Buttermilk bread with wheat berries

Buttermilk bread with wheat berries

Scandinavian Baking
2 loaves
Columbus Leth

This is one of the first bread recipes I ever made, many years ago, way before sourdough bread became the trend. It is a very traditional, dense wheat bread. I enjoy it both freshly baked with cheese, and toasted the next morning with butter and jam.


Quantity Ingredient
150g wheat berries
500ml cold water
400ml buttermilk
50g fresh yeast
700g strong white flour, plus more to dust
8g salt


  1. Put the wheat berries in a saucepan with the water. Place over a medium heat, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat slightly. Simmer briskly for 20 minutes. Pour the wheat berries, with any remaining liquid, into a large mixing bowl. Add 100ml more cold water and the buttermilk. Crumble the yeast into the mixture and stir until it has dissolved.
  2. Mix the flour and salt into the buttermilk mixture. Knead for about five minutes on a floured work surface, then place in a large bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for two hours at room temperature.
  3. Knead the dough again lightly. Divide it in two and form each into a round loaf. Place each on a separate baking tray, cover with tea towels and leave to rise again, in a warm place, for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Slash the tops of the loaves with a razor blade or sharp knife.
  5. Spray cold water in the oven to create steam and bake for five minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 200°C and bake the loaves for 35 minutes more, or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
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