History of Swedish Knäckebröd (Cracker bread) Crisp bread and yummy Bolletje Finnish style Sesame rounds

BUY Swedish hardtack and round cracker bread (knackebrod) here.
Crispbread (Swedish: knäckebröd, spisbröd, hårdbröd, Danish: knækbrød, Norwegian: knekkebrød, Finnish: näkkileipä) is a flat and dry Nordic type of bread or cracker, containing mostly rye flour. It is popular in armies and schools because of its lightweight and simple, transport-friendly shape. Also, it is very cheap and if stored in dry conditions it will keep fresh and edible for a very long time. Crispbread is a staple of Nordic cuisine 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.
According to some sources, crisp bread is more than a thousand years old and was a staple of the Vikings on their raids, as a ship biscuit would keep for several months.
Traditional crisp bread was invented about 500 years ago and consists of wholemeal rye flour, salt, and water.
Today, however, much crisp bread contains wheat flour, spices, and grains, and is often leavened with yeast or sourdough.

Crispbread contains a large amount of air. In the case of unleavened crisp bread, bubbles are introduced into the dough mechanically.
Traditionally, this was done by mixing crushed 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.
19th-century hardtack, two different styles Overall, hardtack was a major food supply that was necessary for troops on both sides during the Civil War.

Pilot bread is a simple type of cracker or biscuit, made from flour, water, and salt. Inexpensive and long-lasting, it is and was used for sustenance in the absence of perishable foods, commonly during long sea voyages and military campaigns.

Historically known as hardtack (or hard tack), ship's biscuit, sea biscuit, sea bread or pejoratively dog biscuit, the name derives from the British sailor slang for food, "tack", and the crackers or biscuits have been called "tooth dullers", "sheet iron" or "molar breakers".

Because it is so hard and dry, properly stored and transported hardtack will survive rough handling and endure extremes of temperature.

To soften it, it was often dunked in water, brine, coffee, or some other liquid or cooked into a skillet meal. Baked hard, it would keep for years as long as it was kept dry. For long voyages, hardtack was baked four times, rather than the more common two, and prepared six months before sailing.
In 1801, Josiah Bent began a baking operation in Milton, Massachusetts selling "water crackers" or biscuits made of flour and water that would not deteriorate during long sea voyages from the port of Boston, which was also used extensively as a source of food by the "gold diggers" emigration to the gold mines of California in 1849. Since the journey took months from the starting point, the town of Independence, Missouri, pilot bread was stored in the wagon trains, as it could be kept a long time. His company later sold the original hardtack crackers used by troops during the American Civil War. The company is still located in Milton and continues to sell these items to Civil War re-enactors and others.
During the American Civil War, 3-inch by 3-inch hardtack was shipped out from Union and Confederate storehouses. Some of this hardtack had been stored from the 1846–8 Mexican-American War. With insect infestation common in improperly stored provisions, soldiers would just drop the tack into their morning coffee and wait for the insects to float to the top so they could skim off the bugs and resume consumption.
Bolletje Finnish Round is available in sesame Finnish Round Sesame is the most popular knäckebröd flavor in the Netherlands.
It is interesting to me that the round knäckebröd was originally baked in Finland. Most (90%) if the knäckebröd that I personally know of is from Sweden. There is one Finnish knackbrod available that I will be getting for the holidays I am interested to see what the difference is between them if any. In Scandinavia, it is traditionally eaten at any time of the day: for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Knackbrod is nutritious and keeps well.

Interesting link to someone making a Swedish Crispbread Pizza. It's quite long so make sure you have 5-6 minutes.

Here is another version made by the Leksands chef!


  1. Where did you get your information from? what are your sources? I need them for a project I am doing. Thanks

  2. Follow the links in the posts.. Also Scandinavian food link @ about.com is in my right Nav bar. Check those out and see if that is enough. I did those so long ago.. You could always copy the test and do a search on it, the original would come up, although I try to paraphrase and modify unless its wiki.


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