I bet you’re wondering what øllebrød or beer bread porridge is all about. That dark chocolate color reflects the deep beer flavors and transforms the bread into a creamy decadent traditional Scandinavian porridge. This authentic vegetarian porridge can be traced far back in Scandinavian food culture. Way back before our grandparent’s time, and has remained popular throughout the years because of its amazing deep flavors.
Øllebrød or bread beer porridge is a Scandinavian favorite dish to serve for babies, children, and the elderly because of its creamy texture and great nutritional value. Of course, any traces of alcohol in the beer evaporate during cooking, leaving just the deep honey-like flavors behind.Jump to Recipe
History of Øllebrød or bread beer porridge
It is believed that bread beer porridge originated from monks in convents. The monks were known to dip their bread into warm beer. This bread dipping eventually led to Øllebrød as we still know it today. There are recipes of beer bread porridge tracing back to 800 years ago. Back in the olden days, it was more common to drink beer than water because you never ran the risk of beer being bad. It is believed that the dish evolved as the monks started tossing any leftover bread into a pot full of dark beer at the end of the day. Later on, sugar was added to the bread porridge and suddenly it transformed the dish into an enjoyable tasty meal. Hence the dish as we know it today was created and to this day it remains largely unchanged.
What ingredients do you need to make Øllebrød
Not a whole lot. This is a budget-friendly recipe that will help you clean out your cupboards.
All you need to make Øllebrød is:
- rye bread, 6-7 slices – or a combination of white bread and rye bread
- sugar, or 3-5 tablespoons maple syrup
- whipped cream, for topping – optional
- lemon juice
- 3-4 slices of lemon
So how do you make classic Scandinavian Øllebrød or beer rye bread porridge?
It’s incredibly simple. If you can heat a can of soup you have the skills required to make Øllebrød.
- Start by cutting the bread into chunks and placing them in a large pot. Pour water and beer on top and add lemon juice, sugar, lemon slices, and salt. Let the bread soak for at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours (you can soak them overnight if you prefer).
- Next, bring the pot to a boil on the stove and let the porridge simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the lemon slices, being careful not to burn yourself. If the porridge is too thick at this point, use a handheld blender and carefully blend the porridge to a creamy texture.
- Serve topped with a dollop of whipped cream, or ice cream, and enjoy.
How to serve Øllebrød or traditional beer bread soup
Traditionally Øllebrød is served with a dollop of whipped cream on top that slowly melts and intertwines with the silky porridge as you eat. But you can also eat this bread porridge just as is or topped with any topping of your choice. I like to eat my porridge topped generously with whipped coconut cream for that delicious cooling and creamy luxe feel.
A meal prep friendly Scandinavian breakfast porridge
This easy deep flavored porridge is a meal prep/overnight porridge combo invented before overnight oats was a thing. Because the recipe is a great way to use up any stale bread leftovers it also means that you can let the bread soak in beer overnight if you prefer. In fact, the general rule is beer bread porridge needs to soak anywhere from 20 minutes and up to 12 hours. Talk about the original overnight breakfast porridge recipe.
But the meal prep ability doesn’t end there because Øllebrød is also great to make a few days in advance. Letting the porridge/soup or whatever you want to define it as, sit in the refrigerator for a few days only intensifies the aroma and deepens the flavors.
And just in case you didn’t think that’s meal prep friendly enough, Øllebrød is also freezer friendly and will keep up to 3 months in the freezer.
Bread porridge – the easy way to use stale bread or leftover bread
If you’re like me, you always end up with loads of stale bread. And if you like me hate seeing any food going to waste then this bread porridge is for you. It’s a super quick and super easy stale bread recipe that doubles as a meal prep overnight breakfast porridge.
Frequently asked questions
What beer to use in Øllebrød or bread beer porridge
A dark lager is the best option. Traditionally a beer called hvidtøl is used in Denmark, but any beer can work in this beer bread stew.
Can I make bread beer porridge in advance?
Yes. Øllebrød is a great recipe to make in advance. You can simply toss all the ingredients into a pot and leave it to soak overnight. Then all you have to do is heat it and blend if necessary before serving.
Is beer bread porridge meal prep friendly?
Yes, it’s very meal prep friendly. You can make it 1-2 days in advance or freeze it for later.
How to make beer bread porridge or Øllebrød gluten-free?
To make bread porridge gluten-free you have to use gluten-free bread such as rice bread or similar. Any kind of gluten-free bread can work in this recipe, but the darker the bread you use the more authentic and deep the flavors become, so I recommend using a gluten-free rye bread if you can.
What kind of bread can I use in beer bread porridge?
Any and every type of bread can work in this recipe. I usually use whatever leftover bread I have that’s going stale. This includes whole wheat bread, rye bread, and gluten-free bread. Depending on the type of bread you use the flavors of the dish changes slightly and that’s one of my favorite things about the recipe. You can make it taste just a little bit different every time you make it.
Can I make this porridge without beer?
Yes. Although the taste will be different you can leave beer out of this recipe if you prefer. Just substitute the beer with water or milk and add a teaspoon of vanilla extract (almond milk or oat milk works well as a dairy-free option).
Øllebrød – traditional Danish bread porridge
- 6-7 slices (300g) Rye Bread or mixed rye and white bread
- 1½ cups (350g) Water
- 2 cups (5 dl) Dark Beer Vegan
- ⅓ cups (25g) Granulated Sugar or 3-5 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 3-4 slices Lemon
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 cup (2,5dl) Whipped Cream (optional) for topping
- Cut the bread into chunks and place them in a large pot. Pour water and beer on top and add lemon juice, sugar, lemon slices, and salt. Let the bread soak for at least 30 minutes.
- Next, bring the pot to a boil on the stove and let the porridge simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the lemon slices, being careful not to burn yourself. If the porridge is too thick at this point, use a handheld blender and carefully blend the porridge to a creamy texture. Serve topped with a dollop of whipped cream, or ice cream, and enjoy.