This easy multigrain bread is a lovely Norwegian-inspired amalgam of whole-wheat, barley, oat, and rye. The result is a nutty, oh-so-slightly-sweet, artisan-style loaf of homemade bread that’s practically begging to be toasted and smeared with butter, jam, avocado, nut butter, or whatever you want. Happily, the recipe makes a couple generously sized loaves—one for you to demolish and another to gift to a friend, if you can stand to part with it.–Nevada Berg
- 1 cup rye flour
- 1 cup barley flour
- 3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
- 2 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon lukewarm water
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading and dusting, sifted
- 3 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
- 1 ounce fresh yeast or 1/3 ounce (8.5 g) active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 3 tablespoons Norwegian dark syrup* or light molasses
- Butter, for the bowl
- In a large bowl, combine the rye flour, barley flour, and oats. Add 2 cups lukewarm water and let stand for 30 minutes.
- In a small saucepan, heat the milk until just warm to the touch.
- In the bowl of a large standing mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the white flour, whole-wheat flour, yeast, and salt. Add the warm milk, along with 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (195 ml) lukewarm water and the syrup or molasses and knead on low speed until combined, about 2 minutes. Add the oat mixture and continue kneading until the dough becomes sticky but workable, 5 to 7 minutes.
- On a floured surface, knead the dough a few times then shape into a ball. Move it to a very large bowl that you’ve lightly buttered. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, 45 to 75 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. On a floured surface, knead each ball of dough a few times then gently form it into oval-shaped loaves. Using a sharp knife, make a couple of slits on the top of each loaf. Place the loaves on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with clean kitchen towels and let rise for 1 hour.
- Dust the tops of the loaves with a little flour and bake until golden brown, 40 to 60 minutes. Move to a wire rack to cool. Store at room temperature in a resealable plastic bag for up to 2 days. Alternatively, place the cooled loaves in airtight plastic bags and freeze for up to 2 months.
*What is Norwegian dark syrup?Dark syrup is a sugar beet and cane sugar syrup mixture that’s used in Scandinavian cooking and baking. Light syrup is used as a topping, while dark syrup is used as an ingredient. In North America, it’s most closely related to molasses, while in the UK it’s closest to treacle. You can use molasses as a 1:1 substitution or mix Lyle’s dark treacle syrup with Lyle’s golden syrup in a 50/50 blend.
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Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I was curious to try this multigrain bread recipe because of the mix of whole-grain flours. I’ve never used barley flour. I must say it was a beautiful loaf. It had a nice crumb, a lovely crisp crust, and was not as dense as I thought it might have been. And it was delicious. None of the different flours’ tastes were predominant—in a good way.
The recipe came together quite easily. I used whole milk, light molasses (Grandma’s brand), and active dry yeast. Kneading the dough for 5 minutes after combining all the ingredients made it workable, but I did have to add another 1/4 cup of water. I made half the recipe. It makes a very large loaf.
I cut the round loaf into quarters and then sliced it into pieces about 1/2 inch thick. We liked it best toasted with butter and jam. It was also tasty with almond butter. I think it would be even better with another 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of salt (I used Morton Kosher) and another 2 teaspoons molasses.
This multigrain bread recipe produces 2 large loaves of very hearty multigrain bread. The combination of the 4 types of flour plus oats gives this bread fantastic flavor and color. It looks very artisan, has a tight crumb, and is absolutely lovely toasted and slathered with butter or jam.
It’s not going to be the type of bread you make a sandwich on, though, because it’s so dense and hearty, you’ll be full after one slice! We enjoyed it for several days without any change to flavor or texture.