Bread is a staple food for most countries. It's tasty, filling, and offers unique benefits depending on the variation you're eating.
However, it goes beyond that in Norway, considering that bread is a part of the country's national identity.
The History between Norway and Bread
Bread has always played an integral role in Norwegian culture, with its presence dating back to the Age of the Vikings.
Vikings introduced bread into their cuisine by grinding corn into flour to make flatbread during that era. They used various toppings like fish and meat and then fried the flatbread over a hot flagstone. The finished product was known as brauðiskr or bread plate.
More Norwegian bread variations have appeared over the years, especially when cooking and baking technology began making huge advancements. Now, you can have lefse or sweet flatbread, grovbrød or wholegrain bread, landbrød or country bread, julebrød or Christmas bread, and many more.
The Many Benefits of Eating Bread
Norwegians eat bread regularly for many reasons, and not only because it's part of their culture. For one, you reap many benefits when eating bread, such as having a tasty food item during your meal no matter the day or occasion. In addition, bread also pairs well with a wide variety of dishes and food items, both sweet and savory.
Just look at the Norwegian bread julebrød. Most people know julebrød as a Christmas bread, but it's so tasty that Norwegians started eating it throughout the year. Julebrød traditionally comes with raisins, cardamoms, and orange peel. It's a sweet bread, but many enjoy it with cheese and other savory food.
Aside from being flexible and tasty, Norwegian bread is also very nutritious and filling. The nutrients you can get from bread depend on the type you eat since some Norwegian bakers include different toppings in their recipes. In general, bread provides fiber, protein, carbs, and folic acid. As always, it's good to eat it in moderation to reap full benefits without sacrificing your health.
The Process of Making Bread
One of the best things about bread is that it's easy to make. Even the most inexperienced bakers can successfully bake bread at home, provided that they have the correct ingredients and follow a recipe to the letter.
Sourdough, in particular, isn't too complicated, but it does test your patience and ability to cultivate, considering you'll need to make a starter ahead of time. You take flour and water and make your sourdough starter, which essentially acts as the yeast in the recipe. At least once a week, you feed this starter with more flour and water to keep it thriving.
Once the starter has doubled in size, you can use it for baking sourdough bread at home. The number of bread you can make with your starter depends on the measurement you used in the beginning. Now, you may think the process is quite taxing, but you'll find that sourdough bread made with homemade starter tastes infinitely better than those made with commercial yeast.
Bread is a staple food that many cultures eat regularly. Norwegians, in particular, have been enjoying bread for centuries, and for a good reason. It's tasty, filling, nutritious, and easy to make at home. Plus, it comes in many forms, which becomes appealing to different palates.
If you don't have the time to make bread at home, consider visiting a Norwegian bakery in Centennial, CO, during your break. At Ana's Norwegian Bakeri, we offer freshly-baked Norwegian goods daily. Come by our shop today if you're looking for Norwegian-style cinnamon rolls, different types of bread, and cakes!