Saturday, August 04, 2007

Swedish Crisp Bread with Caraway


Ha! One new year's resolution down! (And sigh, four to go!) I finally made crisp bread, Swedish Knäckebröd. Was it hard? No. Was it expensive? Oh no. Was it time consuming? A little. And a little messy, too. But was it worth it? Oh, yes. I actually made two batches while I was at it - I'll post about the second kind in a few days.

This is a pretty basic recipe, and you can use it as a base to play with. Feel free to add other seeds if you prefer! The one piece of equipment that you might not have is a knobbly rolling pin, a kruskavel. It looks like this. Not absolutely necessary to have, but it does help here.

The traditional shape is large rounds with holes in the middle - the holes are actually for storage, because these were traditionally hung on a stick, from the ceiling.

Swedish Crisp Bread with Caraway

25 g fresh yeast
500 ml (2 cups) tepid water
2 tsp salt
600 ml (2,4 cups) coarse rye flour
600 ml (2,4 cups) wheat flour
2 tsp caraway seeds, bashed in a pestle and mortar
2 tsp sesame seeds
2 tsp linseed

Crumble the yeast into a bowl and add some of the water. Stir until the yeast is dissolved, then add the rest of the water, and all other ingredients. Mix by hand or with a machine until the dough starts to form. Add extra flour if it's too sticky. You don't have to knead it much, just enough to get a proper dough that holds together. Remove the dough to a clean bowl, cover and leave to rise for one hour.

Shape the dough into a large, thick rope and divide into 15 pieces. Roll out each piece into rounds, using a lot of flour so it won't stick. Roll it as thinly as you can (the crisper it will be!) and finish by doing a few rolls with a knobbly rolling pin, a "kruskavel". If you don't have one, prick the dough all over with a fork. Use a small glass or a cookie cutter to remove a hole from the middle of the round.

Or use cookie cutters - I couldn't resist making a cat.

Place directly on a baking sheet and bake at 200°C (that's for a convection oven, use 225°C in a regular oven) for 10-12 minuter. You have to turn them after half the time or they will burn.

Recipe in Swedish:
Knäckebröd med kummin


Jessica said...

Not having a kruskavel makes homemade crispbread pretty strange, bland you might say. It is the kruskavel that provides the crispiness and special texture. Without it it becomes weirdish crackers.

Btw, I have a copy of Cooking for mr Latte. In swedish though. Will email you about that and another thing.

Anne said...

Thanks Jessika! I was thinking about Wilmas knäckebröd, which seems to be made without the kruskavel. I didn't try it though - since I finally bought one. :)

Ooh, did you like the book? :)

Jessica said...

On the book, Amanda hesser is a gifted food writer and perhaps this book is best served - or it is best served read in increments. I read it straight through. Wasn't a good idea, eventually the tone in how it was written got on my nerves. It does, however, contain some really great recipes.

I still read her columns on food in the NYT.

Christine said...

My dear grandma Olive, whose parents were both from Sweden, grew up in the middle of the U.S.A. She always had a pan of dry toast in the oven for coffee time. I wonder if she was missing the Swedish crisp bread that her mother used to make.

Anonymous said...

i just have to tell you all that it was SO great! I got some bread from Anne and it was absolutely fabulous! I want more!!! Please Anne, could you make some each week for me? ;)

Katie said...

Those look great. I love crispbreads but have never made my own before but I might have to now.

Lena said...

As one of the lucky ones to taste Annes bread, I agree with Tesse, it was great. Best crisp bread I have tasted in a long time.

Jeanne said...

I love Swedish crispbread, especially with cream cheese and smoked salmon... Have never considered making my own though! And I love the crispbread kitty :)

Anonymous said...

I have once made sesame crispbread. At that time I did not have kruskavel, but I used a fork. Not as pretty result, but did the work. I was also lazy in rolling and rolled my pasta machine instead! It was okay, just had to use a lot of flour. And the bread was very thin!

Anonymous said...

I live outside New York with my Egyptian Husband.I made the bread with Cummin instead of caraway seeds.I made it very thin.Of course I had to use a fork instead of a kruskavel.It was absolutely delicious.
Thank you

Anonymous said...

Good Job! :)

Dazy said...

Since you already know, I like your recipe, just wanted to tell you that I made this dish last week and it was good. Thank you so much for the recipe, it is one we will be enjoying again and again!

Anonymous said...

Would you happen to be able to provide a swedish translation of this magnificent recipe?

I know what a kruskavel is but some of the ingredients need some deciphering.

Anne said...

Gunnar, there's a link to the Swedish version at the end of the post: