Isle of Hönö flatbread
This is a very popular flatbread in Sweden, especially with children who love its light easy-eating texture that means it is almost like cake.
Above: a popular brand of Hönökaka sold in Sweden
Hönö is a small island off the west coast of Sweden, a short ferry ride from Gothenburg. Unlike most small islands it has a rising population, now topping 5000. It is a little bit off the tourist beat, but it has a popular marina, a pleasant church and a nature reserve. In other words, its main claim to fame are these delightful flatbreads.
Here in Sweden we normally use fresh yeast, but all the recipes on this site use "instant" or "easy bake" dried yeast as it is far more readily available outside of Sweden. Both taste equally good. Karin Fürst
• Hönökakor get their wonderfully light fluffy texture partly from hjorthornssalt, which was originally made from deer antlers, but now ammonium carbonate is used. Hjorthornssalt is available from specialist suppliers, but if you cannot find it you can replace it with double the quantity of baking powder, although the outcome is not quite as airy and fluffy.
• Swedes normally use ljus sirap (light syrup). Lyle's Golden Syrup is a good substitute or you can use corn syrup.
• Hönökakor freeze well, so it is not worth making a half-batch.
• Use a pizza stone if you have one to help bake the underside and to help give it "a quick rise".
• Hönökakor are nice warm and so it is worth lightly microwaving any leftovers.
• The plural of hönokaka is hönökakor.
|500 g||strong white flour (bread flour)|
|150 g||rye flour, preferably white|
|5 g||fine sea salt|
|3 g||hjorthornssalt (½ tsp)|
|7 g||"instant" dried yeast, 1 packet|
|50 g||ljus sirap|
*For bread recipes, we recommend using digial scales and weighing all quantities.
1. