Each time I go home to Norway, the meal I most look forward to is breakfast. Norwegians and Scandinavians alike take this meal really seriously. It is often a serious spread and the meal can go just as long as dinner. Various spreads are placed on the table, mostly savory but also a fair share of sweet, all topped on freshly baked whole grain bread, accompanied by strongly brewed black coffee with large glasses of milk. I have switched to almond milk now, which I find rich and satisfying with a creamy taste, and contains 50% more calcium than regular milk – a winner!
In my house, several pieces of bread were topped with the most luxurious of foods (all homemade by my mother of course, ranging from pickled herring, pates and jam made from berries in our backyard) and ended with knekkebrød, topped with Norwegian brunost and jam. I often regretted not making the entire meal just of knekkebrød; there is something so satisfying, but yet light and easy digesting about these crispy crackers which are so popular throughout Norway and Scandinavia. Filled with a plethora of various seeds, whole grain flours and oatmeal, they are the perfect canvass for which to start a healthy snack or meal.
While many households choose to buy pre-packaged Wasa knekkebrød or a gourmet version thereof, it has become more and more commonplace and popular to make these from scratch. Super simple and quick to make, I agree the latter is the better choice! Here are some examples of store bought knekkebrød solutions you can find in Norwegian supermarkets:
In January, you will see many Norwegians bring their “matpakke” (a packed lunch) to work containing two or more pieces of knekkebrød, in an effort to cleanse their body from the riches of the gourmet foods of Christmas. Often referred to as diet food, it does not taste like it, rather packs a ton of flavor and has a great, crunchy texture that is both satisfying and delicious.
A source of great antioxidants and healthy fats from the seeds, I think this is a perfect, ultra Norwegian food to kick start 2014 with! I like them with Daiya cream cheese, a dairy free cream cheese that tastes so much more flavorful than the regular version, with slices of tomato and cucumber, topped with dill or chives. You can also spread hummus on them sprinkled with chopped olives, mint and roasted peppers for a more exotic alternative for lunch.
As always, I welcome any questions or comments!
225 grams or 1 cup oatmeal
225 grams or 1 cup rye flour
225 grams or 1 cup sunflower seeds
225 grams or 1 cup oat bran
225 grams or 1 cup sesame seeds
100 grams or 1/2 cup wheat bran
100 grams or 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
100 grams or 1/2 cup flax seed
2 tsp salt
1 tsp maple syrup
3 1/2 cup-4 cups warm water
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 degrees Celcius). Line three baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Mix the maple syrup into the water and pour over dry ingredients, stir to combine. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Spread the dough over the prepared baking sheets . Place in the oven for about 10 minutes, remove from oven and cut with a pizza cutter into desired sized squares. Place the crackers back in the oven, and bake for another 20 minutes. Rotate them and bake another 30-40 minutes, a total of 1 hour to 1 hr 10 min baking time.
Let cool on a rack and they are now ready to dig into! You can store these in an airtight container for a couple of weeks.