Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rosendal's crisp bread - updated

Updated: All Buddies -- see below!

BBB logo november 2008

Hanging crisp bread

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.

Crisp bread, sideways


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.

Pre-ferment, just mixed
The pre-ferment is almost runny

Pre-ferment, after rising
-- but it rises very nicely!

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.
Rather thin

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.

In the oven

** 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!

Crisp bread w sharp cheese

Some of the Bread Baking Babes couldn't make it this month, but I am very curious of how the other Baking Babes tackled this one -- let's go see:

I like to cook (Sara), Living on Bread and Water (Monique), Notitie Van Lien (Lien), My Kitchen In Half-Cups (Tanna), Cookie Baker Lynn (Lynn), Bake my Day (Karen), A Fridge Full of Food (Glenna)

Updated: Of course we welcome every Buddy out there to participate and bake with us this month, sorry for leaving that out before. If you would like to bake the knäckebröd, please send the link to your blog post to my mail address, granivor (at) gmail (dot) com, no later than November 30 December 5, and I will compile and display all your fabulous entries shortly after that! If you like, use the following badge for your Buddy post:


Anonymous said...

Oh wow! I really love "Knäckebrot" as we call it in Austria.
as a child I had a time where I refused to eat any other type of bread than this and I guess I drove my poor mom crazy with it. She always complained about how messy this bread is when you eat it... all the crumbles...

I am tickled to try out this months BBB Bread. Umyou are still doing the Buddy thing don't you?

astrid said...

oh I am sorry the above comment was me! I don't know how it ended up anonymous.

Lien said...

Lovely to tyr this real Swedish treat, Thanks for the recipe Görel!!!

Baking Soda said...

Oooh that last pic is ready to bite in! Great step by step photos Görel. I loved the flavour of these crisps but I need to do this again to get the thickness right. Thanks for a challenging month!

görel said...

Hi Astrid, and thanks for reminding me! We would love to have you and others baking the knäckebröd with us, I just updated the post.

Lien and Karen, it was a pleasure!

Bella Baita View said...

Beautiful result. Wish I could taste one to make sure it's as good as it looks.

Gretchen Noelle said...

Lovely crisp breads, I am excited to try making them!

breadchick said...

Now I SEE!! I'm going to have to play a bit more with this one. Thanks for being our host kitchen this month and for a great recipe. Now I can quit giving my money to Wasa!!

görel said...

Bella Baita view - thanks! You should try baking some of your own, it's really simple! (I could send some, but I fear it will be just crumbles when it arrives ...)

Gretchen - I'm excited to see how you're doing!

Breadchick - what did you see? Did I leave something out before? Sorry for that! And Wasa isn't Swedish anymore, so I don't mind if you stop buying it ... ;-)

Sara said...

gorel, thank you for this months recipe, i enjoyed it!

Monique said...

Thanks for making me do this , Görel , I also am a hooked Wasa Girl. You made me change my mind.
Yours look so delicious !

natalia said...

Ciao Gorel ! I'm almost to it (I'm letting the preferment rise) and I wonder what shall I do with the baby I cared for in the past four days do you have any suggestion !!! THANK YOU !

görel said...

Ni Natalia! Of course you shouldn't say goodbye to your baby starter, now that it's alive and kicking. I usually toss out all except appr. 100 g/3,5 oz, to which I add about 50 g/1,7 oz flour (same flour as the starter is made of, i.e. rye in this case) and 50 ml/1,7 oz water. This serves both as a bedtime snack and breakfast for when you wake your baby up later on.

You can store the starter in the fridge for at least a couple of weeks, but the longer you store it, the more time you will have to allow for it to get activated again. If you want to store it longer, you should take it out every once in a while, let it assume room temp and feed it before you put it back in the fridge.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

My face is totally red. I was sure I'd left you a glowing comment because your crisp bread is totally wonderful as is your post.
So sorry, my only excuse is I'm scatter brained and travel multiplies it.

görel said...

But Tanna, no need to apologize! You're in good company -- do you see my dear sister-in-law among the commenters above?? ;-) I know that you usually are very quick on making nice comments, but you can't be everywhere all the time! :-)

Anonymous said...
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Blooming Tea said...

This is really interesting bread, but looks delicious, I've never tried one before and this is one worth trying to make, and hopefully will get the same result. Thanks a lot for sharing the recipe here.