There are several things that I loved about Denmark; the people, the casual lifestyle, the beautiful architecture and of course the food. Copenhagen itself was a city I had heard so much about and it undoubtedly did not disappoint. For one week, a couple years ago, my family and I immersed ourselves in all that the city had to offer from a magical old-school amusement park nestled in the city center to the high-end fusion street food offerings on the cities outer edge, and it was memorable from start to finish.
Breakfast, one of our favorite meals, offered an unbelievably diverse offerings of traditional Danish foods as well as popular Western specialties with a modern twist. Served banquet-style, as a person who typically skips breakfast, I simply could not resist. A favorite simple, yet prominent Danish offering, was homemade Swedish crackers, known in Denmark as “knackerbrot”.
Seedy, salty and addictive, at least to me. Sound crazy I know, but trust me, these crackers, made fresh daily, were killer and took center stage over the basket of baked goods. Crispy, hardy, flavorful crackers (also called crispbread) were my kryptonite. Topped with a simple local cow’s milk cheese, pickled herring or thinly sliced house cured salmon drew me in day after day.
My crispy bread recipe is very similar to a traditional crispybread, which have been considered a staple of Nordic cuisine for centuries. With ties back to the Vikings, such foods were easily storable food was commonly seen on ships as it could last for months without rotting. Traditionally made with just whole meal rye flour, salt and water, modern-day cracker versions now incorporate a vast array of other flour mixtures, as well as grains and a wide range of seeds and spices.
Although I had many varieties of what qualified as Swedish crackers during my visit, I based this recipe on the one I loved most. With a savory wholesome taste and crunchy texture. Flavorful enough to be eaten plain or piled high with avocado, gravlax, sliced meats or cheese, this versatile cracker is worthy of your time in the kitchen if you’re looking for a hearty, healthy home-cracker.
Norwegian Multi-Seed Crispy Bread
- 1 cup dark rye flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cups flaxseeds
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/3 cup sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup cumin seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoon flaky salt
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin olive oil
- 2/3 cup hot water
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Set aside two sheet pans.
- Step 2 In a large mixing bowl add the rye flour, all-purpose flour, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cumin seeds and salt. Mix well to combine. Add the olive oil and water and use your hand to incorporate and form the dough into a large ball.
- Step 3 Place a piece of parchment paper on a work surface. Dive the dough in two and place one piece on the parchment paper. Place a second sheet of parchment paper on top of the dough and use a rolling pin to roll out into a large Thun rectangle.
- Step 4 Remove the top piece of parchment paper and transfer the rolled dough onto the baking sheet. Repeat the above process with the remaining dough. Place the two sheet pans in the oven and bake for1 5minutes. Rotate the pans and bake for an additional 15 minutes until you begin to see some coloration.
- Step 5 Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Using your hands, break into pieces and serve. Crispy bread can be stored in an airtight container for one week.