Baking bread during the Viking Age

Ă–landish frying pan bread
  • 2 dl milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 dl wheat flour
  • 25 g yeast

Mix all ingredients and knead the dough. Split the dough into 10 pieces. Roll out the dough with a crispbread rolling pin. Bake without any fat on a frying pan over open embers or on an outdoors grill, about 1.5 minutes on each side.

Yeast is not really necessary. Flour and water is sufficient. You can use whatever flour you prefer (barley, wheat, rye) and mix it in a bowl with water, but only as much water for it to become a workable dough. These bread cakes can also be made on heated stones, directly on a hotplate or in a frying pan.

Small barley cakes
  • Barley flour
  • Water or milk
  • Salt

Mix the flour with water or milk and some salt. The dough should be kneaded for a long time. It is then shaped into small balls that are squished flat and thin. These are then baked on top of clay shards or the like which are placed upon the embers.

The barley cakes tast good with soup. If you want sweeter barley cakes you can mix honey into the dough. Other flavoring in the form or nuts or boiled hacked glans can also be added.

Four clover shaped bread
  • 1,5 dl barley flour
  • 0,5 dl graham flour
  • 2 teaspoons crushed flax seeds
  • 1 dl water
  • 1/2 tablespoon lard
  • 1 ml salt

Mix the ingredients into a dough that is left to rest in a cool place for 2 days. The bread becomes flatter, darker and tastier than if baked directly.

Thumb out 8 round breads and pinch in four sides to make it shaped like a four clover. Make three small indentations as decoration on the top. Bake in an oven, 150 degrees celsius, for 10-13 minutes, or in a pan over an open fire (this may result in a slightly uneven bread).

Wholemeal flour with both sprouts and shells gives a richer taste that fits better with the original Viking Age bread. Since the bread is unfermented it is fairly hard and compact.

Whey bread
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Liquid made of half water half whey

The dough is made from flour, salt and a liquid mixed from half water half whey. Shape the dough into balls and leave them to rest overnight. The following day bake on the hearth like this: Light a fire under a large flat rock, or a clay shard resting on other rocks. When the rock is really hot place the dough on the flat rock or shard.

Small flat bread
  • Wheat flour
  • Liquid - whey, water or milk
  • Flavoring

Coarse ground wheat flour is kneaded with enough liquid to form a coherent and not too wet dough that easily that releases easily from your fingers. Seeds from beech tree, broadleaf plantain, hacked nuts or finely hacked fruit (apples or rosehip are suitable) can be mixed into the dough. Salt and honey in the dough also gives a good taste.

The liquid can preferably be whey (from making cheese), but you can also use water, buttermilk or normal milk. The dough is shaped into walnut sized balls then squeezed into small flat breads.

Place large clay shards or flat stones on the embers and allow them to heat up. Then place the flat breads on top. The bread can also be baked on a frying pan. If this method is used the bread should be baked over an open fire. Turn the bread often and when they are done they sound hollow when tapped with your nail.