I read a lot about food. I watch a lot of food-related videos. There’s an endless amount of food knowledge from every country in the world and we’re more exposed to other places more than ever now. On Instagram, I follow someone from Sweden and she occasionally puts up food. I work my Translator app on my phone overtime figuring out what is there. And sometimes the words have a common root to English so it’s not too big of a struggle.
The other Swedish-related thing I was watching the other day was when Jamie Oliver went to hang out in Stockholm. There I saw them making Knackbrod or a Swedish-style crispbread/flatbread/cracker kinda thing. It’s often served as a snack on its own with coffee, with lemon and sugar or whipped cream and fruit compote or as you’ll see below I took a bit of a stretch to the norm and made a brunch idea with eggs, cheese and berry jam.
When thinking about making this, I learned my Instagram friend was celebrating a birthday today so I asked if I could cook something Swedish she liked. She said spicy, so I said, “A knackebrod with chillis?” She laughed and said yes a Red Hot Chilli Knacke.
Red Hot Chilli Knacke (Spicy Swedish Crispbread)
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup water
14 g/2 packets dry yeast
2-1/2 cups Park wheat flour (or bread flour)
2-1/2 cups rye flour
1 tsp salt
3 tsp dried chilli flakes, for topping
1 tsp kosher salt, for topping
Optional toppings can be caraway seeds, cumin seeds or fennel seeds
Preheat oven to 250C/475F.
In a small pot, heat the cream and water to just warm, but not near boiling. I actually kept my finger in the liquid as I heated it up. As the temperature just exceeded body temperature, I took it off the heat. Add the yeast, stir together with a fork and allow to sit for 10 minutes until bubbly and frothy.
In a large bowl, combine the bread flour, rye flour and salt. Add the frothy cream-milk mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon or fork initially to start to gather the dough together.
Turn it out to the counter and start to knead to combine the dough the rest of the way. Knead for a further 5-8 minutes until smooth. The cream makes it a very smooth dough to work with almost from the start so kneading is easier than other bread dough.
Once it is smooth and slightly sticky, divide into 6 balls (although if you want your crispbreads smaller, divide into 12 dough balls. Cover with a clean towel and allow to rest for 20-30 minutes.
Press down a ball of dough and roll to a rough circle about 15-20cm/6-8″ in diameter. Transfer to a sheet of parchment paper and roll out thinner until it’s about 30cm/12″ or so. Poke the surface all over with a fork to ensure the dough doesn’t rise too much while baking. Sprinkle with dried chilli and salt. Roll again to press the toppings into the dough. Transfer the rolled bread dough to a large baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. Turn the bread and bake for another 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough balls. Once done, turn off the oven and when the oven is almost cooled off completely put the breads back in the oven on the rack and allow to dry completely. Makes 6 large crispbreads or 12 small ones.
As I said above, I had a bit of fun with brunch using my new tasty knachebrod. I cut up some beautiful garlic-infused pecorino cheese, added a dollop of Saskatoon berry jam (a local berry that grows in Western Canada) and fried a couple of sunny side eggs, then called it delicious!!