Some wafers of crisp bread
|Alternative name(s)||Hard bread|
|Place of origin||Sweden|
|Main ingredient(s)||Rye flour, salt, water|
Crisp bread or hard bread (Swedish: knäckebröd, hårt bröd, hårdbröd, spisbröd, knäcke, Danish: knækbrød, Norwegian: knekkebrød, Finnish: näkkileipä, Estonian: näkileib, Icelandic: hrökkbrauð, Faroese: knekkbreyð, German: Knäckebrot or Knäcke) is a flat and dry type of bread or cracker, containing mostly rye flour. Crisp breads are light and will keep fresh for a very long time. Crisp bread 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 crisp bread in the Nordic countries.
Crisp bread 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 crisp bread was invented about 500 years ago. Finland and Sweden have long traditions in crisp bread consumption and crisp bread has been known in most households since the 1800s. Traditionally, crispbreads were baked and just twice a year; following harvest and again in the spring when frozen river waters began to flow. Sweden's first industrial crisp bread bakery, AU Bergmans enka, begun its production in Stockholm in 1850.
In the case of unleavened crisp bread, 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.
Crisp bread is only baked for a few minutes, at temperatures usually between 200 and 250 °C.
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