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How to make homely Swedish flatbread from Hönö island

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Flatbread from 'Hönö' island. Photo: John Duxbury
06:59 CET+01:00
These Swedish flatbreads from western Sweden are especially popular among children, who love their light texture.

Hönö is a small island off the west coast of Sweden, a short ferry ride from Gothenburg. It is a little bit off the tourist beat, but it has a popular marina, a pleasant church and a nature reserve. Its main claim to fame are these delightful flatbreads.

Summary

Makes: 6

Preparation: 30 minutes

Cooking: 30 minutes

Total: 60 minutes plus 1-2 hours rising time

Ingredients

500 ml milk

50 g butter

500 g strong white flour

150 g rye flour

½ tsp sea salt (Swedes would normally use at least 1 tsp)

½ tsp hjorthornssalt (if you can't find this, use 1tsp of baking powder instead)

10 g instant 'easy bake' dried yeast

2 ½ tbsp golden (light) syrup

Method

1. Heat the butter and milk together in a saucepan until all the butter has melted. Allow to cool to below 45C.

2. Add the flours to the bowl. Then add the salt, yeast and hjorthornssalt in three different places. You don't want the salt to come into immediate contact with the yeast as it can kill the yeast.

3. Gradually add the milk mixture and the syrup. Mix until the dough begins to leave the sides but is still a little bit sticky. Add some extra flour if it seems too sticky. Knead the dough for about five minutes until it is smooth and shiny.

4. Cover the bowl with a cloth or a shower cap and leave somewhere warm to double in size (this may take anything from 30 minutes to a couple of hours).

5. Turn it on to a floured work surface and knead it until it has a nice flexible consistency. Divide the mixture into six round balls and flatten into 15cm rounds, cover them with a cloth and leave them to rise again for 30 minutes.

6. Preheat the oven to 250C, or higher if you can, with a metal tray or pizza stone in the top of the oven.

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7. Take one of the flatbreads and roll it out very thin using a knobbly rolling pin (the Swedes call it a 'kruskavel'). If you haven't got a 'kruskavel' use a fork.

8. Slide it quickly on to the metal sheet or pizza stone and bake for three to five minutes until nicely coloured. When baked, turn on to a wire rack and cover with a cloth.

9. Repeat steps seven and eight with the remaining flatbreads. When the bread is cool it can be cut into wedges or frozen in whole rounds.

Tips

- The flatbreads are at their nicest when still warm. They go brilliantly with so many things: butter, tangy cheese, jam, honey or pickled herring.

- These freeze well so it is not worth making a half-batch

This recipe by Karin Fürst is provided courtesy of food writer John Duxbury, editor and founder of Swedish Food.

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