Knäckebröd is a Swedish crispbread, which is a thin, crispy bread made with very little water, so it more like a cracker. Traditionally this bread was made because it would keep a long time without going bad. It is made mainly of rye flour. I have had this recipe bookmarked forever and finally got to making it.
The hole in the center of the crispbread is there because traditionally it was kept on a pole near the ceiling as a method of storage and possibly for drying. You don’t have to make the hole but I wanted mine to look like the traditional ones so I did. There is also a special rolling pin for creating texture on these called kruskavel. I don’t have one so I used a chekich, which is an Uzbek bread stamp instead. I love the pattern! You can also just prick all over with a fork like you would pie dough.
This recipe uses sourdough discard, which is great, since I make sourdough a lot. You can also use a mixture of flour, water and tiny bit of yeast in place of the starter if you don’t have it. I added some nigella seeds to this bread, which are a seed often used in Indian, Middle Eastern and North African cuisine. They have a slightly bitter onion flavor that I love and they go great in these crackers. This is not traditional, but I think it is a great addition. A sprinkling of coarse salt also tastes really great on top of these.
You need to bake these until they are well browned to get the really crispy texture. A few of mine were too pale since I had never made them before and they don’t have the fully crisp texture. The darker ones in my photo were just right.
- 1 cup sourdough discard or 1/2 cup flour mixed with 1/2 cup water and 1/4 tsp yeast
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter room temp
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup dark rye flour
- 2 tbsp nigella seeds optional
- flaky sea salt for topping
- Combine ingredients other than the salt for sprinkling in a bowl. Mix into a mass and turn onto a floured counter top. Knead for a few minutes until it comes together into a smooth cohesive mass. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and put into the fridge overnight.
- Heat oven to 350. Divide dough into 8 pieces. Form each into a ball and then roll the ball on a well floured counter until very thin. Use flour as needed to keep from sticking. Cut a 1 1/2 inch hole out of the center using a cookie or biscuit cutter. Roll over with a kruskavel or prick all over with a fork. Sprinkle with coarse salt and press in gently.
- Carefully place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake until well browned and crisp (10-15 min). If you take them out too soon, they won't be fully crispy.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.