Cranberry Studded Swedish Rye Bread

A HUGE entry on my bucket list is to explore Sweden and Denmark at some point in my life.  I can kind of geek out over ancestry, and my Scandinavian roots are so darn compelling.  I even took several quarters in Scandinavian mythology at UCLA and studied up on all things Kierkegaard.  Yup, I am one of those nerds who loves shows like Vikings, and have been known to indulge in a documentary or two.  Yep, bucket list people…legit bucket list.

As a chef, it is only fitting that I would be drawn to culinary traditions in my Scandinavian obsession (is that word too strong?)  Honestly, I love so much about the foods of Sweden and Denmark.  It is so beautiful, nutritious and clean.  One of my absolute favorites is their bread tradition.  I adore their dark, seeded, dense breads that are big on texture and complexity of flavor.  Move over French bread, this European tradition is WAY more nutritious…and so simple to make!

You basically just need a large bowl, a wooden spoon, and a loaf pan for tools.

In a large bowl, add 2 1/2 cups of rye flour, the baking soda, salt and baking powder.  Yep, this recipe is devoid of all purpose flour.  Only nutritiously whole grained rye flour.  I prefer the dark rye, but you can always opt in a light rye flour if you prefer the taste.

Next, mix the honey and milk together.  I gently warmed it over the stovetop in my metal measuring cup, but you can easily use a glass bowl and microwave.

Add the milk and honey mixture, along with the Greek yogurt, to the dry ingredients.

Adding the cranberries and pepitas to the bowl, give the dough a good stir.  The dough will be pretty darn stiff, so I find a wooden spoon (and sometimes my hands) are good tools for mixing.

As you mix, the dough will develop and become quite sticky.  Once it is well blended and sticky, press it into a prepared, buttered loaf pan.

Place the loaf pan into a 400*F oven, and immediately drop the temperature to 385*F. Bake for 30 minutes, then lower heat to 350*F and bake another 20 minutes or until the loaf has pulled away from the sides of the pan and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the loaf cool completely before slicing.  I find that it slices even better the following day.

The yummy dense texture mixed with the honeyed nuttiness of flavor make for a magical combination.  The only way to improve this one is with a couple of legit slabs of grass-fed butter.  Holy cow! Life changing!

Bon apetit!



Homemade Swedish Rye Bread
  • 2 1/2 cups rye flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup cranberries
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter one 8″ x 4″ loaf pans.

    In large bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cumin seeds. Gently warm the milk and honey, mixing to combine.  

  2. Add the warmed milk and honey, and the yogurt to the dry ingredients.  Using a wooden spoon, gently mix to combine.  Add in the cranberries and pepitas.  The mixture will be stiff, but give it a good stir to develop the dough.  Then, gather it up, and press it into your buttered loaf pan.

  3. Place the pan in the center of the oven. Lower heat to 385°F. Bake for 30 minutes, then lower heat to 350°F and bake another 20 minutes or until the loaf has pulled away from the sides of the pan and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

  4. Turn the loaf out of the pan and onto a rack (the loaf will be about 2″ high). Let cool for at least two hours before slicing, giving it time to firm up and make it easier for slicing.  It slices even better the second day!