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Knäckebröd (Swedish Rye and Spelt Crispbread)
Knäckebröd are fermented crispy, thin discs of bread. They are very easy to make and go perfectly with your festive cheeses, pâtés and smoked fish. Marie Lester, who is a professional baking tutor, recipe developer and writer shares her favourite traditional Knäckebröd recipe with us.
300 g stoneground unsifted, coarse rye flour (such as Kungsörnen grovmalt rågmjöl)
100 g stoneground spelt flour (or use wheat)
200 g water
70 g sourdough starter or discard
8 g salt
20 g runny honey (raw, if possible)
Day 1, evening
In a kitchen mixer bowl, stir the flour and salt together.
Whisk the starter, water and honey together lightly and add to the flour. Mix until a sticky dough ball forms.
Wrap the ball in cling film and refrigerate overnight.
Day 2, morning
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6.
Line 2 baking trays with baking paper or a silicone mat.
On a well-floured surface (use rye flour as it adds a lovely texture), roll out the dough using an ordinary rolling pin until approximately 1-2mm thick. When you think you have rolled the dough as thinly as you can, roll it a little more!
If using a kruskavel (a special Swedish rolling pin), create the dimpled effect on the dough at this point by rolling your pin over the dough - pressing quite hard. Then use a pastry cutter to cut out the desired shape: a wheel-like disc with a hole in the middle (made using a second smaller cutter) is traditional, or a festive star again with a hole in the centre of each disc. Or you can simply cut rounds, in which case prick each one with a fork or biscuit pricker. The hole is to allow the crispbreads to be hung up on sticks (known as torkstänger) to dry.
Fill two trays with a single layer of the cut-out dough discs, dust with rye flour and bake in the middle section of your oven for 8 minutes.
When all the crispbreads are done, pile them all on to one baking tray and put in back into a warm oven (100°C/225°F/Gas mark 1/4) and bake gently until crisp (this can take anything from 20 minutes to an hour).
Hang out on a wooden spoon or thread onto a piece of string and hang up! They will crispen up further as they cool.
Store in a biscuit tin. As they only have 50% hydration, they keep very well.
Marie Lester’s Top Tips!
"When making Knäckebröd, I take great delight in using my collection of Swedish baking tools, which includes a special Swedish rolling pin (a kruskavel) to create the dimpled effect and a circular bread knife to cut extra large wheels. You can watch me using these tools in a pinned reel on my Instagram account @marielesterbaker. You can still buy kruskavel rolling pins but you can also just use a biscuit pricker or a fork to prick the crispbread dough (which is necessary to stop the crispbreads from rising).”
"When making them, the tricky bits are: 1. Rolling them as thinly as possible. 2. Judging when they have completely dried out. Get these two points right and you will have some beautifully crisp crispbread to eat with your favourite cheeses and toppings of your choice."