I have a husband who is good at a lot of things. Photography, public speaking, and spotting the exact make and model of any TV character’s watch in a split second (as long as it’s a nice one) are just a few of them.
But one thing he’s not good at is hiding his opinion of what I make in the kitchen.
-My blueberry muffins? Approved.
-Anything doused in cumin or cooked in bacon grease? Two big thumbs up.
-My famous 10 lbs. bun? Reason enough to buy me flowers for the rest of our days.
-The majority of my other baked goods? He could take them or leave them. They're usually left.
You see, part of the problem lies in the fact that he’s a foreigner. The fact that I’m the one that’s foreign in this country is not important. He just doesn’t have the palate necessary to appreciate the many delicacies that America has to offer. You know, anything with peanut butter, maple syrup, or Blue #5.
Which creates a slight dilemma when a girl is trying to run a baking blog. When the only other man in the house is on a heavy cream-only diet, it’d be nice to have someone else to taste my goods and give me a little feedback. In his opinion, I should be running a dinner-focused blog. A blog about roast chicken and pork tacos. Not about cookies and pies and things with pink frosting. A blog fit for a man. A blog full of savory.
And you know what? Once he mentioned the idea, it didn’t seem half bad. As a result, you’ll be seeing a little more salt and a little less sugar in this space. Of course, as appealing as a dinner blog sounds, I don’t like the idea of hanging around the dinner table with a tripod, steam fogging up the lens, and my belly giving a little roar and rumble. I just don’t have the patience nor the desire. But God bless those who do.
I like this savory idea and I’m going to run with it.
What’s on the savory menu for today?
You’ve probably tried the Swedish Wasa Crispbread before. They’re a mainstay at our house and I dare you to go to any other home in Sweden or Norway and not find Wasa or another brand of knekkebrød in the bread drawer. Made from wholegrain, they’re filling, super healthy, keep forever, and are the perfect backdrop to any/all breakfast/lunch/snack-time topping. And you know what else, kids love them! Love.
And just this week, I tried my hand at making them from scratch. Did I mention that they’re easy to make too? You'll find the recipe below. As an added bonus, I'll be posting serving suggestions (that is, tasty things to put on top of your knekkebrød) each say for the rest of the week!
Homemade Knekkebrød (Scandinavian flatbread/crispbread)
*Recipe ripped out of a woman’s interest magazine at the doctor’s office
Makes about 2 dozen 2” x 3” (5cm x 7 cm) flatbreads
1 1/2 cups (3 1/2 dl) rye flour (try to use a wholemeal variety if you can)
1 1/2 cups (3 1/2 dl) oats (preferably instant)
1/2 cup (1 dl) oat bran
1/2 cup (1 dl) sesame seeds
3/4 cup (2 dl) pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup (2 dl) sunflower seeds
scant 1/4 cup (1/2 dl) flax (lin) seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon sugar or honey
(7 dl) cold water
*optional: 2 Tablespoons coarse sea salt (such as Maldon) to sprinkle over the tops
1. Preheat your oven to 325F/160C, if you have a convection oven, use the fan.
2. In a large bowl with a wooden spoon, blend all of the dry ingredients. If you choose to use honey as your sweetener instead of sugar, dissolve the honey in warm water instead of using cold water.
3. Stir in the water, mix well, then use a spatula to spread the mixture thinly over two parchment-lined baking sheets, making roughly 12” x 18” (30 cm x 45 cm) rectangles. Sprinkle the tops with a little sea salt, if you like- it’s very good!
4. Place one baking sheet on the bottom rack, and the other on the top rack. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove both sheets from the oven and use a pizza cutter to slice your knekkebrød into your desired shapes and sizes (I recommend 2” x 3” which will yield a dozen on each sheet, but you can make them larger or smaller, if you like). They look nice with slightly rough “rustic” edges, but if you want them to be uniform in shape, go ahead and trim off the edges.
5. Continue baking on the top and bottom rack for an additional 30 minutes, then rotate the sheets, placing the one on the bottom onto to the top and vice-versa to encourage even baking. Bake for an additional 20 – 30 minutes. They should be brown, but not too dark. Knekkebrød should be fully crisp. If they appear to be still slightly soft, continue baking, checking every 5 minutes.