A lot of people assume that the tradition of fika means sweet treats. Of course, not much tops the pairing of a cup of coffee and a cardamom bun, but the Swedish custom of fika can also be a savory thing.
Swedes, and their Scandinavian counterparts, are known for their open-faced sandwiches, often made on top of dense, hearty bread. But skorpor areother savory fika treats worth trying.
Twice-baked rolls that are dry and crispy, skorpor remind me of my Swedish grandmother. She always has some on hand in her pantry. Slathered with a little butter and a slice of cheese, they make for the perfect Swedish snack. You can also make a sweet version with a little marmalade or jam. And yes, the good news is that cheese and marmalade go together quite well.
Sometimes called rusks, or crisp rolls, skorpor are made with a yeasted dough, then baked, cut in half, and baked again to give them their crispiness. Perfect for pairing with a cup of coffee or a mug of tea.
For this recipe from our book, Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break, Johanna and I baked loaves and then sliced them. We also added a bit of caraway, a favorite Scandinavian spice that gives these crisps some true Nordic flavor.
Kumminskorpor (Caraway Crisps)
5 tablespoons (2.5 ounces, 71 grams) unsalted butter
1 cup (240 milliliters) milk
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 cups (15 ounces, 426 grams) all-purpose flour, or more as needed
1/4 cup (1.75 ounces, 50 grams) natural cane sugar
2 teaspoons caraway seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a saucepan, melt the butter; then stir in the milk. Heat until warm to the touch (about 110°F/43°C). In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in 2 to 3 tablespoons of the warm mixture. Stir and let sit for a few minutes until bubbles form on top of the yeast.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, caraway seeds, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the remaining butter and milk, followed by the yeast mixture. Work the dough together well with your hands.
Transfer the dough to a flat surface and knead it until smooth and elastic, 3 to 5 minutes. The dough should feel moist, but if it sticks to your fingers or the countertop, add a little flour. The dough is fully kneaded when you slice into it with a sharp knife and see small air bubbles throughout. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a clean tea towel, and place in a draft-free place to rise for about an hour.
Grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and carefully shape each piece into a 12-inch- (30.5-centimeter-) long loaf, about 1 1/2 inches (4 centimeters) thick. Place on the baking sheet, cover, and let rise for about 45 minutes.
While the bread is rising, preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
When the loaves have finished rising, bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until they are golden-brown. Remove from the oven and let cool. Maintain oven temperature.
Using a knife, cut both loaves into 20 equally sized slices. Place the slices close together on the baking sheet and toast at 450°F (230°C) until they have a nice golden color, about 5 minutes. If the baking sheet doesn’t fit all the slices, divide them onto two baking sheets. Both sheets can be baked at the same time, but be sure to switch them from upper to lower levels in the oven halfway through. Lower the heat to 200°F (95°C) to dry out the rolls for 20 to 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the rolls in the oven for 4 to 5 hours more until they are dry, light, and crispy.
If you bake these in the evening, you can also leave them in overnight and take them out in the morning. Store in an airtight container.
Reprinted with permission from Fika, by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall, copyright © 2015, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Johanna Kindvall