Rye Bread and Beer Porridge (Øllebrød)

November 21, 2016

Test Kitchen-Approved

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.

Food52 Review: 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.

Serves: 2 or more


  • 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
In This Recipe


  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.

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Reviews (5) Questions (0)

5 Reviews

Author Comment
recordsintheden 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!
Author Comment
recordsintheden December 2, 2016
Well that's an oversight! ;) It's juice of 1/2 orange. When in doubt feel free to check https://recordsintheden.com/2016/09/11/cph/ 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.