Rye crispbread is a staple in Swedish households. It is closely associated with Swedish cuisine, and is served as part of everyday meals and celebrations.

Location: Nation wide


Crispbread is traditionally made from a few simple ingredients: rye flour, yeast, water, and salt. The dough is rolled out thinly and cut into rounds, which are pricked so that the bread breaks apart more easily. The bread is left to prove, and is then baked at a high temperature. Traditional crispbread has a distinct taste of rye, and has a crispy texture.

Rye-based crispbread has medieval origins, linked to the increasing cultivation of rye in Sweden during this period. The traditional round shape with a hole in the middle of the bread dates back to medieval practices. When drying and storing the bread, it could be placed on a stick through the hole and hung near the ceiling. Geographically, crispbread is mostly produced in the south-central provinces of Dalarna, Närke, Södermanland, Värmland, and Västmanland, both in contemporary times and historically.

Today, crispbread is produced on an industrial scale and can be found in most convenience stores. Artisanal crispbread is also made by smaller bakeries and restaurants. There is a growing interest in baking crispbread at home. It is easy to bake, and requires few and relatively cheap ingredients.

Närbild på händer som kavlar ut bröddeg.

Photo: Wolter Ehn (Isof, ULMA 27607).