Easy thin and crispy Swedish crispbreads “knäckebröd”, to serve with butter, cheese, or any savory spread.
Today it’s Swedish National Day, and for this reason, I’m happy to share a new Swedish recipe on the blog with you. It’s been so long since I posted a Swedish recipe ; I actually didn’t post any since I moved from Sweden to Chicago in August last year – almost a year ago. Oh wait, no! I posted this White Chocolate and Cardamom Wreath, back in February. Anyway, it’s time to celebrate Sweden again!
June is actually the high season of Swedish celebrations. On June 6th is held the Swedish National Day, which is a quite new tradition which started a decade ago only (Swedes apparently needed one more holiday, and no one complains about it, it’s always fun). The day was chosen randomly and there is no big tradition around this day, it’s just a regular day off, kind of. However, the high pick of the season is Midsummer, usually held the third Friday of June. This year will be a very special Midsummer for me as I’m getting married – June 24th. I can’t wait!
The countdown as already started and I’m all into the Swedish summer mood right now and ready to start the festivities with one more traditional Swedish recipe, the knäckebröd – literally knäcke to break and bröd, bread. If you wonder how to pronounce it, just imagine you have the mouth full of crumbs and try to talk at the same time! Or simply go for crispbread in English instead.
This flat and dry type of bread (or cracker), contains rye flour mainly and was for a long time considered as a poor man’s diet as they are light and keep fresh for a very long time. It has been baked in Central Sweden for 500 AD in its basic version. In the recent years, there has been a renewed interest in crispbread in the Nordics, and many different versions appeared, using different ingredients, type of flour or rolled oats, seeds and spices.
I tried two different versions of this recipe I am sharing with you today: one with rye flour and all-purpose flour, the other one with rye flour and rolled oats. Both versions work equally well, so if you try to reduce gluten in your daily diet, I would suggest you go for the one with rolled oats. However, if like me you are lucky to have no food intolerance, just pick the one you want. My recommendation when it comes to the seeds in this recipe is purely indicative. Some people love to use just black and white sesame, others add some dried chili flakes, cumin, or even chia seeds these days. There is no rules, just play with the ingredients you have at home.
I have been waited far too long before sharing a crispbread recipe with you, which is a shame as it is extremely easy to make. Make sure you roll out the dough in between two parchment papers. The rest is pretty easy! My serving suggestions are the following: with salted butter, cheese, or any savory dips or spread of your choice (I love the roasted bell pepper hummus for instance). You can also follow the Swedish tradition, serving with some pickled herring if you like it, or in a more luxury version with my Swedish gravlax recipe!
- 1 cup (100g) rye flour
- 1 cup (100g) all-purpose flour (you can replace with rolled oats)
- ⅓ cup (50g) flaxseeds
- ⅓ cup (50g) sesame seeds
- ⅓ cup (50g) pumpkin seeds
- 2 tsp fennel seeds, cracked (optional)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds (optional)
- ¾ tsp flaky salt
- ¼ cup (50 ml) olive oil
- ⅔ cup (150 ml) hot water
- Heat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Take two large baking trays and a roll of parchment paper.
- Add all the dry ingredients to a very large, spacious bowl. Stir well with a rubber spatula, then tip in the oil and water. Stir well and use your hands to form a compact ball if needed.
- Place a sheet of parchment paper onto a large surface and place half of the dough on top. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper, and flatten the dough into a large and thin rectangle using a rolling pin.
- Remove the parchment paper on top and transfer carefully the flattened bread with the remaining inferior parchment sheet into the baking tray.
- Lightly score into pieces with a sharp knife if you wish. You can also sprinkle additional flaky salt over.
- Repeat the same with the other half of dough.
- Place the trays in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Swap the trays around and bake for 10 to 15 more minutes, until golden (but not burned!).
- Let cool and break into pieces, or crack along the scored lines with a heavy knife.
- Store in a airtight container for up to two weeks.