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Rye crispbread

Thu, 14 May, 2020

Ryvita, eat your heart out. I bake my own knäckebröd now thank you very much.

homemade rye crispbread

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.

rye crispbread

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.

easy twice beaked crispbread

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.

swedish style knackebrot

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.

Rye crispbread

Servings: makes 24 slicesTime: 2 hours plus overnight proving


  • 400g dark rye flour
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 10g fresh yeast
  • 350ml warm water
  • 1 tbsp. honey


1. In a large bowl stir the salt into the flour. Stir the yeast and honey into the water and pour into the flour. Stir it into dense, sticky dough. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight, up to 24 hours. Don't expect it to rise; at most it will puff up slightly.

how to make crispbread dough

2. Dust a work surface with rye flour. Divide the dough into four and work with one piece at a time. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6 with a baking sheet set on a middle rack.

3. Roll the dough out to a rough rectangle, as thinly as you can without the dough tearing; 1-2mm. Using a knife or a pastry cutter trim the edges, then cut into squares but leave them in place. Prick dimples in the dough with a chopstick.

rolling out dough for rye crackers

4. Transfer the bread into the oven using another baking sheet or a pizza peel, onto the preheated tray. Bake for 6 minutes until barely coloured. Slide the breads onto a sheet of parchment and proceed with the next batches.

twice baked rye crispbread

5. When all the dough is baked, cool the oven down to 100C/225F/gas ¼. Return the crispbreads onto the baking sheet, all at once; they can be piled up. Bake for 20 minutes, turn the oven off and leave the bread in until cold.

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Your comments

Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Mary - 400g is 14.11 oz, 350ml is 12 fl oz and 10g fresh yeast is about 1 tablespoon, equivalent to 1 tsp instant yeast. I hope that helps.
2 years ago
2 years ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Ben - it absolutely would.
3 years ago
would it work with sourdough starter instead of yeast?
3 years ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Ben - even though the crispbread looks flat, yeast is necessary to work up some air and texture. Otherwise the bread would be impossibly hard and brittle.
3 years ago
Hi, just wondering what is the yeast for? The crackers are not meant to rise anyway. Would it be different without the yeast?
3 years ago
Bee Winfield
awesome thanks , and Im a butter and cracker gal myself.
4 years ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Giani - that is a genius idea!
4 years ago
Giani Siri
I use my Pasta Queen to roll out cracker dough to a perfect even thickness.
4 years ago
Michiel's Kitchen
These look incredible!! Thanks so much for sharing.
5 years ago

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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