Food - Drink
The Swedish Christmas Bread
Made From Brewer's Wort
BY MEGGAN ROBINSON
Exploring Swedish Christmas, or Jul, which begins on December 1, is one of several holiday traditions from around the world that can bring new recipes to your own holiday festivities.Like traditions in other countries, celebrations always seem to be centered around food and drink, and one such food is a deep, dark rye bread called vörtbröd.
Vörtbröd simply means "wort bread," and it takes its name from the sweet, syrupy mixture brewers create as part of the beer brewing process. The bread is also known as vörtlimpa, or wort loaf, and it's also called Jullimpa or Julbröd, names that highlight the tie between this festive loaf and the holiday season.
To obtain wort, you must simmer beer and reduce it to concentrate the flavors and then add in the traditional spices, which includes ginger, cloves, ground pomeran peel (which is bitter orange peel), aniseed, fennel, and cardamom. Most Swedish bakers also use a vörtmix, which is a packaged mixture of spices and powdered wort extract.