My very patient online baking buddy Margaret has been inviting me for several months to join the My Kitchen My World group, which is on an extended culinary tour of the world, country by country, month by month.
I finally decided to join for August’s virtual visit to Sweden, and then, of course, August slipped by and… “Hello, September!”
Luckily, Margaret is unendingly patient and encouraging, so here I am, slipping this little taste of Sweden into your day, a bit past the official deadline.
Me being me, with my predilection for all things bready, it didn’t take long to settle on baking a Swedish bread, and nothing seemed more basic or essential than the traditional knäckebröd, the crunchy cracker (or crisp bread) that can be served with everything from cheese to jam to smoked fish to soup to stew.
This is a quick cracker recipe that uses a combination of flours and seeds. Really, you can use whatever you have on hand. The traditional recipe calls for at least some rye flour, but Barbara also gives a gluten-free corn flour variation. I used a mix of rye, bread, and whole wheat flour. You can include whatever seeds you have on hand (I used black sesame, white sesame, and sunflower), but I think what gives this cracker its essential taste is the inclusion of whole cumin seeds.
Wikipedia informs me that these sorts of flat/crisp breads have been a part of Swedish cuisine for over a thousand years. No wonder. They’re easy and fast to make, portable, and, since they’re baked until very crisp, they last a long time without going stale or moldy. I imagine Swedish babies teethe on these things. And they’ll last in a ship’s hold for the Atlantic crossing.
The first night, we served our knäckebröd with goat milk ricotta and tomato jam (see? I told you I’m obsessed with that. To make your own, use this recipe from Food in Jars. I promise you’ll love it).
Since then, I’ve been nibbling on it plain as a snack, eating it smeared with tomato jam, or with a slice of cheese. Each time, I’m surprised, and delighted, by that hit of cumin. I think it would work perfectly as a scooper for a rich Indian curry. I think I’m going to like traveling with MKMW…
To see the round up of the group’s Swedish recipes, visit the My Kitchen My World (MKMW) site after the first of the month. (You can also see where the group has already traveled.) To join in, just make a dish (or more) for the month’s country, blog about it, and put a link to your post in the comments on the MKMW page.