When I think about the Swedish food that is most a part of everyday life, it has to be knäckebröd. This flat, dry cracker-like bread is a staple in the Scandinavian household. It’s traditionally made with rye flour, salt and water and baked at a high temperature for just a few minutes. Now it can also be made with wheat flour, yeast, sourdough and sesame seeds. This mix is rolled into thin, flat cakes with a blunt spiked rolling-pin that leaves the characteristic marked pattern. The rolled out crisps are then baked at a very high temperature for a few minutes. Because the bread is made with very little water, it stays fresh for a long time – and by that I mean months.
Knäckebröd has apparently been baked in Sweden since 500 AD in round wafer shapes, often with a hole in the middle so the bread could be stored on sticks by the stove or up in the rafters. You’ll find it in your bread basket any time bread is served at a restaurant. As for me, I like to have my knäcke the traditional way with cheese, gravad lax (cured salmon) or shrimp spread. But I also like to have it with hummus, peanut butter or Vegemite. I am guessing that the last three options are going to be considered as knäckebröd heresy by many.
And finally, how the heck do you say this funky looking word? It’s kinda like k neck eh brud.
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knäckebröd, hårt bröd, hårdbröd, spisbröd