March 1, 2012

by stacy
Published on: March 1, 2012
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“A very special Norwegian sweet bread baked in round loaves, verterkake takes its name from verterol, or brewer’s wort…dark beer can be substituted in its place.  The bread is densely textured and has a highly interesting, spicy flavor…”
-James Beard, Beard on Bread

Mike: It tastes…interesting.
Me: In a good way?
Mike: If you like the taste of potpourri.

Yesterday Mike and I closed on our first house.  How did I celebrate?  By baking bread (there was also a bottle of champagne).

Here are the ingredients (minus the raisins, of course):

Verterkake Ingredients

I started by mixing the milk, two cups of flour, and the yeast together to form a sponge.  I let that rise for 45 minutes, and then added the rest of ingredients.  It took an extra half cup of flour to form a firm enough dough, which I let rise for an hour.  Then, I lightly kneaded the dough with some more flour and formed two loaves.  After yet another hour of rising, the loaves were ready for the oven.

Verterkake After Second Rising

I baked the loaves at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.


I would characterize Vertekake as one of the few recipes that I have taken an active dislike to, solely because the mixture of cloves and pepper actually does taste like potpourri.  I don’t like potpourri as a scented decorative element, so I definitely don’t want to eat it.  This is not a bread that I would recommend, to put it mildly.


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