If my mom could see the recipe for this bread, she might say: ANY fool could do it, in a slightly scathing tone. Well fine. And yet, you would truly be a fool not to try it. “Mumsbröd” means “delicious bread” and for a very good reason. This bread is dark and somewhat sweet, moist and deeply flavorful, studded with sunflower seeds. The amazing thing is – it’s not even raised with yeast. When I looked closely at the recipe, I found it is very similar to Boston Brown bread but with much more varied and flavorful grains. 10 minutes to mix up, 1 1/2 hours to bake.

We were served this bread a couple of years ago in Stockholm at a traditional Swedish restaurant located in a large urban park. While we were sipping champagne at the grey striped table with a view over the green lawns, a lake and graceful trees (really, this was the greatest evening), the most incredible basket of bread arrived. There was plain rye, crisp bread, a beautiful white loaf and this dark moist looking one. Swedes really know bread. Ok, the French may be highly regarded for their baguette, but Swedes really explore all the different grains, particularly rye. Also, in Sweden, they process grains in many more ways.  You can find most grains cracked, flaked, sprouted and dried – or any number of other methods, that you would never see here. After one bite, we begged for the recipe. The waitress smiled and shrugged and came back with one all printed up so I guess people are always asking.

There are 6 kinds of grains in mumsbröd, including wheat, rye, graham, and something called “groddar” which is some kind of sprouted grain that I am still trying to figure out. The thing is, it doesn’t really matter as long as you don’t mess around with the amount of flour – which should include plain and rye – both easy to come by in the states. I did bring some cracked rye back from Sweden, but I am sure that cracked wheat would work. (or even cornmeal, which is what you find in Boston brown bread). There is a lot of kefir in the bread which must be responsible for the incredible moistness. The cracked rye gives it a wonderful chew.


I was making lentil soup this morning and was about to go to the store to buy bread to go with it, when I remembered I had been meaning to try this recipe. I am so glad I finally did. We all loved it. Buttered and with a warm bowl of soup it was hard to beat. The following morning we ate a buttered slice with a poached egg and a big cup of coffee – marvelous. Next time, I might try it with a tangy fresh cheese that I have been meaning to try making. It looks simple enough. In fact, I think any fool could do it. 😉

  • 3 1/4 c flour
  • 3/4 c rye flour
  • 1 c graham flour
  • 1/2 c wheat bran
  • 1 1/2 c cracked rye (or cracked wheat)
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 c molasses
  • 5 c kefir
  • 1/2 c sunflower seeds
  1. Preheat oven to 300 F.
  2. Whisk flour, rye, graham flour, wheat bran, cracked rye, salt and baking soda together in a large bowl.
  3. Thoroughly stir in molasses and kefir.
  4. Turn batter into 2 large bread pans and sprinkle with sunflower seeds, gently pressing them into the batter.
  5. Bake for 90 minutes.

I am going to continue researching the groddar. The closest product I have found so far is sprouted wheat flour, whereas in Sweden they buy the dried sprouts flaked. Nutritionally and as a flavor though, I bet the sprouted wheat flour would work fine. Also, since it seems to be easy to vary the ingredients in the bread, next time I might stir in a big handful of walnuts.  Or substitute oat bran for the wheat bran. And if I don’t get around to making that cheese, a room temperature Cambozola spread on top would be very nice.


8 responses to “Mumsbröd

  1. Looks great! I want to make it – it looks like a delicous and healthy bread. What kind of molasses works best? I am guessing dark – but not blackstrap.

  2. yep! In Sweden they use dark syrup (get it at IKEA!) but here we have molasses. Also dark Treacle would work and I am sure you can get that easily in Canada. Another thing to try would be brown rice syrup….a world of interesting possibilities…

  3. Kathleen Connelly

    Wow, this looks great! I’ll have to try it. And I love the tablecloth; it looks sort of Hungry Caterpillarish, and who could not be cheerful when you’re sitting at it!

  4. that is one of my favorites – also from Sweden – it’s coated with something so you can just wipe it down with a sponge!

  5. Sorry – one last question, I am assuming the kefir should be living and bubbly, as it’s the leavener. That’s amazing, using a kefir to provide the fizz and lift on the bread.


  6. Don’t apologize for asking – please! I think the kefir bumps up the activity of the baking soda. Cultured milks are often combined in quick breads, right? I got mine at Whole Foods and I think they sell it at Trader Joe’s too – oops you don’t have one though. Harold McGee probably answers this question a lot better than I can and I KNOW you have his book!

  7. Yum! I’m going to make this up in Canada next week. Had never heard of kefir…do you think suitable for lactose intolerant folks?

  8. If they are the kind of lactose intolerant people who eat yogurt!

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