Rosendal’s Knäckebröt (Crisp Bread) – BBB November 2008

On 17 November 2008, Görel (Grain Doe) wrote the following:

BBB Nov 2008

Rosendal’s crisp bread – updated

So, at last, it was my turn to choose a challenge for the Bread Baking Babes! As you may know, the Swedes like their crisp bread a lot, so much that people bring it when they go on vacation abroad. I’m sure this is one item that always can be found at every IKEA store abroad.

This recipe comes from the (in Sweden) well-known café Rosendal. The bread is very easy to make, but a little word of warning is called for. Don’t try this at home! — No, just kidding, the only thing you need to be careful about is the amount of flour. After a couple of baking sessions where rye was involved, I think we in the BBB have established that “rye” can vary a lot from one place to another depending on grind, how much of the grain that is included and whether “rye” actually is 100% rye or if it’s mixed with wheat. Among other things.

Rye is also more sensitive to over-kneading, so if you’re not sure about the proportions, it’s better to hold back on the flour and add a little at a time, which can be done more gently than if you try to add more water to a dough that has become too stiff.


Makes 16 round breads

500 ml/2,1 cups milk
25 g/0,9 oz fresh yeast
3 tbsp honey
180 g/6,4 oz rye flour
80 g/2,8 oz whole spelt flour (or whole wheat flour)
50 ml/3,5 tbsp rye sourdough starter*
Optional: 1 tsp aniseed, pestled

* If you don’t have any rye sourdough, you can easily make one in 3-4 days.

2 tsp salt
300 g/10,6 oz rye flour
100 g/3,5 oz wheat flour


Heat milk until it’s lukewarm. Dissolve yeast and honey in milk. Add flours and sourdough. Cover with cloth and let rise for 40 minutes.

1. Add salt, the wheat flour and 2/3 of the rye flour to the pre-ferment mixture. Add more rye as needed until the dough is “firmish”, but not stiff. It should still be a little tacky. Mix well, but don’t knead. Let rise for 30 minutes.

2. Divide dough into 16 pieces, form the pieces into round, tight spheres and leave on table under cloth.

3. Heat oven to 200 C/390 F .

4. Roll out the dough balls to thin rounds. Prick the rounds with a fork and take out a hole in the centre with a small glass or a cookie cutter.

5. Bake** two rounds at a time for appr. 15 minutes until the bread is nicely brown and crisp. If necessary (watch out!), cover with foil during the last 5 minutes. Let cool on racks.

** I used my baking stone, but I think you can just as well bake on a cookie sheet. I placed the rounds on parchment paper on cookie sheets, and transferred only the parchment paper to the baking stone in the oven.

The orginal recipe suggests variations such as substituting flour, adding caraway, aniseed or fennel, rolling in sunflower seeds or sesame seeds, brushing with olive oil and sprinkling caraway and salt flakes. I have tried some of these, and I have also tried brushing with water before sprinkling with sesame seeds. All very good, although in this round, I chose to stay traditional and just add aniseed to the dough.

I found that when I had brushed with olive oil and water, the bread became less brittle. The oiled bread was also more heat sensitive and needed to be covered earlier during the baking.

And — if you want to go all Swedish — butter the bread, top with sharp cheese, e.g. “Västerbottenost”, and enjoy with a bowl of hot pea soup on a Thursday!

Rye sourdough starter

This is one of many ways to make a rye starter:

Day 1-3:
100 g/1 dl/0,43 cup water, luke warm
200 g/7 oz fine rye flour, preferrably organic (and 100 % rye)
100 g/3,5 oz shredded apple

Mix the above, cover and place the container at a warm spot (ideally 2630 C/7986 F). Leave it for three days, stirring it occasionally to promote the process.

Day 4:
Move the micture to a larger bowl. Add 200 g/7 oz rye flour and 200 g/2 dl/0,85 cup luke warm (35 C/95 F) water. Mix thoroughly and leave for another 24 hours.

Day 5:
Your sourdough should be ripe ny now, store it in the fridge until it’s time to use it.


BBB Nov 2008

originally posted at and

Please take a look at the other BBBabes’ crisp breads: