When I first moved to New York, I realized how much I missed Danish bread. It was kind of frightening to me that store bought bread would not get moldy for more than a month, whereas bread in Denmark would typically only last 4 to 5 days. This is the trade off in convenience with processed foods, but it is also the reason why I started baking my own breads.
Danish rugbrød (rye bread) is a dark rectangular loaf of bread, and is denser than the normal rye bread you will find in most stores. Filled with grains and dietary fiber, it is low in fat and contains no oil or refined sugar, which makes this bread very healthy and filling. Because of the density of the bread, the Danes don’t eat the rugbrød in a traditional American sandwich format, but rather as an open-faced sandwich.
You might have seen me post some of the recipes that go very well with rugbrød. We also call it smørrebrød.
The recipe is based on sourdough, which has a distinguished flavor and also helps to keep the rugbrød naturally fresh for a longer period. Although it is easy to make, be aware that the sourdough takes 4 days before it can be used for baking.
My friend Anne H. passed me the best recipe that I have ever tried, so you have her to thank for sharing. The following recipe is reduced to one loaf instead of two, since I prefer to eat my bread as fresh as possible, and I altered it slightly by adding pepitas (pumpkin seeds).
The bread needs to be completely cool before you can slice it.
*To keep your bread fresh wrap the bread tightly in a clean dish towel and leave it in a dry place at room temperature. The kitchen counter is perfect. Wrapping the bread can keep your bread fresh for a week.