Icelandic Brown Bread

by Heidi @ Food Doodles on

Lately I haven’t been putting as much effort into my kitchen creations.  Sometimes I just need a break.  I don’t want to be creative, I don’t want to do more dishes than I need to.  I certainly don’t want to waste any precious ingredients trying something that probably wont work or that the kids might not touch.  Plus my fridge is somehow packed full of fresh vegetables that need to be eaten, and leftovers that need to be eaten even faster so there’s not much room for any leftover experiments.  But today I’m feeling much more adventurous(especially after getting all my “in town” adventures over with for the week.  What can I say?  I like staying at home :P)  This recipe is the perfect recipe for anyone who isn’t feeling too adventurous.  It’s easy, it’s fast(except for the waiting part 🙁 I might as well tell you now, it’s really hard), and it tastes awesome.

As much as I love making yeast breads, this is one of my favorite quick breads.  It’s not fancy, no nuts, seeds, fruit, etc.  But it’s so good.  And I can always count on my hubby to eat this too.  In fact, usually I have to make a couple loaves just so he’ll have enough for breakfast the next day.  He likes it best as is, with a little sweetness from the brown sugar but I like to reduce it by a tbsp because I don’t like it as sweet, so use your own judgement.  My hubby was actually the one who introduced me to this recipe.  I believe this recipe actually came from an old family recipe book and has probably been made for quite a long time.  I love recipes like that 😀



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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Bonny May 31, 2011 at

Yes it is a family recipe. I have a copy of it too, from the cookbook our mutual sister-in-law (the older of the two) made for my hubby. It is an old recipe for sure! I like it with crushed berries spread on it (not jam!)


2 Heidi @ Food Doodles May 31, 2011 at

Mmm, never tried that before. Sounds yummy. I gotta make more 😀


3 Jess@Healthy Exposures May 31, 2011 at

This bread looks awesome! I would love to give it a try. A nice change if you’re not feeling a yeast bread, I think 😉
And I can certainly relate to just not feeling like being creative! I went through one of those phases a while ago. I was just in a funk and felt like eating quick, “old faithful” types of foods. It was kinda nice while it lasted; but who am I kidding? I love experimenting, too.
Jess@Healthy Exposures recently posted..Sesame Almonds &amp Butter


4 Heidi @ Food Doodles May 31, 2011 at

Yes I think so too. Sometimes you really don’t want to wait all day for a loaf of bread right? 🙂
It is kind of nice for the time being and then sometimes looking back I’m like “ugh, I totally should have done that meal differently. That could have been so much more exciting!” But then I don’t want to be eating the same thing for weeks because I had to make it twice. Lol!


5 Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) May 31, 2011 at

mmm, the bread and the rhubarb dessert from your last post both look wonderful 🙂
Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) recently posted..Wild Animals- Wild Child


6 Heidi @ Food Doodles May 31, 2011 at

Thank you!


7 kate May 31, 2011 at

theres seriously nothing better than warm bread & butter!


8 Heidi @ Food Doodles May 31, 2011 at

I agree 😀


9 Ashley @ The Drunk Squash May 31, 2011 at

Ooo I love non-yeast breads! I love being able to just mix and cook and eat. And this looks straight up delicious.

And I totally know what you mean about sometimes just not feeling like big experiments and kitchen creations… it’s great to have some good, easy standbys to rely on.
Ashley @ The Drunk Squash recently posted..Loafin’ Around


10 Maris (In Good Taste June 1, 2011 at

Easy fast and tastes awesome sounds like the ideal braed for me!


11 birdie to be June 1, 2011 at

This bread looks so good! Thanks for sharing.
birdie to be recently posted..Colorful weekend


12 Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} June 1, 2011 at

Yum! This bread reminds me of a bread my grandma used to make. I love old family recipes!
Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} recently posted..Simple Quinoa Salad with Kohlrabi- Apple- and Fresh Dill


13 Heidi @ Food Doodles June 2, 2011 at

Me too. Even if there are no memories connected to them(like this one is from my husbands family) there’s still something so special about them 🙂


14 Clare July 27, 2012 at

I LOVE this bread! I made some last night and it turned out beautifully. I just used it to make a grilled cheese with cheddar, bacon, and apple slices, and it was the best grilled cheese I’ve ever eaten. The slight sweetness and the nutty flavor of the bread really added a lot to the sandwich. Thank you so much for this great recipe!


15 Heidi @ Food Doodles July 27, 2012 at

I’m so glad you enjoy it – it’s one of our favorites! Your sandwich sounds amazing! We usually just eat it toasted with butter, but I’ll have to try that.


16 Ellen November 6, 2012 at

Could this be made without the all-purpose flour? By using all WW flour instead of the 1.5 cup white all purpose?


17 Heidi @ Food Doodles November 7, 2012 at

Yes. In this recipe I wrote that you can use white whole wheat or all purpose. White whole wheat is a whole wheat flour that is from a grain that is white(instead of red) and thus has a milder flavor and breads and goodies baked with it are usually a little lighter too. You can use all regular whole wheat flour if you’d like but it will be considerably denser and drier than if you use white whole wheat. I much prefer using white whole wheat flour in this recipe but using all regular whole wheat flour should work.


18 Sarah April 6, 2013 at

Hi, Heidi! We just got back from Iceland and I’ve been searching the internet for a recipe for their amazing brown bread! Thanks for posting this! It’s in the oven now. 🙂 Question: what is the batter consistency supposed to be? I had trouble deciding if I needed to add more buttermilk or not. Thanks!


19 Heidi @ Food Doodles April 8, 2013 at

Hi Sarah! I hope you enjoyed the bread. The batter is fairly thick, but I’ve baked it as is or with a little extra buttermilk and it always turns out great. Just check it with a toothpick to see when it’s done 🙂


20 Ang Johnson March 27, 2014 at

Hi! Thanks for this great, easy and tasty recipe! We made it as part of an online geography virtual “trip” with dishes, desserts, etc. from various countries. I’m about to write up a post about it (will link back to your site for recipe!) and am wondering if you know the Icelandic name of this bread, or do they just call it “Icelandic Brown Bread”? Thanks!
Ang Johnson recently posted..A variety of Easter activities!


21 Zava February 25, 2016 at

Is the baking molasses you used sulphered or unsulphered? If sulphered where do you buy it? Thanks! Recipe looks marvelous!


22 Diane Mankowski October 29, 2016 at

I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been making your Icelandic Brown Bread regularly for the past several months. I love the recipe and have just tweaked it slightly by adding slightly less molasses and slightly upping the brown sugar. We visited Iceland a little over a year ago and I scoured the internet trying to find a brown bread recipe similar to what I ate while there. Your husband’s old family recipe did the trick.
Thanks for sharing it!


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