Summer calls for making a campfire and preparing twist bread (in Danish: snobrød) over it. I’m not sure whether this is a very Danish thing, but I’m quite certain that pretty much all Danish kids have spend a lot of summers making their own twist breads. It’s simply a must in the summer, which is why we also had to make it with Eva this summer despite her only being 2-years old. That and the fact, that is such a wonderful tradition and the bread tastes really awesome having been prepared over the fire.
This recipe for twist bread is super simple and ever so tasty. Normally you just make it with only plain white flour, but I felt the need to add just a little wholewheat flour and oats. So I did and the taste was really great. You can of course just make it with only plain white flour if that’s what you have. No problem at all. It’s the most common thing to do. The whole proces of preparing the twist bread is also quite simple. After having let the dough rise, you just wrap long strips – “snakes” – of dough around a stick, hold it over the campfire and bake the bread. It takes some patience to get the bread perfect, but it’s worth the effort. Though getting it all black on the outside and doughy on the inside is almost part of the tradition as well. At least for the impatient and it still tastes great.
You’ll need (makes about 5 breads):
- 3 dl water
- 25 grams yeast
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 350 grams white flour
- 150 grams wholewheat flour or oats
The campfire and sticks
1. Find some sticks that are long enough to make sure that you can sit far enough away from the fire to not burn yourself and then cut the bark off in one end. Avoid sticks from poisonous trees and pinetrees because of the resin. I think most broad-leafed / deciduous trees should work, but look it up if you’re not certain or go buy a bonfire stick at a place where you can ask for help. The bark should be cut off in a way that leaves a smooth and clean area – and if you’re using them to roast marshmellows afterwards, also sharpen the end a bit.
2. Light a campfire that will leave a good amount of hot coals. Or if you don’t have a space for a campfire, just light a bbq or similar. It doesn’t have to be a huge bonfire, though it’s quite satisfying on it’s own. The campfire should however be perfect when the dough has risen and is ready to be used after about 30-60 minutes.
3. Dissolve the yeast in luke warm water.
4. Add the salt, oil and wholewhat flour/oats. Mix well.
5. Add the white flour and knead the dough carefully. You want a dough that is flexible and neither sticks to your hands or crumbles.
6. Leave the dough to rise in a warmish place for 3o mintues to and hour. It should double in size and then it’s ready.
7. Divide the dough into 5 pieces and hand each person a dough ball.
8. Make a long snake out of the dough ball. Try to make it somewhat even to ensure even baking and remember, the thinner the dough, the faster the bread will bake.
9. Twist the bread around the stick starting at the top. Make sure that you don’t leave any holes and to close the end, so the filling won’t spill when you’re done.
10. Toast the bread over the hot coals rather than the flames. At least if possible. Sometimes it might be to windy and the coals will burn out faster than you can toast the bread. But no worries, the bread will still be good.
11. Rotate the bread often as you toast it. This to ensure even baking.
12. The bread is done when it’s crispy on the outside, sounds hollow when you tap it and you can rather easily lift it of the stick. The perfect bread is golden, crisp on the outside, soft on the inside and easily slides of the stick, but if you end up with a bread that’s more dough than bread, don’t worry. It still tastes great – and to be honest, it’s part of the tradition. Most people don’t have the patience to get the bread just right and they still eat it with delight.
13. Serve with jam, peanutbutter or whatever filling you desire. Just stuff it into the middle of the bread where the stick was or open the bread up and smear it on – and then just enjoy!
We of course helped Eva make her twist bread since she is only 2 years old. She did however help mix the ingredients for the dough and knead it, shape it into a long snake and help make it stick to the stick. Then she sat on our laps as we toasted the bread over the fire for her and helped blow on it to make it cool faster. And then she of course ate it all by herself with only a little assistance with getting the jam into the bread. She ate an entire bread on her own and even asked for some of mine. And I can’t blame her. Twist bread preapared over a campfire is just delicious!
I have no doubt that we’ll be making twist bread every summer!