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Knœkbrød (Danish Crisp Bread Crackers)


I just got back from a whirlwind trip to Denmark where in the course of eight days my baby brother danced an excited jig down the aisle with his new beautiful bride. The leafless blue and gray landscape burst into bright green and forest floors were suddenly covered in drifts of white flowers.

I was inspired by how it seems that every new Danish cookbook and magazine is encouraging us to jump onto our bikes and into fields and meadows to forage for spring greens for our next meal. This is not a new concept. The pocket flask of schnapps is often flavored by herbs found on a previous jaunt, wild berry picking is an important part of picnics, and I am not sure if our beloved elderberries have ever been grown commercially, as they are so abundant along country roads. However, there is a new pride in finding food that is growing wild everywhere underfoot and above head. And there is a passion for eating what is right here, right now.

Perhaps Mother Nature is more generous than we know. Watching my little nephew walking along a wooded path, popping a bright green stem of sorrel into his mouth, I wonder if that little herb is bursting with vitamin C just because it is exactly what he needs after a long cold winter.

And I had another fun discovery — gourmet crisp bread, or, as we call it “knœkbrød.”

Scandinavians love knœkbrød, whether it is with butter, cheese and tea for an afternoon snack, or heaped with gravlax and caviar, it always tastes like coming home. Now you can get it in fancy new gourmet flavors with baked-in cheeses, herbs and seeds. Luckily you don’t have to fly to Denmark to try them.

Here is a very easy recipe for knœkbrød so you can make them yourself. Feel free to replace one seed for another, throw in a few herbs, or some grated cheese. Then pour your family a pot of tea, and while having knœkbrød and cheese, get out the maps and start planning where your next foraging adventure will be.


1 cup oatmeal
1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup flaxseeds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
4 cups rye flour
2 cups water
1 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt


(some for you and some for your best friend too)

In your mixing bowl combine the ingredients and stir until you have a wet, smooth batter. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions.

Sandwich each portion between 2 large pieces of oiled parchment paper, place on a (18×13 inch) baking sheet and roll the dough out until it is as thin as a pie dough. The dough should now be about the size of the baking sheet. Remove the top sheet of parchment paper and cut the dough with a pizza cutter or knife into 4×3 inch rectangles. Sprinkle with extra seeds and a little salt as garnish.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until crisp and golden. Store wrapped in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.


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