Globe Trotting Bake Off (2) – Sweden

This week, the Globe Trotting Bake Off travelled to Sweden. When I hear Sweden, I think of IKEA, elks, red farm houses with white windows, oat cookies, köttbullar (Swedish meatballs) and knäckebröd (crisp bread). I just made Swedish Rye Bread (Limpa) for the BBA Challenge and oat cookies for our Globe Trotting Bake Off stop in Ireland, and even though I absolutely LOVE oats, I wanted to try something else. Something, I’ve never made before. Wait, there is knäckebröd! We can buy all different kinds of crisp bread here, and I’m not a big fan of knäckebröd, but maybe I would like homemade knäckebröd. Also, I’ve been owning “The Great Scandinavian Baking Book” by Beatrice Ojakangas for quite a while now and haven’t made a sinlge recipe yet (yes, my name is … and I’m a cookbook addict).

Thus, I decided to make my own knäckebröd. I made the mis en place and was surprised. Sugar? So much sugar? In knäckebröd? But I went ahead, mixed everything, put in the fridge to cool down a little bit, rolled it out on a greased sheet pan that I had sprinkled with rolled oats, pricked the dough evenly with a fork, scored the dough into rectangles with a pizza cutter and put it in the oven.

The smell from the oven was great. When I took the first bite I was not surprised that the pieces were so sweet. I mean, the sugar dissolves, but doesn’t disappear. But this is not what I expected. Also, I didn’t roll out the dough thin enough so the bread wasn’t really crispy at all.  So I’m wondering now, is real Swedish knäckebröd SWEET???? Is the knäckebröd they sell here (Wasa) not Swedish at all and we only think it is Swedish???? Also, isn’t knäckebröd mostly dry and thin rye bread? This recipe called for rolled oats and all-purpose flour. Hmm, if anyone out there can answer my aforementioned questions, please drop me a line. I’m dying to know…

Knäckebröd

(adapted from “The Great Scandinavian Baking Book”, you can also find the recipe via Google Book Search on page 57)

Ingredients:

  • 3/8 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup uncooked rolled oats
  • 1,5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (I used whole milk infused with lemon juice)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth.
  2. In another bowl, combine oats, flour, salt, and baking soda.
  3. Add flour mixture and buttermilk.
  4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Grease 2  sheet pans and sprinkle with rolled oats.
  6. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  7. Divide dough into 4 equal portions – shape each portion into a smooth ball. Place 2 balls of dough in the fridge.
  8. Place remaining 2 balls of dough on sheet pans, flatten as much as possible with your hands, then use a rolling pin to roll dough to edges of sheet pan.
  9. Prick evenly with a fork.
  10. With a pizza cutter, score dough into rectangles.
  11. Bake 15-20 minutes until crisp and golden.
  12. Cool 3 minutes on sheet pans, then place on a rack to finish cooling.
  13. Break into crackers where scored.
  14. Repeat with remaning dough.

5 responses to “Globe Trotting Bake Off (2) – Sweden

  1. There are loads of different sorts of crispbread, and I have had one that looks like yours and it is sweetish in taste. Can’t remember the name, sorry. My mother was from Sweden and I have eaten lots of different sorts when visiting there. Most of the rye ones are sturdier and rye and sourish in taste and those are the ones that get exported usually, like Wasa or Siljans. In Sweden they have various methods of rolling the dough and a special roller that looks like this http://tramakeriet.com/catalog/images/Kruskavel.jpg you can do it by hand making little holes with something but it’s a lot of work!

    • Yep, I used a fork to make the little holes. That definitely is a lot of work. I’ve read about this special rolling pin before, but as I wasn’t sure if my first try at homemade knäckebröd would be also my last one, I thought this expense wouldn’t be justified and a fork would have to be good enough. It’s interesting to hear, that there actually seems to exist sweet knäckebröd!

  2. It’s sort of a bit like sweet cardboard, if my memory serves me right, wish I could remember the brand. The rye varieties, Leksand, Siljan, Wasa with the big holes and the airy insides are much nicer don’t you think. There is a recipe in the HandMade Loaf (Dan Lepard) for these, though the people I know who made them had some difficulty getting them to snap too! There are some posts about it on his website. I tried once and wasn’t very happy with the result…. (congratulations on the BBA challenge by the way!) Zeb

  3. Pingback: Globe Trotting Bake Off (4) – Denmark « Family & Food

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