Hätäleipä – Finnish emergency bread

You know I like bread. I’m not a master. I killed my sourdough starter at least twice. I made a loaf of bread, that was heavy as a stone. But lately breads like me, I don’t have too many catastrophes, but still are days when I don’t want to work hard, I can’t take recipes that call for folding, kneading, waiting. Then this bread saves me. It’s not the easiest bread ever, but it requires very few actions, and it’s tasty. If you look closely you will see that my bread has little white spots as I didn’t stir the treacle in too well, but it’s the emergency bread, so it doesn’t matter, actually I think it looks prettier. It’s quite sweet, but it goes well with different things.

Hätäleipä – Finnish emergency bread

  • Servings: 1 loaf
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Recipe from White Plate blog For 9x28cm loaf pan


  • 2 tsp quick yeast (7 g)
  • 200ml lukewarm water
  • 2 Tbsp black treacle or molasses
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 1/2 Tbsp rye flour (60g)
  • 1 cup and 6 1/2 Tbsp bread flour (210g)


Grease a loaf pan and sprinkle it with oat brans or flour.

Dissolve yeast in warm water, add treacle/molasses and leave for 10 minutes. In a bigger bowl mix flours, salt, and olive oil. Add the yeast mixture and stir 50 times until well combined. The dough is quite sticky. Place it into the loaf pan and leave it for 60 minutes in a warm place (when it’s colder I leave the dough in the closed oven with the just light on, just remember to take the dough before you start preheating an oven). Preheat the oven to 230°C/210°C fan. Fill a heatproof container with water and place it at the bottom of the oven. Fill a pan with very cold water or ice cubes and put it in the bottom of the oven. Put the bread in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes then lower the temperature to 210°C/190°C fan. Bake for another 20-30 minutes or until golden color. Take it out of the pan. The bread should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Let it cool on the cooling rack.

Hätäleipä - Finnish Emergency Bread


11 thoughts on “Hätäleipä – Finnish emergency bread

    • Hi Angie, I wouldn’t say that the bread is dense, but for sure it hearty, winter kind of bread. I love start up the oven in winter time, it makes apartment so much cosier 🙂


  1. I love Scandinavian rye breads but am confused by the ice water bath. Steam helps give a crisp crust, but most water baths call for boiling water, not ice, which would lower the oven temperature. Do you have any explanation for this?


      • I enjoyed the finished product. I only had golden syrup. The result was a moist delicate bread.

        My question: In your usage, is quick yeast the same as instant yeast? I used instant yeast but according to the label this was twice the yeast required per gram of flour in the recipe. The kind I used doesn’t require dissolving. The dough swelled quite quickly so I put in the oven sooner to prevent it from over-proofing. It had air bubbles. I might try again with the brewers yeast which might be the type you use.


  2. Hi – I’ve made two loaves from this recipe, and the taste is delicious. I burnt the top of the first one, as my oven was apparently too hot and the shelf too high, but the second loaf is great. I love the malty taste.


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