Say hello to your new favorite everyday loaf of bread! This nutritious multigrain loaf is packed with wholesome grains such as whole wheat, oats and rye and yet still manages to be exceptionally light and tender. It is incredibly versatile and makes excellent toast and sandwiches.
And the good news is that this bread is incredibly easy to make thanks to a secret ingredient (more on that later) that brings ease and simplicity to this delicious and nourishing loaf. Ready to bake? Let's get started!
Why This Recipe Works
This bread recipe is bound to become a new favorite because:
- It contains just the right combination of whole grains (in the form of readily available 7 grain cereal), whole grain flours and bread flour to create a loaf that is hearty, nutritious but still soft and tender in texture;
- Instant yeast serves as the leavener which is fast-acting and easy to work with (no proofing in warm water necessary;
- The recipe makes two loaves at a time and the bread freezes beautifully so you've always got a loaf in reserve.
The Story Behind This Recipe
This recipe is inspired by the upcoming Winter Olympic Games. Norwegians take their bread very seriously. So seriously that they have been bringing their own baking team (and ingredients) to athletic championships and Olympic events around the world since 1988. The Norwegian athletes rely on nutritious whole grain loaves to fuel their bodies for competition, and baking these loaves is something they are unwilling to leave in the hands of strangers, even when traveling internationally.
For the 2010 olympic games in Vancouver, Canada, a small bakery (Golden Crust in Squamish) was chosen as the location where the visiting Norwegian bakers would bake bread for the athletes and supporting staff three times a day. In addition to baking 120 loaves of high-quality nutritious bread daily, the bakers also made celebratory cakes for competition winners and sweet buns. An article in The Bakers Journal described the loaves as “bread that combined hearty ingredients such as rye, oats, barley and buckwheat.” In the spirit of the 2022 games, I wanted to create a similar recipe for a nutritious multigrain bread to enjoy as we cheer on the athletes from the comfort of our own homes.
- This bread contains three types of flour: whole-wheat, rye and bread flour. Whole wheat and rye bring flavor and valuable nutrients, and the bread flour helps form the gluten network that keeps this bread nice and light.
- 7 grain cereal is my secret ingredient for multi-grain breads. I use it in many of my bread recipes. Why? Because it serves as a ready-made mix of chopped grains which means I don't have to go out and source each grain individually AND it is easy to find (either at your local grocery store or on Amazon).
- As I mentioned above, I use instant yeast (rather than active dry) because it works quickly, effectively and without any fussing around with proofing the yeast prior to using it. You can just add it in with your dry ingredients and you are good to go.
- Honey provides just the right amount of sweetness and melted butter helps create a soft, tender texture.
Special Equipment Needed
- Two 9x5 standard size loaf pans. I really like the glass (Pyrex)ones.
- A heavy duty stand mixer. You can certainly mix and knead this dough by hand, but a stand mixer makes quick and easy work of it.
How to Make This Recipe
- Begin by placing the cereal mix in the work bowl of heavy-duty stand mixer. Pour the boiling water over and let the mixture sit until it is cooler than 100 degrees (this could take up to an hour).
- In the meantime, whisk the flours and yeast together in a large bowl and set aside.
- Once the cereal mixture has cooled, add the honey, salt and melted butter to the mixer bowl. Fit the mixer with the dough hook attachment and mix the ingredients on low for a few seconds until they just come together.
- Add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl and mix on low until a dough forms. Increase the speed to medium and knead for 6-8 minutes or until the dough is clearing the sides of the bowl (it will still feel tacky to the touch). Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit at room temperature until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease 2 standard 9 x 5 loaf pans. Transfer the risen dough to a clean work surface that has been lightly dusted with flour. Split the dough in half and, working with one half of the dough at a time, pat it into a rectangle that is about 8 inches long and 1 inch thick. Roll the dough into a loaf shape and pinch the seam together. Fold the ends of the rolled cylinder up and over to meet the seam. Pinch together to adhere. Transfer the formed loaf to one of the prepared loaf pans, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining half of dough.
