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Scandinavian crispbread

Crispbread is the Nordic version of crostini

Scandinavian crispbread with various toppings.

Scandinavian crispbread with various toppings.

Crispbread is one of the most essential types of bread in Scandinavia. With the right topping they are the Nordic version of crostinis.

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Crispbread has been eaten in Finland and Sweden since the Middle Ages. As with dry cod they contain little water and can be kept for a long time. In modern time, at least if you grew ut in the 1970s, crispbread was synonymously with rather dull industrial packages eaten because they were a sensible choice, not a delicious choice.

Crispbread has recently seen a major rise in their popularity, mostly due to the popularity of low-carb diets. Today every modern bakery offer their own homebaked crispbread, and even one of the best bakeries in Norway, the French-inspired Åpent Bakeri, has released a cookbook solely about crispbread. While classic crispbreads are made with rye, many of the modern variants have embraced low-carb and paleo, filled with nuts and seeds.

Here I make gluten-free crispbread with flax seed and other seeds. They are thin, crisp and versatile. Crispbread is the Nordic version of crostini. Serve them with a glass of wine and cheese, or top them with dry tomatoes and cheese, salmon and dill or maybe skagen shrimps.

Crispbread spatula
Crispbread with salmon
Crispbread with dried tomatoes Crispbread with goat cheese from Balsfjord in Northern Norway.

Gluten-free crispbread (makes 3 baking sheets):

I use a convection oven to bake the crispbread, baking all three baking sheets at the same time.

175 g gluten-free wholemeal flour
100 g oats
100 g brown flax seeds
100 g sunflower seeds
75 g sesame seed
50 g pumpkin seeds
500 ml water

1. Set the convection oven at 150C and line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper
2. In a bowl mix the flour, seeds and salt. Add the water and mix. Allow to rest for 10 minutes until the batter is thick like porridge.
3. Dip a spatula into water and spoon the batter into a thin layer on the lined baking sheet.
4. Bake the crispbread for about 45–60 minutes. After 30 minutes, reduce the heat to 125C. During baking they will warp in the oven, emerging with an uneven quality.
5. They are finished when they are medium brown, and even darker on the edges. Knock on the center of the crispbread to make sure they are crisp.
6. When cold, break them into pieces. Do not store in a plastic bag, as they will loose their crispness.

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