A third attempt, this time with longer baking and some more learned details.
Just a reminder – I read on the English Wikipedia that the old way of making
Knäckebröd – Knäckebrot in German and Swedish Crisp Bread in English was with crushed ice or snow. All modern versions I found would be with yeast. I don’t believe 500 CE (common era) offered fresh yeast cubes or dried yeast much and while leavening bread through fermentation was known to the Jews of the Old Testament already, my personal experience with sourdough was it simply molds, when it grows in too cold a room (read: “back in the day house if not in the heated kitchen”, where I guess it was too hot). Furthermore, apparently the old recipes also only had 3 ingredients: coarse ground rye, salt and water in snow or crushed ice form. Thus, I started trying.
Be aware – this is still a trial!
Recipe: Simple Knäckebröd – 3rd trial
This is amazingly quick!
Serves 6 (maybe?)
Preparation: 10 min
Baking: 50 min (20 at high temp, 30 at lower temp)
Inactivity: 30 min
- 200 g coarse wholemeal rye flour (dark rye flour)
- lots of extra flour to dust surfaces
(you can use cheaper wheat flour, but it is nicer and looks more ‘authentic’ in my feel if you use the dark rye flour)
- 300 g or more ice for crushing (or 150-200 g finely crushed ice)
- 50 g melted ice (water is OK – just wanted to be a smart arse)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Heat the oven to as hot as possible, around 250 °C or more. I’d think 300 °C should be the highest, just in case someone has an oven which does that. I found the crunchiness develops with the longer baking (water evaporation), no baking stone needed.
- Once the oven is hot, crush the ice finely in the food processor or ice-crusher. The more it resembles dust/slush, the better, but beware of it melting, you basically want powdered snow-like stuff. If it’s winter and you have snow – try that (clean snow for sure) and let me know!
- Put the flour and salt into the food processor and mix with the blade.
- Add the crushed ice and mix as good as possible, coating all the little ice cubes with the flour. It should look rather dry.
- If it is dry and cold, add the water and mix again. If it is already wet, add the same amount of ice instead.
- Place a large sheet of baking paper onto the workbench and sprinkle well with flour – best if you use more of the coarse rye flour. If you use LOTS of flour, you may be able to roll it on the workbench.
- Place the ‘dough’ on top and heavily flour a rolling-pin.
- Sprinkle the dough with flour and spread out with your fingers as much as possible.
- Flour and re-flour the rolling-pin as necessary, while rolling the dough out. That dough is a sticky ice-cold piece of – err – dough!
- When the dough is as thin as you think you can get it, maybe 3-5 mm, cut out a round shape like the size of a plate and cut a smaller round hole into that shape in the middle (you could use cookie cutters for the smaller one). Be careful with the baking paper, you don’t want to cut that! I haven’t done this yet, but will next time (it’s more ‘traditional’ 😉 )
- Place the dough baking paper (if not already on it) and move them together on your baking tray.
- Place your dough on the try in the middle of the oven to bake.
- Bake for 20 min at the high temperature or until the ice has melted away.
- After the ice has melted, set down to 150 °C to keep drying the bread for about another 30 min or until really crisp and dry.
- Take the crisp bread out of the oven and let cool completely.
- Brush off the extra flour.
Be aware, this is a trial recipe, if you try it out, let me know what you think and what could possibly be improved!
My last trial has been dry and crunchy for a week now. Seems to work 🙂 Enjoy!!!