Viking Brown Bread – Scandinavia’s Soda Bread

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Last Updated on February 4, 2021 by Chef Mireille

Viking Brown Bread – Scandianavia’s Soda Bread is a wholesome and hearty bread and a great way to start the day! Add some cheese or cured meat for a complete meal! Although in Scandinavia, they might have smoked or dried fish!

This is not a soft and tender bread that you will be accustomed to for sandwiches etc.

It is rather a dense bread, however, this hearty wholesome Viking Bread is perfect to dunk into soups and stews!

Viking Brown Bread is a rustic soda bread from Scandinavia, not very different from the Irish version. It’s perfect with a bowl of soup or stew!

I have two television addictions – Scandal and Vikings. Vikings, which airs on the History Channel is the only scripted drama on the network. Much of the show demonstrates a lot of history I did not know previously, but it is not a documentary and what attracted me to the show was the relationships and at its core, it’s about a family. But the battle scenes are awesome too!

Much of my posts here include historical information of the culture I am representing to share with you and Viking culture is no different. Not only do I love learning about culinary history but history of all peoples and while I watch the show, I am obsessed with learning Viking history.

A Little Viking History

The Vikings were known for their fighting and seafaring capabilities. What I find so intriguing is that most of their history was relayed by oral tradition because they remained illiterate for far longer than the rest of the world. They were far too busy raiding and conquering. The tv show starts in the 700’s so much of the history you have to take with a grain of salt because different historians will interpret the sagas (recorded oral histories) differently.

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With my interest in the show, it has sparked an interest in me of all things Viking and all things Scandinavian. Did you know they conquered all of Europe all the way to Morocco! Where do you think those blond Moroccans come from? Normandy in France got its name because it was the first Viking settlement in France and is basically an adulteration of the North Men.

After watching the show repeatedly, I have tried to take note of what they eat. Unfortunately, there is sometimes a whole year break between seasons so when I need my Viking fix, I rewatch the episodes on Amazon Prime – Only the first 3 ½ seasons though. Since they are going by history, they had to kill off the main character and it’s just not the same since Ragnar Lothbrok died. The actor that portrayed him, Travis Fimmel, was so dynamic in the role.

What’s really interesting is what a fair society it was in terms of the roles of men and women. We often think all societies are patriarchal in nature, but their society was quite well balanced. There were also women warriors, known as Shield Maidens, so they hardly had time to develop culinary arts. Therefore, for many years the cuisine was quite rustic, mostly just eating what the land provided, which wasn’t much, because it was frozen half the year. Their diet was basically fish, wild game and root vegetables. They would harvest grain and store it for the cold winters when vegetables became scarce.

Their basic diet was bread and soup or broth and gruel (grain based porridges). Yeast had not yet been introduced so their bread was quite dense, using just baking soda and actually before baking soda was invented, they used to use antler salt (which is still available in Scandinavia) as leavening. Believe it or not, antler salt is actually made from reindeer antlers. Oil is distilled from the antlers and from that ammonium carbonate is created, also called hartshorn. This was their only leavening agent.

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HOW TO MAKE VIKING BROWN BREAD

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This rustic bread is great with soups or stews or you can eat it as the Vikings did for breakfast, drizzled with some honey. I also had it with my Strawberry Rose Jam.

Viking Brown Bred 1
Viking Brown Bread 2


Viking Brown Bread
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Viking Brown Bread – Scandinavia’s Soda Bread

A rustic brown bread, similar to Irish Soda Bread!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Bread
Cuisine: Scandinavian
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 152kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup oats + 1 tablespoon

Topping Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons oats

Instructions

  • Combine flours, baking soda and salt.
  • Add oats and water. Mix until you have a shaggy dough.
  • Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough comes together.
  • Transfer to a cookie sheet.
  • Brush the top with a little water and add the remaining oats on top.
  • Bake in a 375 F oven for 45 minutes.

Notes

Don’t be tempted to add more water while kneading. Just keep kneading – it will come together.
Don’t preheat the oven!
THIS IS A DENSE BREAD – BEST ENJOYED WITH SOUPS AND STEWS!

Nutrition

Calories: 152kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 215mg | Potassium: 116mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 2mg
Did you try this recipe? Leave a comment below.Please follow me on Instagram @chefmireille or tag me #chefmireille with your pics! I’d love to share them!
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Thank you for sharing!

About Chef Mireille

CHEF MIREILLE - AUTHOR, RECIPE DEVELOPER AND PHOTOGRAPHER FOR Global Kitchen Travels
***
Chef Mireille is a NYC based freelance chef instructor and food photographer. Due to her very diverse family background, she was able to travel and learn about global cultures and flavors from a young age. Her passion for culture, cooking, history and education had made her an expert on developing traditional globally inspired recipes & delicious fusion cuisine.
Her extensive travel history provides a plethora of background information and Travel Tips!

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Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. vaishalisabnani

    That’s some history to read ! Even we have a similar show which was aired sometime back , but they never showed the details ! Btw the bread looks lovely and I like the way you have captured the pics !

  2. manjulabharathkumar2016

    I have attempted a soda bread before, this one looks so yummy and healthy as well. Texture of the bread is so good MIr ..Loved reading the history about viking. All the data you collect is commendable.

  3. Gloria Duggan

    As a bread lover….I will go with ALL kinds of breads. This looks delicious…and I would love a nice warm slice slathered with butter. Nothing like fresh baked bread any day…and the aroma of baking bread is sooooo good!!

  4. Amy Nash

    This was such an interesting read! I’m going to have to look into that show because it sounds fascinating and I have viking ancestry. I will have to make this bread to enjoy while I watch!

  5. Jyoti Babel

    I like the new look of your website. Thumbs up.

    This bread is looking gorgeous – rustic and flavourful. Yes, it looks similar to the Irish Soda bread.

    Interesting stuff you have shared about the Viking history. I have heard some Irish stories about Vikings too

  6. Srivalli Jetti

    That’s some intro you got for us Mir, loved reading it and enjoyed looking at the Soda bread..must have tasted awesome!

  7. srividhya

    Omg… The amount of research you have done… just wow and kudos. Really enjoyed reading about vikings and will check out the netflix show as well. Normandy name reason is interesting as well… wow food and history is always fascinating and love how you spin them together. I am yet to try Irish soda bread. Bookmarking this as well. Will definitely this brown bread too.

  8. code2cook

    Your blog looking awesome now. Lovely look. I think still work in progress as recipe is coming in mini fonts.
    Bread looking absolutely great and as you say it is good with jam as well as soup. For me its great for making harlic bread for my kids. .

  9. Priya Suresh

    Bread looks absolutely fabulous, am sure this soda bread will definitely fill some hungry tummies quickly with a chocolate or jam spread. Love the ingredients went in it.

  10. Priya Srinivasan

    bread looks awesome mir!! Must have tasted yumm with that strawberry rose jam!!! Glad that you find shows that matches ur interest mir! The have a few selected food shows and that too i get to watch only when the kids are not glued to the TV!!!

  11. Pavani

    That is a very hearty and rustic looking brown bread. I love binge watching random shows on Netflix. Will look for Vikings on Amazon prime – you have peeked my interest in the show now 🙂

  12. Sowmya:)

    I don’t know much about Vikings but you have totally got me interested. Have to check it out, and the soda bread looks amazing. The texture is fabulous….and such beautiful slices. Absolutely awesome!

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