|Alternative names||Hard bread|
|Place of origin||Sweden|
|Main ingredients||Rye flour, salt, water|
Crispbread (Swedish: knäckebröd, hårt bröd, hårdbröd, spisbröd, knäcke, Danish: knækbrød, Norwegian: knekkebrød, Finnish: näkkileipä, Estonian: näkileib, Icelandic: hrökkbrauð, Faroese: knekkbreyð, German: Knäckebrot or Knäcke, Dutch: knäckebröd) is a flat and dry type of bread or cracker, containing mostly rye flour. Crispbreads are light and keep fresh for a very long time. Crispbread is a staple food and was for a long time considered a poor man's diet. However, in recent years there has been renewed interest in crispbread in the Nordic countries.
Crispbread has been baked in central Sweden since 500 AD. It was made as round wafers with a hole in the middle so the bread could be stored on sticks under the roof. Traditional crispbread was invented about 500 years ago. Finland and Sweden have long traditions in crispbread consumption and crispbread has been known in most households since the 1800s. Traditionally, crispbreads were baked just twice a year; following harvest and again in the spring when frozen river waters began to flow. Sweden's first industrial crispbread bakery, AU Bergmans enka, began its production in Stockholm in 1850.
In the case of unleavened crispbread, bubbles are introduced into the dough mechanically. Traditionally, this was done by mixing snow or powdered ice into the dough, which then evaporated during baking. Today, the dough, which must contain a large amount of water, is cooled and mixed until bubbly.
Another method is to knead the dough under pressure in an extruder. The sudden drop in pressure then causes water to evaporate, creating bubbles in the dough.
Crispbread is only baked for a few minutes, at temperatures usually between 200 and 250 °C.
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- Edwards, W. P. (2007). The science of bakery products. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry. p. 188. ISBN 978-0-85404-486-3.