Since my trip to Copenhagen in November last year, I have become a little obsessed with all things Danish. Nick and I went out there for a long weekend to stay with his aunt Jo and uncle Sven, and I proclaimed a day into our trip that I wanted to move there. Here’s why:
a) Everyone rides bikes everywhere!
b) You can eat open sandwiches all the time.
c) They have amazing restaurants and wine bars (Noma, Broor etc).
d) Everyone is really good looking.
e) Their design and interiors are just dreamy.
So going back to point b) – open sandwiches. After a meal or three of varying different open sandwiches on beautiful slices of Danish rye, Nick’s aunt Jo, introduced me to Danish ‘Stone Age’ bread. I am now hooked on that as well and Jo, the dream that she is, has shared her recipe with me.
Jo’s Stone Age bread has got nothing ‘bready’ about it really as it is made entirely from nuts, seeds, dried fruit, olive oil and a couple of eggs. Some of you may know this type of bread as ‘Paleo Bread’ or, as I have recently discovered, thanks to the amazing Sarah Britton of My New Roots, ‘Life Changing Bread’ – a very apt name for such a loaf!
I can buy all of the ingredients for this loaf from my local supermarket which is always a plus. However, I will admit that as it is made entirely from nuts, seeds and dried fruit it is a little on the expensive side. BUT, this is possibly one of the most filling breads you will ever have, so a single slice will do – either as part of a meal or as a little pick-me-up snack in the afternoon. Jo works in rehabilitation so is always running around from patient to patient and makes this bread every week as a little life-saving snack. She says that she carries a single slice with her and it fuels her through the day no end. I love this Danish approach to health – Jo has been eating this bread for years and there is nothing faddy or ‘on trend’ about it. Its just honest, good food that the Danes have been eating for generations. I now make a loaf of this bread every week and send Nick off to work with a little slice all wrapped up (what a good girlfriend). Actually I have only done that maybe twice so that was a total lie!
Anyway, Danish ramblings over. Have a go at making this bread, I actually just whacked some crumbled feta over the top of one slice and baked it in the oven – the result was a seriously delicious cheese on toast – a little Worcester sauce over the top before baking too.
Tips for the perfect loaf:
1. Make sure you press the mixture down into the tin as much as you possibly can. The more you press everything together, the less crumbly the loaf will be.
2. The dried fruit element is optional but advisable. You can use any form of dried fruit – chopped apricots, raisins, cranberries, sultanas, cherries, chopped prunes etc – even chopped dates.
3. Dont freak out if all of the oil seeps to the top of the loaf during cooking – it will soak back in as it cools.
4. Coconut oil would also work in the place of the olive oil. If you are using olive oil, just make sure it is really good quality – always extra virgin and cold pressed/organic if possible. The things they do to some of these non-organic oils aint good!
- 30g chia seeds soaked in 60ml water
- 100g pumpkin seeds
- 100g sesame seeds
- 100g sunflower seeds
- 100g walnuts, roughly chopped
- 100g almonds, roughly chopped
- 100g flax seeds
- 100g dried figs, roughly chopped or cranberries, raisins, dried apricots
- 2 eggs
- 150ml olive oil or coconut oil (melted)
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C
- Start by soaking the chia seeds in the water while you weigh out the remaining ingredients. This bread will work without the chia seeds, but I find they just help to bind everything together really well.
- Weigh out the nuts and seeds and combine together in a bowl with the dried figs (or other dried fruit) and salt.
- Whisk the eggs and stir through the nut mixture with the olive oil and soaked chia seeds until everything is well coated.
- Line a standard sized loaf tin with baking parchment and pour in the mixture. The key process at this stage is to press the mixture down into the tin as much as you can. The more you press everything together, the more your loaf will hold together.
- Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes until golden brown on the top. Some of the oil might bubble to the top of the loaf while cooking but don’t worry, it will soak back in as it cools.