Danish Black Bread or Gammelsurbrod

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Makes: 2 round loafs

A sweet picture of my sister Dolores when she was on a picnic outing in the late 1930's. My memories of this bread was for Danish breakfast open-face sandwiches with my Grandma Mary...you will find a little story about it in my blog. I enjoy this bread as a picnic treat as well. The recipe is from unknown in 1970's after a hunt of dark rye breads that tasted like Grandma's.

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Ingredients [?]

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  • add   2 1/2 c warm water (115 degrees)
  • add   2 pkg active dry yeast
  • add   1 tso sugar
  • add   2 tsp salt
  • add   1/4 c butter or margarine, softened
  • add   1/4 c dark molasses
  • add   1/4 c vinegar
  • add   1 sq (1 oz) unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • add   2 tbsp caraway seeds, crushed
  • add   2 tsp instant coffee
  • add   2 tsp onion flakes
  • add   1/2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • add   2 c brain flakes
  • add   4 c unsifted rye flour
  • add   3 1/4 c unsifted all-purpose flour
  • add   1 tsp cornstarch
  • add   1/2 c cold water


  1. Measure warm water into large bowl. Sprinkle yeast into water and stir until dissolved. Sir in sugar, salt, butter, molasses, vinegar, chocolate, caraway seeds, instant coffee, onion powder, fennel seeds, bran flakes and rye flour. Beat until thoroughly blended. (I use a Kitchenaid with dough hook) Or by hand in large bowl. Stir in enough white flour to make a stiff dough. Transfer dough onto lightly floured board. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes (dough may be sticky)
  2. Form into a smooth ball. Place large bowl upside down over dough and let rest for 15 minutes. Then place dough into greased bowl, turning dough to grease both sides. Cover and let rise in warm place, free from draft, until double in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch down dough and turn onto lightly floured board. Divide dough in half and shape each half into a ball about 5 inches in diameter. Place each ball in the center of a greased 8 inch layer cake pan and cover. Let rise in warm place, free from draft, until double in bulk, about 1 hour.
  3. Bake in 350 degree oven about 45 minutes or until done. Meanwhile, mix together the cornstarch and cold water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 1 minute. As soon as bread is baked, brush cornstarch mixture over top of loaves. Return bread to oven and bake 2 or 3 minutes longer, until glaze is set. Remove from pans. Let cool on wire racks away from drafts. Makes 2 rounds loaves, about 2 pounds each.
  4. Read more about my family on my blog page and join me on Twitter @MissyBusyBiz

ChefsugNote From The Chef

@SeniorCareTips 22:25, 01 Feb 2010

I always freeze one loaf and enjoy the other. I use it in slices for open faced breakfast sandwiches with left overs on top. Or I slice it in half and make one huge sandwich filled with potted meats and fresh tomato, sprouts, lettuce, avacado, ets. Then I slice the loaf in pie shaped pieces and wrap for picnic basket.

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