Swedish Hardtack - Knäckebröd

Total Time
Prep 15 mins
Cook 15 mins

A very crisp and tender cracker. From the Scandinavian chapter of The United States Regional Cookbook, Culinary Institute of Chicago, 1947.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 pint buttermilk
  • 12 cup sugar
  • 12 cup butter (not spread or tub product) or 12 cup other shortening, melted (not spread or tub product)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 78 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 12 cups rye flour, coarsely ground (you may need to adjust the quantity, depending on the texture of the dough)


  1. Preheat oven to 425F and lightly grease a cookie sheet.
  2. Place the dry ingredients into a bowl; add all the melted butter and the buttermilk a cup at a time (you're looking for a thick dough).
  3. Shape into 24 balls; dip into flour.
  4. Roll out very thin and prick the dough evenly all over with a fork.
  5. Bake until brown, about 15 minutes.


Most Helpful

WARNING The amount of milk and liquid butter to flour ratio makes a batter, not dough. Reduce the milk to only 1 cup and optionally add an egg. <br/><br/>If you do this it is amazingly good especially with Cheese or Preserves.<br/><br/>Once again it is way too much liquid to make dough. I tried it with 2 cups of buttermilk and then tried to add more flour to it to smooth it out. Now I have a big bowl of wasted slop in my fridge that I am trying to figure out what to do with. I then started from scratch with 1 cup milk and 1 egg. The dough turned out perfect. When baked it puffed up correctly and tastes amazing. I almost suspect someone got the amount of liquid wrong in this recipe I only wish I caught the mistake sooner!

Dana B. December 03, 2013

I'm not sure if rye flour leads to a different dough, or if it was the other ingredients, but I found the dough in this recipe to be very sticky and difficult to work with. Even adding more flour to the smaller pieces didn't totally fix the issue, but it did help. Setting that aside, getting the cracker the right thickness is very important. Too thick and it won't cook all the way through, too thin and you will end up with burnt edges. I found the best way of getting a good batch was to take a lump of dough about the size of a golf ball, coat it with flour, then roll it directly on the cookie sheet. I spent about 1.5 hours just baking the crackers, trying out a variety of sizes and thicknesses. The finished product, when done right, is crisp and very tasty. I am newer to baking bread, and I would definitely recommend some practice before trying this recipe out. I will probably come back to this recipe after I have more experience in rye flour especially, to see if I can tweak the ingredients to get a dough that is easier to work with. Overall definitely tasty, and worth trying out at least once.

exodio1 December 06, 2008

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a