Swedish crispbread is as hard as the long winter and as thin as the ozone layer – unless we listen to young Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. Georg Matthes bakes crispbread in the new episode of Baking Bread.
In the multimedia series “Baking Bread,” EU correspondent Georg Matthes bakes 28 loaves from 28 EU countries and spices his baking instructions with typical anecdotes about each land. This time, he bakes Swedish crispbread.
- 100g rye flour sourdough starter
- 200ml water
- 250g medium rye flour
- 175g plain flour
- 20g honey
- 8g salt
- a few drops of squid ink or black food coloring
- spices (e.g. nigella, sesame seeds, anise, caraway seeds) for sprinkling
- extra flour for dusting
You will also need:
- baking sheet x 2
- baking paper
- cookie cutters
- spiked rolling pin (or a fork)
- pastry wheel
- spray bottle
- rolling pin
- disposable gloves
And here is how you make the “Knäckebröd” – Sweden’s Crispbread:
1. Mix all ingredients together thoroughly, then knead well.
2. Leave the dough to rise overnight in a large, covered container until it has doubled in size.
3. Preheat the oven to 200°C, and place your baking sheet inside to get it hot.
4. Place the dough on a floured surface and divide it in two.
5. Work the black food coloring into one half of the dough. Use disposable gloves for this as it can get rather messy!
6. Divide each half in two again so you have four pieces altogether, and roll each one out thinly on a well-floured surface. If any of the dough sticks to the rolling pin, use a spatula to gently prise it off. Prick the surface of the dough all over with holes, using a fork or a spiked rolling pin.
7. Lay the flattened dough gently onto the baking paper.
8. Spray the entire surface of the dough with water and sprinkle with salt and spices. Then use the pastry wheel to cut the dough into 5x5cm squares. Alternatively, use cookie cutters.
9. Take your hot baking sheet out of the oven and gently place the baking paper and pastry on it, taking care not to burn your fingers.
10. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes, after which time the next baking sheet can go in the oven.
11. To make sure your crispbread really does stay crisp, leave it to cool and dry out completely before putting it away. It should last several days in a tin.