Icelandic Dark Rye Bread (Dökkt Rúgbrauð)

  • Serves

    makes 2 Loaves


Slow baking gives this slightly sweet dark rye loaf from Nanna Rögnvaldardóttir's Icelandic Food and Cookery (Iðunn, 2014) its dense crumb and deep color. Baking the bread at a low temperature overnight mimics the traditional Icelandic method of steaming the bread in a glass or metal mold in an geothermally heated earthen pit. This recipe first appeared in our December 2014 issue with the story Northern Lights.


  • Unsalted butter, for greasing and serving
  • 3 cups dark rye flour
  • 1 12 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup golden syrup


Step 1

Heat oven to 200°. Grease 2 loaf pans with butter. Whisk flours, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Stir in buttermilk and syrup to form a smooth dough. Pour dough into prepared pans and cover with aluminum foil; bake until cooked through, about 8 hours. Let cool slightly and unmold; serve with butter, if you like.

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