I don’t know about you, but all the days of the week have been blurring together. Last Wednesday blew right past me, and I didn’t even notice until Friday, at which point Easter was upon us. So I’m sorry that I missed last week’s recipe. I remembered today!
My elder daughter loves bagels for breakfast. She would eat them for lunch and dinner, too, if I let her and often snacks on them. But bagels are hard to come by right now, when I’m trying to avoid going to the grocery store for as long as humanly possible. Fortunately, there’s a type of bread she loves even more than bagels. When we visited Sweden in the summer of 2018, my daughter fell in love with the flatbreads that most Swedes eat for breakfast with butter, cheese, and ham or other cold cuts. The bread is light and fluffy, even though it’s thin, rather like a very slender bun, and it’s slightly sweet. It forms the base for a simple, relatively healthy breakfast, and I resolved to try making this odd bread.
However, finding a recipe has been harder than I expected. Part of the problem is that I don’t remember what they’re called. Some searching turned up a bread called hönökaka, named for the island of Hönö from which it originates, but this bread is twelve inches in diameter, whereas the breakfast breads we remember were just six inches wide. I decided to try it anyway and adjust as best I could, rolling out nine flatbreads instead of six. These turned out to be too thick but otherwise quite acceptable and tasty. We just sliced them in half and used them as sandwich thins. I also had to use brown sugar instead of Lyle’s Golden Syrup, which was recommended in most hönökaka recipes, but I am hoping to acquire some for my next batch. I based this largely off of this recipe but made some obvious modifications. Here’s what I came up with:
Swedish Breakfast Flatbread
- 1.5 tablespoons dry yeast
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- 1/4 cup soft light brown sugar or 1/4 cup Lyle’s Golden Syrup
- 2-3 cups rye flour
- 3-4 cups white flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 7 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
- Optional: one tablespoon butter, melted
- Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix for a minute or so, then add the sugar/Lyle’s golden syrup and mix again to dissolve. Add two-thirds of each of the two flours, plus all the salt, and start mixing. You may not need all the flour, which is why you start with the amount indicated, then add more of each as you need it. Add the 7 tablespoons of softened butter and keep mixing until it is incorporated. Add more of the flours as needed. When the dough starts letting go of the sides of the bowl (after around 5 minutes of kneading in the machine and with enough flour added), cover the dough and leave to rest in a warm place for around an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead, then cut it into twelve equal-sized pieces. Roll each one out to a circle with a diameter of 6 in., then prick all over with a fork and place on baking parchment or a floured pizza peel. Leave to rise again under a tea towel/dish towel for around 40 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 475°F. If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven. Otherwise, place baking sheets in the oven at this stage, as placing the hönökaka on a hot sheet or pizza stone speeds up the baking on the underside of the bread.
- Prick again with the fork just before you pop the bread into the oven (you may need to bake them in batches). Bake for around 8 minutes, but keep an eye on them, as they can go brown quickly due to the sugar content. You want them slightly golden but not overly brown.
- Remove from the oven and move to a cooling rack. If you want a softer crust, brush with the melted butter.
While the traditional method is to eat them with butter, cheese slices, and ham, I made myself a nice thick sandwich using leftover Easter ham, Swedish mustard and hot mustard, mashed avocado, green tomato relish, red tomato slices, and slices of Jarlsberg cheese. Delicious!