Here's something you absolutely must make for your Christmas smorgasbord, if you want it to be authentically Swedish. Crisp bread is definitely a must. You can vary the spices, but caraway is one of my favorites - it will go very well with christmas ham or sharp cheddar.
This is a pretty basic recipe, and you can use it as a base to play with. Feel free to add other seeds if you prefer! The one piece of equipment that you might not have is a knobbly rolling pin, a kruskavel. It looks like this. Not absolutely necessary to have, but it does help here.
The traditional shape is large rounds with holes in the middle - the holes are actually for storage, because these were traditionally hung on a stick, from the ceiling.
Swedish Crisp Bread with Caraway
25 g fresh yeast
500 ml (2 cups) tepid water
2 tsp salt
600 ml (2,4 cups) coarse rye flour
600 ml (2,4 cups) wheat flour
2 tsp caraway seeds, bashed in a pestle and mortar
2 tsp sesame seeds
2 tsp linseed
Crumble the yeast into a bowl and add some of the water. Stir until the yeast is dissolved, then add the rest of the water, and all other ingredients. Mix by hand or with a machine until the dough starts to form. Add extra flour if it's too sticky. You don't have to knead it much, just enough to get a proper dough that holds together. Remove the dough to a clean bowl, cover and leave to rise for one hour.
Shape the dough into a large, thick rope and divide into 15 pieces. Roll out each piece into rounds, using a lot of flour so it won't stick. Roll it as thinly as you can (the crisper it will be!) and finish by doing a few rolls with a knobbly rolling pin, a "kruskavel". If you don't have one, prick the dough all over with a fork. Use a small glass or a cookie cutter to remove a hole from the middle of the round.
Or use cookie cutters - I couldn't resist making a cat.
Place directly on a baking sheet and bake at 200°C (that's for a convection oven, use 225°C in a regular oven) for 10-12 minuter. You have to turn them after half the time or they will burn.
Recipe in Swedish:
Knäckebröd med kummin
Home Unlabelled Swedish Crisp Bread with Caraway