The weekend bake, vörtbröd, at Styrsö Sweden, 2022
Text & Photo © CM Cordeiro & JE Nilsson 2022

Just out of the oven warm.

It’s been some years since we last baked our own Swedish Christmas vörtbröd. I love bread baking but I’ve often found this dough difficult to work with because of the delicate combination of sticky molasses and dark ale. There are variations to the recipe that can be found online, so it’s easy to tweak to make your own favourite version of vörtbröd.

I woke up this morning to a clear skied, -10 deg C weather outdoors. When it’s this frosty outdoors, I think the pumpkin spice mix of ground ginger, cardamom, cloves and seville orange peel in the vörtbröd makes for a warm and cozy breakfast. All ingredients of this bread contribute to its characteristic rich dark hue when it comes out of the oven, and I absolutely love the aroma of it when it sits baking.

I usually have this with slices of honey baked ham and cheese. My other favourite alternative is to have thick slices of raisin filled vörtbröd topped with generous dollops of butter. This bread freezes well, so you can make a double batch for keeps, and serving through the festive season.