Knekkebrød is a staple of the Scandinavian table and kitchen. It is eaten for breakfast, lunch and for evening "kveldsmat" (supper).
If you've never had a true Scandinavian crispbread you have missed out on a delicious crunchy biscuit type snack that is perfect topped with whatever takes your fancy. Knekkebrød has the bonus of being healthy as it is usually packed with wholegrains and seeds.
The story of knekkebrød starts in Sweden as far back as 500 AD. Knekkebrød was always traditionally baked in the autumn as a way to store grains and flour for the long winter months as they are usually thin and slightly hard and store really well. Knekkebrød was always seen as poor man's food, until recent years when it has seen a huge surge in popularity, especially in Norway. People can't get enough of the more artisan knekkebrød with certain grains and packed full of seeds. It's easy to see why - it's a fast food that can be grabbed en route but also offer a super healthy option.
They come in a huge variety of different types from the simple crispbread, to thin rye knekkebrød through to the more artisanal types with various grains and seeds included. My version is slightly easier to eat than some of the more hearty types that require jaws of iron to get through and I have included several seeds for the health benefits and some herbs to freshen them up. You can substitute any seeds you like or have to hand and choose your favourite herb to make the recipe truly something bespoke.
Knekkebrød with Herbs (makes 20)
200g / 7oz plain, all purpose flour
75g / 2.5 oz pinhead oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon dried mustard
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon flax seeds (linseed)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
90g / 3 oz butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons chopped herbs
1 tablespoon milk
Preheat the oven to 165C / 350F
In a food mixer blend together the flour, oatmeal, baking powder, mustard, salt and seeds. I like to give them good go in the food mixer to break the seeds down a little. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour mix pulsing to blend it in until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the herbs and egg and mix together well. Add enough milk to make a firm dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it carefully together into a bal. Try not to knead it too much. Roll out to about 1mm/ 1/8 inch thick and cut into rectangles that are about 10cm x 5cm / 4 inches x 2 inches. Lift onto baking paper lined baking sheets and bake in the centre of the oven for about 15 minutes until the edges of the knekkebrød are turning a light golden brown. Cool for a minute or two on the baking sheets before transferring to a wire to cool completely.
This knekkebrød will keep quite happily for several days in an airtight box.
Serve with your choice of favourite topping. My choice is always smoked salmon with a teaspoonful of sour cream.
Vær så god!
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