- Cover the loaves lightly with plastic wrap and let them rise until they begin to extend beyond the top of the loaf pan, about 45 minutes to an hour.
- Remove the plastic wrap and brush the loaves with milk and sprinkle with the oats, pressing lightly to adhere.
- Bake until golden brown and the internal temperature of the loaves reaches 200 degrees, 40-50 minutes. Cool in the pans for 20 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before enjoying.
- Be sure to wait until the water and cereal mixture has cooled (to below 100 degrees F) before adding the other ingredients. This should take about an hour, and the mixture should feel just slightly warm to the touch. If the yeast comes into contact with the water while it's too hot, you risk killing the yeast and not having your bread rise.
- Know that the rising times given in the recipe may differ depending on the temperature of the dough and of your kitchen. It's better to go off of the visual cues (i.e., the dough has doubled in size or has extended beyond the top of the loaf pan) for best results.
- To ensure that your loaf is done, it's nice (but not necessary) to have a probe thermometer to check the temperature in the center of the loaf (it should be around 200 degrees F).
Yes. Simply add the yeast to the water and cereal mixture after it has cooled but is still slightly warm to to the touch. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes and proceed with the recipe as directed.
These loaves will keep well at room temperature for up to 3 days as long as they are wrapped in plastic wrap or stored in a plastic bag.
This bread freezes very well! Once the loaves have completely cooled, wrap them tightly in plastic and then in foil or alternatively in a ziploc freezer bag. If you want to be able to grab a slice as you need it, feel free to slice the bread prior to freezing it.
You can, but it will be a bit sticky at first and will take longer than using a mixer (more like 10-12 minutes of kneading).
Looking for more delicious Scandinavian-inspired bread recipes? Give these blog favorites a try:
Whether you are fueling your body for an afternoon of cross-country skiing or just looking for delicious and nutritious bread for your morning toast or lunchtime sandwich, give this Norwegian Brown Bread with Oats and Rye a try! It’s sure to become a regular part of your baking rotation.
Norwegian Brown Bread with Oats and Rye
- For the dough:
- 1 ¼ cup 7 grain cereal mix I use the Bob’s Red Mill brand
- 2 ½ cups boiling water
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1 cup dark rye flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
- ¼ cup honey
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 1 tablespoon fine salt
- To finish:
- Milk for brushing on loaves
- Old-fashioned rolled oats for sprinkling
- Place cereal mix in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer. Pour boiling water over the grains. Let the mixture sit for about an hour or until it has cooled down to 100 degrees F.
- Whisk bread, rye and whole wheat flours and yeast together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Once the grain mixture has cooled, add honey, melted butter and salt. Mix briefly with the dough hook attachment to combine.
- WIth the mixer running on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix on low until it is just combined, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Increase the speed to medium and knead for 6-8 minutes. The dough should be clearing the sides of the bowl but will still be tacky to the touch.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise at room temperature for an hour or until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and set the oven rack in the middle position. Grease two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans and set aside. Lightly flour a clean countertop or work surface.
- Scrape the dough out onto the work surface and divide into two halves. Working with one half at a time, pat the dough out into a rectangle that is about 1 inch thick and 8 inches wide. Roll the rectangle lengthwise into a loaf shape. Pinch the seam together and fold the ends under to meet the seam, pinching the spot where the ends and the bottom of the loaf meet. Place the loaf into one of the prepared loaf pans, seam side down, and cover lightly with plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining half of the dough. Let the loaves rise until they begin to extend over the edge of the loaf pan, about 45 minutes at room temperature.
- Brush each loaf with milk and sprinkle with oats, pressing lightly to help them adhere. Bake the loaves until golden brown, about 45-50 minutes (when the bread is done, the internal temperature of each loaf will be 200 degrees). Cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before enjoying.
If you loved this recipe, give it a star review! Also, snap a picture of your Norwegian Brown Bread with Oats and Rye and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #truenorthkitchen and tagging me @true_north_kitchen.