Swedish Crispbread (Knäckebröd)

Total Time
1hr 40mins
Prep 1 hr
Cook 40 mins

This is the traditional Swedish crispbread often served at Midsummer or Christmas together with herring and cheese (SOS - Sill, Ost, Smor). I prefer fennel as a spice, but you could try caraway or aniseed, or a mixture as well. Make sure the oven is as hot as possible. The hole in the middle is traditional, and necessary for the placing on the stick. If you don't have a Swedish roller, prick the breads everywhere with a fork before baking.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 12 teaspoons yeast (or 1 package dry yeast)
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 12 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fennel, crushed or 1 tablespoon anise seed
  • 3 12 cups coarse rye flour
  • 1 12-2 cups wheat flour


  1. Dissolve yeast in the water (if using dry yeast, follow instructions).
  2. Add salt and fennel/aniseed.
  3. Add rye and enough wheat flour to make a quite firm dough.
  4. Knead vigorously for at least five minutes.
  5. Divide into 16 parts and roll to balls.
  6. Let rise, covered, for 40 minutes.
  7. Heat the oven to maximum heat.
  8. Roll out one piece at a time to a thin circle, 8-10 inches in diameter.
  9. Use plenty of rye flour when rolling.
  10. Make a one-inch hole in the middle.
  11. Prick the surface all over with a fork (in Sweden we have special rolling pins for this purpose).
  12. Bake one at a time on a dry tray in the oven for about 2-4 minutes.
  13. They should get brown, but not too burnt.
  14. Slip them on a stick (e. g. a broom) through the hole in the middle to cool.
  15. Store in a dry place and eat with butter, cheese and/or pickled herring, maybe together with beer and aquavit.


Most Helpful

This is the first bread recipe I have ever made, and I think it turned out very well. It didn't puff up quite as much as I remember this same bread when we were in Sweden, but the taste was great. My oven would only get to about 450 degrees so I had to bake mine for 7 minutes to get done properly. Also, just a hint, make sure to roll really thin, and use alot of rye flour as directed. Thanks so much for this.

Mike McCartney December 24, 2005

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