Black bread

I first tried black bread at Midgardsblot festival in Norway. It’s an interesting flavour. Originally found in an early viking age grave in Sweden, it was baked using yeast from the same family as brewing today, pointing to brewing waste being used to rise the bread.


  • 3 tsp dry blood (ask a butcher or check Amazon)
  • 200ml warm water
  • 250g rye flour
  • 250g white bread flour
  • 10g salt
  • 5g yeast
  • 200g sourdough starter
  • 50g honey
  • A small amount of extra rye flour for coating


Mix the dried blood with the water and whisk to a smooth consistency.

Put the flour and salt into a large bowl and mix together.

Add the yeast, starter and honey and slowly add the blood solution and mix together to form a dough. You can add more or less water depending on how your dough feels. I find it varies slightly every time.

Tip out onto your worktop and knead for around 10 minutes.

Roll your dough into a ball, and dust with a little flour. Put it into a bowl and cover loosely with a plastic bag, or damp cloth, to stop it drying out. Place somewhere warm, I usually put it near our wood-burner or in the conservatory on a warm day.

Leave to prove for 1-2 hours, until the dough has roughly doubled in size.

Tip your dough back out onto your work surface and carefully deflate it by poking it with your fingers. Divide the mix into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and coat with a little rye flour.

Place onto a baking tray, that has been dusted with flour, and leave for another hour or to prove again.

Optionally you can slash the tops of the rolls, with a sharp knife or razor blade.

Heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Cook for about 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven, the rolls should sound hollow when you tap them on the bottom.

Leave to cool fully before serving with butter.

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