Food Friday: Knäckebröd or Swedish crisp bread

November 2, 2012

in Life as an expat,Living in Sweden,Stockholm,Sweden,Swedish food


Knäckebröd with Västerbotten cheese, herring and potatoes: traditional Swedish fare.

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.

Check out more Food Friday options here.


Another typical way to serve up knäckebröd is with salmon. This photo and the one below are from Leksands.

Leksands Knäckebröd

Leksands Knäckebröd.



knäckebrödhårt brödhårdbrödspisbröd


1 christian November 3, 2012 at 01:53

Yum – knäckebröd was always a staple in our house growing up. Great with Christmas ham and hot English mustard, or with hard-boiled eggs sliced and topped with cod roe cream 🙂

I notice you using the ‘Sunday side’ of the bread in your photos too! When my stepfather was growing up, because of butter rations they were only allowed to use the side of the bread with the deeper holes on Sundays – a special treat for him as a child.

2 Sandra November 3, 2012 at 11:48

Ha, that’s great Christian. I had never heard of the “Sunday side” before. Thanks for sharing that. Did you grow up in Scandinavia or Australia?

3 christian November 9, 2012 at 09:49

I grew up in Australia, but my Mum and Dad were both Swedish and my stepfather Danish.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: