Helena Syk, from Sweden, shows how to make knackebrod, Swedish crisp bread.
Helena Syk and her husband came to Dunedin for a year with their two teenage children because they wanted to live abroad and Dunedin was about as far from Stockholm as they could go. Eric Syk had a job at the hospital and Helena works through the internet with her interior design firm back in Stockholm.
Knackebrod, or Swedish crispbread, is traditionally made in large quantities in round shapes with a hole in the centre. It is dried and would have been hung on a pole in the roofs of farmhouses to keep dry and crisp. It lasts for a long time if it is kept dry. Her mother had a large wooden box for storing crispbread but Helena keeps them in a tin. They are not nice if they go soft, she says.
Knackebrod, (Swedish crispbread)Ingredients
50g fresh yeast (about 12-15g dried yeast)
500ml trim milk warmed to lukewarm (about 37degC)
385g rye meal flour
420g plain flour
2 tsp salt
4 tsp caraway seeds
Crumble the fresh yeast into a large bowl. Warm the milk so it feels just warm to your finger and pour it over the yeast. Mix to dissolve the yeast.
In another bowl, combine the rye flour, the plain flour, salt and caraway seeds.
While stirring the milk and yeast, pour in the flour and mix to a rough dough.
Sprinkle some extra rye flour on a clean bench, tip out the dough and knead briefly, shaping it into a long roll. Cut this into four pieces and each piece into five so you have 20 pieces altogether. Roll each piece into a ball and place on baking paper on a tray. Cover with a clean tea towel andleave to rise for 20 minutes or so.
Preheat oven to 200degC.
Roll each ball into a thin circle. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and prick well with a fork to stop them puffing up. Bake for 12-15 minutes until hard and beginning to brown at the edges.
Place on a rack to cool.
If they go soft when they are cool, put them back in the oven when you have turned it off, and leave them to dry out.
Crispbread is served with toppings such as smoked salmon and dill, herring, cheese, gherkin, a slice of hard-boiled egg and other savoury morsels
• You can use fennel or anise seeds instead of carawayIn Sweden, they use big wooden forks instead of wooden spoons for mixing.
• A special rolling pin with a pattern on it is used to roll out the crispbread, but if you don't have one, prick each with a fork to prevent it puffing up.
• These days crispbread is often bought instead of made at home.