Ryvita, eat your heart out. I bake my own knäckebröd now thank you very much.
Scandi bread, crisp and cracking
Crispbread is of Scandinavian origin, usually labelled in the native tongue with words full of ös or äs. I’m sure it gained popularity in the ancient, Viking times when the sailors had to take provisions on their long boat journeys and plain bread would spoil in no time at all.
So clever. All the other sailors of the world probably caught fish and ate it instead of laboriously rolling out rye dough and baking it twice.
Eat crispbread, stay healthy
Crispbread is apposite in healthy living, calorie regime and weight loss, right?
Wrong, at least in my case. I am a complete junkie for Ryvita with butter. I start off planning to have a couple (that’s TWO, yes?) of slices for lunch with just a lick of butter and end up returning to the packaging until it’s almost empty – or the butter runs out.
Incidentally, Scandinavians are seemingly stingy with their bread but lavish with butter. Tandsmør meant 'tooth-butter' in Danish, which means the bread is spread with butter thickly enough to leave tooth marks when bitten. I completely approve.
So coming back to crispbread, me making my own crispbread really equals to Pinkman cooking meth. But hey, I had to try, didn’t I? After all it could have been a total failure and result in me drying out.
Crispbread ain't toast
Contrary to what you might think, crispbread is not ordinary bread pressed, dried or double baked. The last it actually is but you make it from scratch. No good trying to put sliced white into a panini press or/and bake it into oblivion hoping to achieve a packet of approximate Ryvita that way.
Can you make crispbread at home?
I used to think it was not feasible to make at home, like crackers, or matzo. Obviously I was wrong – if the Vikings could, I can too.
The dough is very simple: rye flour and water with a tiny bit of yeast to facilitate fermentation and enrich flavour (by all means try sourdough); plus seeds, herbs and what-nots.
The trick is to roll the dough out really thin but not so see-through that it would crumble coming out of the oven.
What is homemade crispbread like?
It turns out really very good. The overnight fermentation enhances the flavour: you needn’t do it and give the dough just an hour’s worth of proving, but I’d recommend the overnight proof.
Add whatever you fancy to the dough: seeds, sesame, herbs, more salt, more honey or little bits of crispy bacon. And it keeps well in an airtight container, only softening ever so slightly after a few days.