Saturday, December 28, 2013

Microwave ollebrod

A while ago I posted a longer, more authentic version of Danish beer and bread porridge. However, there may be times when you want to throw together some ollebrod on short notice, like when some people are dropping by and you are about to pull the leftover ollebrod out of your fridge and you can't find it because your son is home from college and he finished it at 2 a.m.  (The real reason for college vacations is to help parents keep their refrigerators clean.)   You may also feel like ollebrod for breakfast.

In desperation, I tried to make it in the microwave, and it was not bad at all.  You can cut a lot of corners and pull it off in around 15 minutes.  The results are a bit drier but still good.  The important thing is to taste it to make sure that the alcohol has cooked off.  In Denmark, they serve this to toddlers for breakfast.  You don't have to, but the raw alcohol flavor is definitely out of place.

Quick Ollebrod/Beer Bread


  • 3 slices of  brown bread  (see below)
  • 1 cup dark beer 
  • 1 inch piece orange rind, with no pith
  • spices ( your choice of a combination of small piece of  cinnamon stick, a cardamom pod, and some allspice berries or cloves -- I just used 1/2 in piece of  cinnamon and cardamom)
  • 1-2 tablespoons dried fruit (cherries, raisins or dates )
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar  
  • pinch salt


  1. Tear up the bread, put it in a deep one quart microwave-safe dish and in soak it in hot water while you assemble the other ingredients. Drain it.
  2. Add the other ingredients and stir.
  3. Cover with a paper towel and microwave for 3 minutes.  Stir to break up the bread, cover and microwave for another 3 minutes.  
  4. Taste the porridge.  Make sure the alcohol is cooked off and that it is sweet enough. If not add a bit more sugar.  Cook 2 minutes more if necessary, covered with paper towel. (The texture should be between a porridge and a pudding.)
  5. Serve with ice cream (vanilla or salted caramel), coconut sorbet, cream or milk, depending on occasion and inclination.
  6. Serves 2-4 depending on age and appetite.
The bread:  Almost any brown, dark or whole grain  bread can be used in this, and it is a great way to use up stale bread and leftover toast (and leftover beer for that matter).  Remember that caraway rye will make the results taste like caraway, so only use a spiced bread if you want the results to have that flavor.  A coriander-flavored Russian black bread would be worth trying. I generally use a combination of black pumpernickel and whole grain seedless rye, but in the pictured dish I used only whole grain rye.

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