Swe-Dishes: Swedishfood.com’s Rye Crispbread

Photos: SwedishFood.com

Food & Drink

Swe-Dishes: Swedishfood.com’s Rye Crispbread

Baking bread can be tricky. You have to activate the yeast and let the dough proof enough (but not too much). Swedish rye crispbread bread is foolproof, though. It’s the bread for the baking novice or the lazy baker, like us.

Traditionally, Swedes baked their own bread and wanted a bread that was easy to make and would keep well. Crispbread checked both boxes. The bread is rolled out thin, toppings are thrown on top and it is baked to crispy perfection.

According to John Duxbury of SwedishFood.com, originally, crispbreads were baked with a hole in the middle and stored over the oven to keep dry. But thanks to the invention of Tupperware, a sturdy airtight container will do the same trick.

Serve your rye crispbread with good quality butter, cheese and fruit or smoked salmon, cold meats, pâtés and dips.


  • Use any flour you want: If you want to go rustic, use stoneground. If you want to go healthy, use fine rye, spelt or barley flour.
  • Other toppings to try: include anise seeds, linseed, sunflower seeds or a flavored gourmet salt.
  • Use a cookie cutter to make small individual crispbreads, ideal for canapés.
  • If you have a pizza stone (baking stone), the knäckebröd will appreciate the quick burst of heat. Simply slide the knäckebröd on to a piece of baking parchment and transfer directly to the stone.
  • If the bread loses its crispness, briefly reheat it in the oven.
  • Tie the crispbreads with ribbon to make a nice present.
  • If you like knäckebröd, try tunt knäckebröd (thin rye crispbread). They pair well with cheese or an aperitif.


  • 200 grams whipping cream*
  • 300 grams water*
  • 2 cups dark whole meal rye flour
  • 2 ½ cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 packet fast acting dried yeast

*We recommend using digital scales to measure liquids


  • 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes or other gourmet salt
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds


  1. Heat the cream and water until warm to the touch.
  2. Mix the flours and salt in a large bowl. Add the yeast and stir.
  3. Add the cream and water mixture and mix together to form a dough.
  4. Using the rye flour for dusting, turn the dough out on to a lightly-floured surface, and knead it for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces and knead them into round balls.
  6. Place the dough balls on a baking sheet, cover with a cloth and leave somewhere warm for 20-30 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 475°F.
  8. Using the rye flour for dusting, knock back a dough ball and using a rolling pin, roll it out to about 6” diameter. Then transfer to a sheet of parchment paper and continue rolling it out until it is as thin as possible (at least 12” diameter). Don’t worry too much if the dough doesn’t end up circular. You can trim roughly if you want, but the shape is not critical.
  9. Sprinkle with the salt, sesame seeds and cumin seeds. Roll again to help the topping stick.
  10. Make a pattern on the surface using a fork or a kruskavel (a patterned rolling pin).
  11. Bake for 5 minutes, flip the bread, and bake for about another 3 minutes or until dry and hard. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  12. Repeat with the other dough balls.
  13. When the oven has cooled to about 120°F, pop the crispbreads back in to dry out. This will help to make them nice and crisp.
  14. Store the crispbreads in an airtight container.

John Duxbury enjoys cooking Swedish food and went to the trouble of learning Swedish so he could read Swedish cookbooks. The love affair with Swedish food started as a result of numerous visits to Sweden when he was working with Swedish students. When he retired from teaching he decided to set up http://www.swedishfood.com so other people with an interest in Swedish cooking could benefit from his work.

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