August 28, 2011

Näkkileipä - Knäckebröd



Näkkileipä, the Nordic crisp bread, has always been one of my favourites. We used to always have it at school with school meals, at home with soups or even bits of it broken into semolina porridge. Most of the time you'd have this bread with butter and cheese, or with herring or gravlax. It is a pantry staple, without a doubt, and every household across the Nordic countries would most likely have some at all times.



So far I've been buying all my näkkileipä (knäckebröd in Swedish) here in Sydney. It's quite readily available and it's all authentic, mostly imported from Finland or Sweden. Even in Finland people would buy this crisp bread instead of making it themselves, but as this recipe shows it is incredibly easy and fairly quick to make at home too.

The original crisp bread would be made out of rye and wheat flour, but nowadays there are several flavours available - even quinoa! You could easily add sesame seeds to this recipe and use different flour instead of rye and spelt. I've served my näkkileipä with some cottage cheese that I seasoned with dried herbs and lemon. My partner (who is half-Japanese, half-German Australian), loves this bread too and "näkkileipä" was one of the first Finnish words I taught him.


Näkkileipä - Knäckebröd
(makes 6)

250ml warm water
5g dry active yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
150g rye flour
150g whole spelt flour + extra for rolling

1. Mix both of the flours in a bowl and set aside.

2. Pour the water in a separate bowl, mix a tablespoon of the flour with the yeast and stir it into the warm water. Stir in the salt and cumin seeds and add the rest of the flour in slowly, mixing as you go and kneading with your hands to make a smooth dough.

3. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave the dough to rise for half an hour. 

4. Preheat the oven to 200C and line a baking tray with baking paper. 

5. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and roll into a log. Cut the log into 6 equal pieces. Using a rolling pin, roll the pieces into thin disks. Note here that you should bake these breads one by one and therefore only roll the pieces as you go and keep the dough pieces covered so they don't dry out. Prick each disk with a fork before placing on the baking tray and baking in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.



35 comments:

  1. That looks like a great base for a snack! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love baking my own knäckebröd! And just as you mentioned, it is definately a pantry staple in all Nordic homes. My favorite brand is Pyramid Dinkelknäcke. Try it if you get the chance!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Beautiful - I love the texture and rustic shape you've gotten from making it at home. I'm starving at the thought of this with gravlax right now.
    While in Stockholm last year I had it with herring, which was absolutely delicious as well. Yum!

    (Apologies for the above deletion - oops)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Marvelous knäckebröd! Very healthy and flavorful. I love those Scandinavian flatbreads.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    ReplyDelete
  6. oh i love crisp bread of any kind so this would be great too!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've never heard of these before, but the name sounds so interesting ;) It looks delicious too- I love crispbread! Especially making it!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Vau,itsetehtyä näkkäriä! Täällä saa tosi hyvin FinnCrispiä,joten ei ole tullut mieleen tehdä itse näkkäriä,mutta tuo sinun näkkärisi on varmaan tosi hyvää:)

    ReplyDelete
  9. It´s true bliss to make your own knäckebröd! Feels like history in a delish hard bread<3 These looks grrrreat!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sounds good! I will have to try this, I just love checking out regional recipes!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Looks like a great bread to pair with all sorts of dishes!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Waw, making your own knäckebröd, great idea! I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love that this was on of your partner's first Finnish words - I can't blame him, it's great stuff! I love that I could now make my own. Thanks :)
    Heidi xo

    ReplyDelete
  14. These are my husband's favourite too. I didn't realise they were so relatively easy to make.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is something new to me. I would love to taste some of that scandinavian breads. Seems like inspired by the middle east.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have been waiting to find a good recipe for Knakerbrod for a long time, it's nice to see your Finnish butter knife in the shot too, before my Finnish grandma (mummi) got sick she left me her favourite Finnish butter knife, which looks very similar to yours. I love reading your blog. :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. I've made this bread before - it's a favourite of mine. My Dutch partner's penchant for dark bread has renewed my love of all things rye! Looks great!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I wouldn't know how to pronounce these but they sure look divine! I am a sucker for anything with tiny holes in them, reminds me of lavosh!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Love crisp bread :) its very popular all round really. I love how every country had their take on it. Yours looks so fab!

    ReplyDelete
  20. This bread looks so wonderful! I can imagine using it at breakfast, lunch, or dinner! So crisp and flavorful!

    ReplyDelete
  21. What a neat recipe! It's looks so lite and crispy. I am sure it'll taste great as a pizza base too :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. These crispbread look fantastic!! I've never heard of them but they look so delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I am so excited about making this! Thank you for the recipe :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

    ReplyDelete
  24. Have never tried [oops!] - definitely shall [how easy!] - definitely with herring and gravlax [would have to make the latter!] - and thank you for making my day a lot 'smilier' with memories!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I wonder if these could take a brushing with sweet glaze for shine. Here in the US, we have a similar thin bread called Hard Tac... You feature some amazing thin breads, Maria.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Beautiful and inviting. I love the flavors in this thin bread. My husband is all for thin breads. Thin crust pizza, flatbread, you name it- he rather thin over thick! This look great

    ReplyDelete
  27. I would love to start my day with this bread and a nice pat of butter or labneh!

    ReplyDelete
  28. It looks crispy. Never had this before, so I'll find time to try making this!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Love this quiet Nordic zen of rye crisp bread. I'm wondering if you have any non-yeast recipes that you could share?

    ReplyDelete
  30. This looks delicious! Love the herb-and-lemon cottage cheese idea.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Wow I love using rye flour especially when ground fresh. These look very tasty and satisfying.

    ReplyDelete
  32. looks wonderful! I'll have try making your version.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Handmade taste so much better than store bought! Especially when adding extra things in.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I made this the other night with my friend - however, my dough was so sticky I had trouble rolling it out. Instead, we patted it into thinish disks and baked them. They tasted great - but not cracker like. What did we do wrong?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You probably needed to use more flour. It's hard to estimate how much you'll need as flour is always different (coarseness varies a lot). Sorry to hear they didn't turn out the way you imagined!

      Delete