Mixed Seeds Knäckebröd: Swedish Crackers for the Daring Bakers

So here I am. Back from holidays and happily baking again. On my return I had a lovely surprise: I’ve got into the Daring Bakers group so I could finally participate to the monthly challenge. There was very little time left and I was glad that the challenge was about crunchy flat bread, in one word: crakers. Or knäckebröd, as they call them over here.

In Sweden, there is a very old tradition for knäckebröd, for the Vikings were essentially fishermen (and explorers) who needed bread that would hold for weeks, sometimes months, while sailing away in search of fish and adventure. Having the men almost always gone, besides making Swedish women so strong willed and independent, made also them to create amazingly tasty and forever crunchy crackers. Maybe in the hope that this wonderful bread would have preserved their men healthy and would have favored their willingness to come back to their crafty home bakers.

For the Daring Bakers I selected two seed-based knäckebröd recipes, one which uses yeast, rye flour, and a little extra time, and the other totally gluten-free which can be done in no time whatsoever.  I like them both, but in different ways, as different is the emotion they give to the palate. Did I write emotion? Yes, I am totally emotional when it comes to savoring food, especially when that food is bread.

MIXED SEEDS KNÄCKEBRÖD WITH CARAWAY (freely adapted from Allt Om Mat)

you need: 25 g fresh yeast (or 12 g instant yeast), 350 g (about 1 and 1/3 cups) water, 1 cup mixed seeds (I used: black sesame seeds, “regular” sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds), 1 tablespoon whole caraway seeds, 1/3 cups (1 dl) light rye flour, 2 cups (5 dl) bread flour, 1/3 cup (1 dl) whole-purpose flour, 1 and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

how to: dissolve the yeast in the water and add the cumin seeds. Let rest for 15 minutes. Add all the other ingredients (salt last) and knead for 6-7 minutes at low speed (or about 10 by hand). Let rest covered for about 45 minutes. Form 18 dough balls (about the size of a big egg) and flatten each of them as much as possible.

Start baking a few rounds at a time at maximum heat. They are ready when they are slightly browned and look crunchy (about 10 minutes). Remember to keep the other balls covered while you cook the previous batch.

If you have one, you can finish by further flattening the dough with a specific knäckebröd tool, but it is totally optional. Happy I finally got to use mine.

For the second cracker of the challenge I chose a knäckebröd which is less traditional and that I first got to taste at my favorite salad place. I was so obsessed with it that I got the cook to reveal the recipe – but only after a little courting. Too bad this type of knäcke became immediately popular, and soon after getting the “secret” recipe I found it printed on a local food magazine. And now the Swedish net is full of different versions of this super-seeded cracker. But I did keep a special ingredient from the “original”, which I haven’t seen in any of the posted recipes so far: black sesame seeds.

GLUTEN-FREE KNÄCKEBRÖD WITH BLACK SESAME

you need: 30 g (1/5 cup or 1/2 dl) black sesame seeds, 30 g (1/5 cup or 1/2 dl) sesame seeds, 60 g (1/3 cup or 1 dl) sunflower seeds, 120 g (3/4 cup or 2 dl) corn flour, 50 g (1/5 cup or 1/2 dl) good vegetable oil, 250 g (1 cup or 2 and 1/2 dl) boiling water, 1/3 teaspoon salt.

how to:  mix all the ingredients in a bowl and pour the boiling water on them. Mix well and pour on a baking tray covered with baking paper. Spread evenly and flat. Bake for 45 minutes at 150 degrees (Celsius) then break in pieces and bake for another 1/2 hour at 200 degrees (Celsius).

CONSIDERATIONS: I am glad I had the excuse to finally bake two of my favorite Swedish breads. Needless to say that these crackers taste amazingly good and that they are also good healthwise. And they could last for weeks. The only problem is… it is very hard to make them last for even just a few hours. Oh yeah, they go away like chips!

CONSIDERAZIONI: Questi “crackers” svedesi sono incredibilmente buoni e anche super-salutari. E potrebbero durare per settimane… peccato che in realta’ vadano via in poche ore … sono buoni come le patatine! (ma fanno mooooolto meno male, anzi fanno proprio bene!). Ricette in italiano coming soon.

This bread will participate to the weekly collection of yeastspotting. Thank you Susan!

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  1. Wow, I love your photos! And crackers look very delicious!

  2. I thought the first ones I would like better, until I saw the second ones. OH MY WORD!!!! You really need to open that cafe!! Glad to see you got into the bakers challenge, it looks like alot of fun! Love your rolling pin :) ) XO!

