Vörtbröd

I have finally overcome my fear of baking with yeast! To celebrate, I made vörtbröd. Vörtbröd is a spiced Christmas bread made with rye and wort (which is "the liquid extracted from the mashing process during the brewing of beer or whiskey" according to Wikipedia). I'm not sure if my vörtbröd counts as vörtbröd as it didn't include any porter (dark beer) or vörtmix but it was in Swedish so it must be authentic!

Vörtbröd

If you go to a supermarket in Sweden to buy a loaf of bread you may be fooled into thinking that those dark, healthy looking loaves are all pumpernickel and rye. You would be wrong. The dark colour comes from copious amounts of dark syrup. This vörtbröd was no different. It was full of "bread syrup", a malted syrup which tastes like golden syrup with a hint of treacle.

Another of the main ingredients was julmust. Julmust is the most popular soft drink in Sweden during Christmas time, much to Coca-Cola's displeasure. It's another black, fizzy drink but it doesn't taste like cola or even Dr Pepper. The smell reminds me a lot of Creamola Foam. That probably helps no one who grew up outside of Scotland but anyway… The Julmust I used contains natural hop and malt flavouring as well as spice extract. I love root beer but I don't have the same affection for julmust. It's fairly syrupy and sickening but if you are very curious to try it, check Ikea's food section or you can buy it online.

The recipe I used can be found here but there are lots in English that don't require you to hunt down bottles of julmust or vörtmix if you just Google "vörtbröd recipe". You may want to check if your beer is vegan on Barnivore though.

Jonathan claimed it was too early to be eating vörtbröd but tucked into it right away and declared that it tasted of gingerbread. To me it tastes like Soreen but with a breadier texture, must be all that malt!

Edit: Fanny warned me to be careful about adding too much flour as rye flour is more absorbent so it can end up being rock hard. My recipe said to use about 12 dl but I ended up only using 8 dl and my bread was nice and soft.

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10 thoughts on “Vörtbröd

  1. I think I’ve seen one episode of Landet Brunsås before but it wasn’t about bread so I shall look into that. Forgot to include your tip – better fix that.

  2. It put my blogging to shame. I feel I need some festive props now.I shall check the back of drawers and cupboards and see what delights I can find.
    Swedish bread sounds…interesting. I never knew it was so sweet. Im keen to try making a cardamom bread and I think thats quite Swedish…although im most likely wrong

  3. Jonathan is really into me blogging for some reason and gave me lots of festive props although we are supposed to be saving money. The tablecloth wasn’t expensive though as it came from a secondhand shop.
    There definitely are some Swedish cardamon breads. They’re usually “fika” breads to have with coffee so might have some jam or nuts in them too. Or there are soft, sweet cardamon rolls that I like to fill with marzipan and cream to make semlor.

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