52 Weeks of Baking: Week 4 – Karask

So probably you see the title of this post and think to yourself – what the hell is karask? Well, karask is a traditional Estonian soda bread, usually made with kefir, buttermilk, curd cream or yoghurt. It’s made with barley flour – although sometimes a bit of wheat flour is added to make it less crumbly. Also, baking soda is used instead of any yeast.

It has been made for centuries but the name “karask” was given to the barley bread at the beginning of the 20th century. It’s baked either in a bread tin or you can shape it in any way just straight on the baking sheet. The theme for Week 4 was “100+ Year Old Recipe”, so this is why I chose it. It’s a very traditional bread here in Estonia – although not one that we eat daily. It’s also extremely easy to make.

If you want to make it more interesting, you can add all kinds of additional ingredients – mashed potatoes, herbs, pumpkin, lard, raisins, cranberries, etc. And like most breads, it’s best to be eaten warm with loads of (herb) butter or some jam if you go for the sweeter version.

I used this recipe but since it’s in Estonian, I have translated it for you all down below. 🙂

Happy baking!



Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour

Karask is traditional Estonian soda bread. Although you can add all kinds of extra ingredients, this specific recipe is the most "plain" version of them all.


  • 350 g barley flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 dl kefir or buttermilk


    1. Heat the oven to 190°C (when using a convection oven) or 210°C when using a conventional oven.
    2. In one bowl, mix together flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda.
    3. In a second bowl, mix the egg and kefir.
    4. Add the egg-kefir mix to the flour and mix them together, first with a spoon and then with the hand. Don't overmix - if you see that it's evenly mixed, just make a loaf from the dough on a baking sheet.
    5. Bake for about 1 hour until evenly golden brown.
    6. Eat warm with loads of butter!

Did you try this recipe?

Share your experience down in the comments or let me know on Instagram!

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