Rye Bread and Beer Porridge (Øllebrød)

November 21, 2016
4 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Serves 2 or more
Author Notes

Filling, warm, different and adaptable! I discovered this porridge on a recent trip to Copenhagen and was hooked.

The porridge could keep and be reheated for at least a day or two in the refrigerator, so you can make a larger batch if you want to have extra (cold or warmed) for more days. If reheating, add a bit of water beforehand so it doesn't stick to the pot and reheat on low.

To make this more holiday-y you could add nutmeg or 1/4 cup pumpkin puree or applesauce to the pot. —Sharon Brenner

Test Kitchen Notes

If you want to steer breakfast conversation away from politics, this innocuous looking porridge will do the trick. Unabashedly tangy and bitter, with the taste of rye and malt intensified by orange and cinnamon, it was the most surprising breakfast dish I’ve eaten this year.

You’re likely to get polarized reactions; more dubious guests could mute the tanginess with extra milk, or sweeten it with fruit or honey. I used a very malty black Porter; a milder beer would yield less intense results. It’s an easy, quick recipe and the ambiguities (e.g. what kind of rye bread) reflect its adaptability. —Elizabeth

What You'll Need
  • 4-5 slices rye bread (300 g)
  • 1 bottle dark beer (.33 L or 11.2 fl. oz.)
  • Juice of half an orange
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground vanilla (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • Generous sprinkle of sea salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • Seasonal fruit, for topping
  1. Break the rye bread into pieces and soak in the beer for at least 2 to 3 hours or ideally overnight. Once soaked, use a fork to help break up the bread pieces a bit.
  2. In a large pot, add the soaked rye bread and beer, orange juice, honey, water, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium-low heat, stirring frequently to break up the bread and prevent the mixture from sticking to the pot as it starts to thicken. Cook until the mixture is a thick porridge and sticks well to your spoon.
  3. Serve with milk or cream and seasonal fruit.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Stephanie B.
    Stephanie B.
  • Sharon Brenner
    Sharon Brenner
  • Elizabeth
  • J

6 Reviews

Stephanie B. December 19, 2019
This is good. And weird. And weirdly good. I've been tossing the tougher end slices of the rugbrod I make I make in the freezer, just because I couldn't bring myself to waste them, and wanted to use them up somehow. I used the juice of a whole orange instead of half. I drizzled in some cream to serve, which pleasantly tempered the flavors, and topped with blueberries. I recommend a sweet, mild fruit to top, something with a lot of tartness might just push it over into too tart. I liked this a lot! I'll continue to make it as I need to use up old rugbrod ends. Thanks for adding such unique recipe!
Sharon B. January 23, 2017
Until the liquid is mostly absorbed and you have your desired porridge consistently. It goes relatively quickly, probably less than 10 minutes as you stir.
J January 22, 2017
@ how long did you cook it?
Elizabeth December 2, 2016
I'm very intrigued by this, but was wondering how much and what kind of orange juice to add (in step 2 you say to add orange juice, but it's not in the ingredient list). Normally I would follow my instincts, but I'm considering being a tester. Thanks!
Sharon B. December 2, 2016
Well that's an oversight! ;) It's juice of 1/2 orange. When in doubt feel free to check I put all my recipes there.

I hope you try it. It's super filling and delicious, a nice change from oats, and quite simple. Enjoy!
Elizabeth December 2, 2016
Thanks! I'm looking forward to it.