    • well, in my dreams more a bakery than a cafe’, but I would not mind serving coffee too… would go well with all the sweet breads I would make :) xox

  3. Wowza, these crackers are stunning! Great job! I love the photo of your little one rolling the crackers out! Mine helped me too, but she is still in the “scoop it and fling it” stage, but she loved it! I also adore that rolling pin, very cute! :)

    • tack grazie thank you :) my girl was “helping” at all stages, I know what you mean. it is so heart-warming to see them playing with dough, isn’t it?

  4. These crackers both look beyond marvelous. It is interesting you should mention the Vikings needing to pack bread for long overseas journeys. Years ago when we took a three-week long boat trip through the rivers, canals and lakes of Ontario (and what a memorable and gorgeous trip it was!), I made huge stacks of flatbreads ahead of time and they kept wonderfully crunchy and fresh for the whole entire vacation. It was bliss because otherwise the bread to be had along the way was of the very squishy white platic-bagged kind.
    I will definitely try both your versions (maybe replacing some of the white flour in the first one by some whole-grain flour?). I love your pictures too. Your little girl is growing fast. She looks as adorable as ever though…

    • MC, praises coming from you make me always feel like the little apprentice that I am. thank you. yepp, the Vikings knew all along how to avoid squishy white bread. hope you really try these crackers I believe you won’t be disappointed. whole wheat fits perfectly to them and it is included in most recipes. and yes, she really is growing up fast now…

  5. First off, Welcome to The Daring Kitchen ;) I know you’ll enjoy and have fun with the Daring Bakers as much as i enjoyed the Daring Cooks. I have been on hiatus for now but i will be back soon.
    Second….those are gorgeous crackers. Gorgeous pictures as well. I love that Adina look so comfortable those rolling pins. She’s a baker indeed.

    Third…that rolling pin… i like ;)

    • you are a great hostess Pia! thanks for the welcome. hope you come back from your hiatus soon, it really sounds like lots of fun. she is very used to use the rolling pin indeed… only we kind of disagree on how to shape bread generally :) bought the rolling pin several months ago… and now I do not feel guilty for the buy any longer ;)

  6. wow, great looking crackers, and i really enjoyed your little backstory too : ) welcome to the db!

  7. Awesome crackers

  8. Your crackers sound so good with all the seeds. Stunning photos!

  9. bentornata! alla grande direi! che meraviglia questi crakers!! ho salvato la ricetta..ormai è pubblica :D vanno fatti!! comincio con quelli senza glutine così me li pappo io tranquillamente! anzi mi sa ke devo riempire prima le pance del resto della ciurma così non toccheranno i miei :) userò il cumino nero, il sesamo nero nn saprei proprio dove cercarlo! ciao cara!

    • invece del cumino nero, che e’ un po’ troppo forte come sapore, ti consiglio semplicemente di omettere il sesamo nero. la ricetta funziona lo stesso. al limite puoi aggiungere un po’ di semi di papavero. fammi sapere come ti vengono e grazie mille per la visita.

  10. Questi “crackers” te li copio all’istante senza apettare la ricetta in italiano che faccio un po di pratica con l’inglese culinario!
    farncesca

    • mi sa che fai bene a non aspettare perche’ mi sento sempre un po’ pigra dopo le vacanze… fammi sapere come funziona l’esperimento! xox

  11. “Knäckerbröd” is so much more fun to say than “cracker” :) I especially like the sound of the first recipe. Great post, awesome pictures, and what a beautiful blog you have!

  12. Great work on your crackers. They looks SOOOO crisp and cracker-y!

  13. These crackers with sesame seeds look so crunchy and fantastic! Love your rolling pin, I need to get one too!

  14. I just found your blog.. and am so happy to be following you now!! Such beautiful photography and food styling… and two lovely cracker recipes as well!! xx Smidge

    • nice to meet you too, really love blogging as it gives you the chance to discover so many interesting people and blogs. don’t know if food styling is really one of my strenght but thanks a lot for thinking that I am not that bad at it :)

  15. I love knäckebröd… I miss it. I guess I should start making my own… Yours looks amazing! And I love the rolling pin!

    • this rolling pin is getting popular… I promise I do not get anything for the increased sales ;) btw, I am going to make your beef and broccoli tomorrow. xox

  16. Thanks for the swedish crackers recipe.
    I’ll create one for sure, my kids are gonna like it :)
    i’d like to invite you to submit your food photos on a Food Photography site so the readers can enjoy your creations.
    It’s a food photography site full of all DIY food pictures from members around the world. submit by yourself and let me know when you did, so I can share it.

