Icelandic Brown Bread

by Heidi @ Food Doodles on May 31, 2011

If you’re looking for a delicious quick bread version of wonderful Icelandic brown bread, this is it!  It’s healthy with the addition of whole wheat flour and so quick and easy to make!

Icelandic Brown Bread

Things have been chaotic lately. This recipe is for times like those, it’s my good old reliable standby that everyone loves.  This recipe is the perfect recipe for anyone who isn’t feeling too adventurous.  It’s easy, it’s fast (except for waiting for it to cool down!), and it’s so delicious!

As much as I love making yeast breads, this is one of my favorite quickbreads.  It’s not fancy, no nuts, seeds, fruit, etc.  But it’s so good. 

If you're looking for a delicious quick bread version of wonderful Icelandic brown bread, this is it!  It's healthy with the addition of whole wheat flour and so quick and easy to make!

And I can always count on my husband to eat this too.  In fact, usually, I have to make a couple of 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.  You can reduce it if you like, but it really is perfect, as is.  My husband was actually the one who introduced me to this recipe. 

I believe this recipe actually came from an old family recipe book (and yes, his family is Icelandic!) and has probably been made for a very long time.  I love recipes like that 😀

Icelandic Brown Bread

Icelandic Brown Bread
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
 
Course: Bread, Breakfast, Snack
Ingredients
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup baking molasses
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Grease or butter a loaf pan well and set aside.

  2. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.  In a measuring cup measure out 2 cups buttermilk(or substitute 1 1/2 tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice and then fill up the measuring cup up with milk to 2 cups)  Mix in molasses and then pour into the dry ingredients.  Mix thoroughly.

  3. Once completely mixed, pour into the prepared loaf pan and let stand for 10 minutes. After letting it stand, place in the 300 degree oven for 60 minutes. 

  4. Check if the loaf is done with a toothpick in the center and when the loaf is done, remove from the oven, run a knife around the edge if needed, then turn out onto a cooling rack and let cool at least 30 minutes before slicing. We like this best served warm with butter.

 

Photos on this post were updated January 6, 2018.  Here’s what they looked like before 🙂

Icelandic Brown Bread

Icelandic Brown Bread

Leave a Comment

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kay February 28, 2020 at 09:38

Visited Iceland a while ago so my memory is fuzzy but, I wonder if this bread was traditionally made in the volcanic ground?

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2 Diane Mankowski October 29, 2016 at 11:18

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!
Diane

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3 Zava February 25, 2016 at 21:50

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

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4 Ang Johnson March 27, 2014 at 21:32

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!

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5 Sarah April 6, 2013 at 08:09

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!

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6 Heidi @ Food Doodles April 8, 2013 at 18:02

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 🙂

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7 Ellen November 6, 2012 at 20:43

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

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8 Heidi @ Food Doodles November 7, 2012 at 16:29

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.

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9 Clare July 27, 2012 at 11:08

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!

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10 Heidi @ Food Doodles July 27, 2012 at 13:37

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.

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11 Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} June 1, 2011 at 19:15

Yum! This bread reminds me of a bread my grandma used to make. I love old family recipes!

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12 Heidi @ Food Doodles June 2, 2011 at 16:26

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 🙂

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13 birdie to be June 1, 2011 at 14:05

This bread looks so good! Thanks for sharing.

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14 Maris (In Good Taste June 1, 2011 at 05:05

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

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15 Ashley @ The Drunk Squash May 31, 2011 at 23:52

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.

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16 kate May 31, 2011 at 21:05

theres seriously nothing better than warm bread & butter!

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17 Heidi @ Food Doodles May 31, 2011 at 21:50

I agree 😀

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18 Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) May 31, 2011 at 19:55

mmm, the bread and the rhubarb dessert from your last post both look wonderful 🙂

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19 Heidi @ Food Doodles May 31, 2011 at 21:50

Thank you!

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20 Kiersten June 20, 2019 at 06:22

Can you make it in the breadmaker? If so on what setting? Thank you

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21 Jess@Healthy Exposures May 31, 2011 at 16:36

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.

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22 Heidi @ Food Doodles May 31, 2011 at 21:48

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!

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23 Bonny May 31, 2011 at 16:15

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!)

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24 Heidi @ Food Doodles May 31, 2011 at 21:49

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

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