RETRO REQUEST: Øllebrød – Beer Bread Soup?
Here are two recipes that were interchangeable used over the years by my family with a little change or two depending on the mood of the cook. But, remember it will taste the best when cooked over low heat with much patience.
Know your Danish measurements
tsk=demitasse spoon / spsk=large soup spoon / and measure in metric.
Below you will find recipes translated into English from the Danish original.
:: Here is ‘Frøken Jensens Kogebog’ (1901) version of the country classic.
200 g Pumpernickel Bread – stale
1/2-3/4 liter Water
1/2 bottle Pale Sweet Malt Beer
1/2-1 dl Sugar
1-2 tsk Fresh Lemon Zest
Break bread into small pieces, cover with water and soak overnight. Cook slowly with lid over low heat until it becomes dark – but, stir often as not to let it burn. Whisk hard to eliminate all clumps before bread is cooked down or you will have to strain it or use a blender. If necessary, use more water to cook down the bread. Dilute the soup with the beer, adding sugar and lemon zest to taste. Cook an additional 10-15 more minutes on warm. Add additional water or beer, until there is about 1-1/2 liters of soup.
(optional) In place of the lemon zest, you can also use marinated orange rind or a whisked egg with sugar and two spsk of orange juice into the bowl while holding the bowl at an angle to allow for whisking of the ingredients.
Serve with milk, cream or whipped cream.
:: And from the notorious little paperback cookbook ‘Den Røde Kogebog’ that every Danish housewife has available in the kitchen comes this simpler version:
Den Røde Kogebog’s Øllebrød (Beer Bread Soup)
350 g Pumpernickel Bread
3/4 liter Water
1 bottle Pale Sweet Malt Beer
50 g Powdered Sugar
1 tsk Vanilla Extract
1/2 Fresh Lemon (zest + juice)
Break the slices into four pieces each, soak in water and cook for 20 minutes. Strain the mixture through a (large wire) colander and return to stove. Add beer to soup mixture and cook about 10 minutes more. Then, add sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and juice to taste.
Serve with whipped cream or cream.
:: And best of all, without the Noma Cookbook at my finger tips, I found their heavenly reinterpretation online thanks to a posting in the kristeligt-dagblad:
Noma’s divine….Øllebrød (Beer Bread Soup)
(four part recipe)
Øllebrød- Part 1
500 g Pumpernickel Bread soaked in pilsner beer
120 g Brown Sugar
80 g Sugar
100 g Heavy Cream
½ Fresh Lemon (juice + zest)
1 tsk (Apple Cider) Vinegar Reduction
20 g Dark Chocolate – grated fine
Rhubarb Sorbet (Rabarbersorbet) – Part 2
500 g Fresh Rhubarb
½ liter Simple Sugar (from ½ l water, ½ l sugar + 50 g liquid glucose)
2 sheets Gelatin (dissolved in cold water)
Parboil 300g of rhubarbs with the simple sugar. Cook until the rhubarb is broken down and allow it to cool off. Then, mix in the dissolved gelatin. Blend the mixture with the rest of the remaining 200g of rhubarb and strain mixture. Allow it to cool off and then freeze until needed as sorbet using an ice cream machine.
Milk Chiffon/Siphon (Mælkesifon) – Part 3
¼ l Heavy Cream
20 g Pastry Sugar
3 sheets Gelatin (dissolved in cold water)
½ l Whole Milk
Pumpernickel Crumble (Rugbrødcrumble) – Part 4
2 slices Multigrain Pumpernickel Bread
4 spsk. Butter
Tear pumpernickel into fine pieces and roast until crisp and golden in butter. Drop and scatter onto a sheet and sprinkle with salt.
How to serve:
Place a spoonful of the hot beer and bread soup at the bottom of four soup plates. Place on top of soup a ball sherbet and the splashes milk siphon/chiffon around it, so that it covers the hot porridge. Sprinkle with crumble and serve immediately.