
Baking Danish Rye Bread.
Before you put bread in oven, make sure oven is preheated to 400 F. Bake for an hour or until well browned and done when tested. (See below.) If you want a very crisp crust, remove bread from pan and return to oven 15 minutes before it's expected to be done.
Bake bread and test to make sure it is done.
When you think it should be done, take the smallest loaf out of the oven, remove from pan and turn upside down on cooling rack. Take a toothpick or cake tester and poke in in the center of the bottom. It should come out clean. The loaf should also be well browned and make a hollow sound when thumped. If bread is done, turn right side up on rack to cool and take second loaf from oven to test. If bread is not done, bake for another 10-15 minutes or until it is.
The best part of making Danish Rye Bread is getting to eat it.
Serve it buttered, with cheese, for sandwiches, or to accompany soup. It's also delicious toasted with honey for breakfast. If you have some leftover ham, mix with some cream cheese to taste in a food processor for a delicious spread. Yummy!