Hunger. You are hungry. You want something with a satisfying crunch, but all there is in the bread bin is some stale old toast bread. What can you do? Well, making this knäckebröd is as simple as pie, and because of the low hydration in the final bread, it can be stored for months without spoiling. This is my sourdough knäckebröd recipe.
Knäckebröd is a very simple flatbread. Traditionally made with rye flour and often paired with some delicious seeds.
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The history of knäckebröd
Knäckebröd has been eaten in Sweden since the middle ages, but probably not in the form it’s known today.
Rye has been the predominant flour used in crispy bread, and rye was probably not around in the 5th century when barley was the norm. No matter what, the Swedish people have been chomping on crispbread for centuries.
The crispbread came out of Värmland but quickly spread to the rest of the country.
The basic recipe comprises unsifted rye flour, yeast or sourdough starter, water, and salt. After it’s rolled out, the dough is usually rolled with a unique spiked rolling pin, so the bread doesn’t rise. This can be emulated by pricking the rolled-out dough with a fork.
It’s baked really hot to drive off the moisture so the bread doesn’t go bad.
They were usually shaped like a wheel with a hole in the middle, so they could be stored on torkstänger (literally drying sticks).
Because of the low hydration in the final bread, it’s said that bread baked at birth could stay good until the child’s engagement.
Today most käckebröd is made commercially, and they have many, many varieties. Wheat flour is now more common than rye, although rye is still used.
The history of knäckebröd was adapted from this article.
The dough in this sourdough knäckebröd recipe
The dough in this classic sourdough knäckebröd recipe is made using sourdough discard, whole grain rye flour (dark rye in the States), and rolled oats.
It gets some of its hydration from the starter, but water is also added, but it’s not a defined amount. The consistency of the dough is more important.
The amount of seeds used is 200 grams, but you can easily substitute with a different kind of seeds. That also makes for a different bread each time you bake it.
|150g||starter (100% hydration)||150.0%|
As always, the formula for the bread can be played with, changed around, and whatever you do to formulas here in my Bread Calculator. The amount of water is a guesstimate on my side.
The conclusion of this sourdough knäckebröd recipe
This bread is something I love to have in my kitchen cupboard.
It’s great with a piece of smelly cheese and some blackcurrant jam. Another favorite of mine is liver patée with slices of fresh cucumber.
It has a delicious taste from the rye flour and the oats. The crunch is amazing, and added taste and chew from the seeds are wonderful.
It’s a pretty healthy piece of bread with lots of fiber and not many calories. The fat in it is from the seeds and the healthy monounsaturated kind.
If you are worried about the salt content, lower it to where you like it, but classic knäckebröd has a high salt content as it drives away the moisture, which is needed for the long shelf life.
So why is this the best recipe for sourdough knäckebröd?
- Super crunchy – high satisfaction
- Healthy compared to most other bread
- Easy to make
- A high amount of fiber
- Low calories
- Very low amount of gluten (if you have a gluten-free starter, it’s even lower)
Go for it. It’s a super delicious bread. Just listen to the crunch in the video.
Please share this recipe for sourdough knäckebröd on social media
This is my recipe for sourdough knäckebröd. If you like the recipe, please consider sharing it with like-minded bread lovers on social media.
If you make it and post it on Instagram, please tag me as @foodgeek.dk so I can see it. That would make me very happy.
- 150 g sourdough starter discard
- 50 g dark rye flour
- 50 g rolled oats
- 100 g sunflower seeds
- 50 g flax seeds
- 50 g pumpkin seeds
- 7 g salt
- water, as needed
Make the dough
- Mix the starter, rye flour, and salt until thoroughly combined, in a medium bowl
- Add the oat and seeds.
- Add some water and mix. It should resemble a thick paste. Add as much water as needed.
- Cover the bowl and let the dough ferment on the counter for 2-3 hours.
- If you are not making the dough, you can refrigerate the dough until needed, up to a week.
Roll the dough
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F using fan assist.
- Wedge the dough between two pieces of parchment paper and roll it out thinly using a rolling pin.
- It should fill the parchment paper from edge to edge.
- Peel off the top layer of parchment paper and cut the dough into square pieces of whatever size you like.
- Move the parchment paper to a baking sheet. when the oven is hot
- Put it in the oven and bake for around 20 minutes.
- Take out the sheet and separate the dough into individual pieces.
- Bake for 5-10 minutes more until the pieces are golden brown and crispy.
- Take out of the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
made this today, so good! thank you!!
Tried this today! A bit strange to my American pallet. Easy to make. It was MUCH better once it was cooled and I would call it a cracker and not bread. Thanks for the unique recipe. One note: In the future I would adjust the salt downward as sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds in the US almost always come salted.
I can imagine. My ex-wife is American and she thought we ate some weird stuff 🙂
Knækbrød means “bread that cracks”, so I guess it makes sense 🙂
Can I use light rye flour instead of dark rye flour? Is there a big difference?
You can. It won’t have as much of rye taste as if you use dark, but I’m sure it’ll still be delicious 🙂
Hi Sune! Thanks for the recipe, I made it – it was delicious!
How do you keep this bread? Mine has gone soft after 1 day so I’m not sure if I underbaked it or it is the English weather working its magic… 🙂
I put it in a airtight container with kitchen towel in between 🙂
You may wanna bake it a bit more too 🙂
So moreish…Crispy and tasty…added some sesame seeds which added to the flavours. I used ripe starter, as did not see it was discard! Worked fine tho
Just tried these and they are superb. Thank you for the recipe
You are welcome 😀