Danish coffee bread recipe

Time for a coffee break? Tuck into this Danish coffee bread recipe by Trine Hahnemann for the perfect pairing.

Coffee bread is so named because it used to be served in the informal coffee breaks that Danish people, especially women, took during the day. Using leftover bread is a long tradition going back to when Scandinavia was a poor region and food had much more value than it has today. If you do not have any leftover bread (any type can be used), make the one included in this recipe.

Recipe by Trine Hahnemann, taken from Scandinavian Comfort Food: Embracing the Art of Hygge (Quadrille, RRP: £25).

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For the bread

  • 50g soft butter
  • 400g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 10g sea salt
  • 25g fresh yeast
  • 250ml water

For marzipan mixture

  • 200g marzipan
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 3–4 organic egg whites
  • 50g plain (all-purpose) flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder


Start by crumbling the butter into the flour in a mixing bowl, then stir in the sugar and salt. Dissolve the yeast in the water and add to the flour mixture, stirring to mix to a dough. Knead the dough well on a floured surface, return to the bowl, cover and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
Divide the dough in half and roll each half into a rectangle measuring about 12 x 34cm (4¾ x 13½in). Place both rectangles on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment and leave to rise for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4.
Bake the bread for 20 minutes, then leave to cool on a wire rack. When cold, cut each rectangle into twenty slices and place on a wire rack with the cut side facing up. Toast in the oven until crisp, about 10 minutes.
While the bread slices are in the oven, grate the marzipan and mix with the sugar in a bowl. Add the egg whites a little at a time and whisk with a balloon whisk to a smooth mixture, then mix in the flour and baking powder. When the bread slices come out of the oven, spread the marzipan mixture onto each slice of bread, using a spoon or piping bag. Return to the oven and bake for 10–15 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool a little, then serve warm with a nice cup of coffee. Stored in an airtight container, they keep for a couple of weeks.
Last updated 10 months ago

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