  17. Welcome back Barbara, these crackers are fantastic! I love them, I remember when I lived Copenaghen this type of crackers were always present in my cupboard. They are especially delicious with butter ( Lupark of course…) Bravissima your recipe looks tasty and sounds healthy!!!

    • thanks Rita, I have been really missing all you guys. I guess crunchy (and healthy) flat breads are a staple in all Scandinavian countries. A good food habit that I am willingly learning. SO bad I can’t get hold of Lurpak here in Sweden (isn’t that weird?). ciao!

  18. Sono veramente bellissimi!!!
    Very, very nice!

  19. Welcome back from holiday, then! I love both of them, but the gluten free ones just look spectacular… guess they’ve just earned their place in my never ending list of to-try recipes!

  20. sister, you did it AGAIN. nice!

  21. Thank you so much for posting, I have been looking for the seed knackebrod recipe since I was over in Sweden in the summer. It was exactly the same except they sprinkled it with salt flakes before it was baked. Will definitely try the first one too, looks delish!

    • Hi Fiona, thank you for letting me know that the recipe was helpful. It is true, it is common to eat these crackers sprinkled with marine salt flakes. If you do that, please make sure to reduce to a minimum the added salt in the dough. and let me know how they come out if you try!

  22. Great recipe…but what temp do you bake them at?

    • hi Marion, if you read carefully I wrote to bake at maximum heat. in Fahrenheit something about 480-500 degrees, 250-270 degrees Celsius. happy baking!

  23. Cindy Cooper says:

    Barbara I made the second recipe tonight. Maybe I did the conversion to Farenheit wrong but after 10 mins at the hotter temp most of the crisps were burned. Your recipe specifically says Celcius so I used 300 for the 45 min and 400 for the 30 min. What wasn’t burned tasted very good. Can you suggest what I should do differently – lower temp or less time or something else?

    • 300 Fahrenheit and then 392… dear Cindy, every oven is different, and you may have made a thinner layer of bread than me, which would need a shorter time to cook. best thing to do is always to look at the bread. when you see that it is becoming golden, take it out! I like it a little golden brown, but surely not burned. let me know how the second batch comes out!

  24. I’ve just done the second recipe for the second time. Those crackers are great! I love them for dinner with some cheese (any), or for lunch as they go perfectly with salads, or for any time of day:)

  25. mentero says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I will try the second recipe today.

    It looks like that there is a small typo on the last line where you write:
    “250 g (1 cup or 2 and 1/2 dl) boiling water, 1/2 teaspoon water.”
    I suppose the last 1/2 tspn is salt. (will you allow a hint of pepper there?)

    Thanks for sharing.

    • of course you can always add seasoning to food to your liking! thanks for noticing the typo. it was salt and I reduced the amount cause when I made this bread again used lees salt and the crackers were still delicious. let me know how you like them.

  26. Hi Barbara,

    I enlisted the help of my daughter Elena and did both recipes with only minor changes due to lack of certain ingredients.
    The results have been very good, and taste delicious even if they do not look as good as yours.

    Thanks again for sharing, and be warned: I plan to continue trying.

    All the best,

    • thank you so much for letting me know! the trick in both cases is to roll out the dough as thin as possible. the crunchiness increases that way.

  27. In English, Cumin is what Swedes call spiscumin, and is rather hot. What your recipe calls for are caraway seeds, which are traditionally used in rye bread recipes :)

  28. Both versions look amazing! Knäckebröd is such a fantastic Scandinavian treat. I posted a seed crispbread recipe on my blog a few weeks ago and was about to make an other batch this weekend. But now, after I saw your recipe, I feel like I have to try your versions!

  29. studiopdwood says:

    In the first recipe do you use cumin or caraway seeds? If both what measure of cumin seeds do you use?

Trackbacks

  1. [...] I saw the picture of seeded knäckebröd on the Bread & Companatico site, I was [...]

  2. [...] like my last loaf, are from a recipe on Bread and Companatico. Barbara says the breads were first made for Viking explorers, who needed bread to last on the [...]

  3. [...] muito a atenção. Adoro sementes e pão, mais ainda, a receita é Gluten Free, de acordo com o blog onde foi postada. Não sou especialista no assunto então reproduzo o que está por [...]

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