rye bread photo

Rúgbrauð - An easy Icelandic Rye Bread / Brown Bread Recipe

Courtesy of David Johnson

Dry Ingredients

  • 4 cups -- dark rye flour
  • 2 cups – white flour
  • ¼ cup -- brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons -- salt
  • 3 teaspoons – baking soda

Wet Ingredients

  • 32 oz – plain yogurt (coconut milk yogurt can be substituted if vegan bread desired)
  • 1 ½ cups -- old fashioned cane syrup (like Alaga brand syrup) or molasses.  A combination of 1 cup cane syrup and ½ cup molasses is nice if you have both.


Mix all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl to ensure everything is evenly distributed.   Add wet ingredients gradually and stir together with large spoon until all wet and dry ingredients evenly.   This may take 10 minutes and a fair bit of strength.

Pre-heat oven to 265 degrees Fahrenheit.

Coat two full size bread pans with a little oil followed by a light dusting of flour.  Divide batter evenly between the two bread pans.   This should fill each bread pan about half way.   Smooth the batter so it forms into each corner of the pan and gently tap each pan on a cupboard a few times to flatten the top.

Cover and seal the bread pans with foil.   The foil should not touch the dough at any time.  Do not make any vent holes in the foil, nor remove the foil until bread is finished cooking AND completely cooled.

Bake the covered bread pans for six hours at 265-F.   Do not open the oven at any time during heated baking or cooling.   Turn off the over after six hours but do not open the over or remove the foil, allowing the covered bread to remain in the oven for several hours longer until the oven is fully cooled.   Only then, remove the foil and shake the loaves out of the pan to rest further.

Slice and enjoy.   The bread is dense and moist and will last a week or longer if wrapped well.    A slice with a little butter and honey in microwave for 15 seconds is wonderful.

rye bread photo