Sweet • Sour • Savory

Food blog on scandinavian style food done right.

Surbrød - Bread with Caraway Seeds

Bread, Breakfast, BrunchTove Balle-PedersenComment
Surbrød - Bread with Caraway Seeds

Surbrød - Bread with Caraway Seeds

Surbrød is traditionally used for gravid lax, smoked salmon or open-faced shrimp sandwiches. Surbrød means sour bread, even though it's not made with a sourdough, at least nowadays. A surbrød is a white bread, with a small amount of rye flour and caraway seeds. In my family we rarely had surbrød, only my mom liked it. 

I think it was normal not having surbrød. I had an after-school job at a bakers shop and we didn't sell a lot of surbrød. And most of all it was bought by old ladies. Now, and in the last few years, I actually like bread with caraway seeds, like my soft pretzels - kommenskringler. Does that makes me an old lady, well, I hope not. 😳

The recipe calls for "sigtemel" which is a sifted flour made from 30% rye and 70% wheat, so I made some adjustments to the recipe. Normally you will use buttermilk, but I used whole milk, a splash of lemon juice and a tablespoon of plain yoghurt.


  • 400 g all-purpose flour
  • 105 g dark rye flour, sifted
  • 35 live yeast (1 pack (7 g) fleischmann's active dry yeast)
  • 2 tablespoons (15 g) caraway seeds + some for sprinkles
  • 12 g salt 
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 300 ml whole milk 
  • a splash lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon plain yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon butter, room temperature


Warm up the milk, and dissolve the yeast in the milk. If you use dry yeast add a few pinches of sugar. 

Mix flours, caraway seeds, salt honey and sugar. Pour in the milk/yeast mixture and add the butter, and mix it to an elastic soft dough. Let the dough rise for about 30 minutes in a warm spot.

Knead the dough for a few minutes, and divide the dough in two round balls. Set to rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400℉ (200℃).

Brush the breads with milk and sprinkle with caraway seeds. Score the breads with a sharp knife or cut with scissors.

Bake breads for 30-40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy bread with butter,  with your favorite cheese or with gravad lax.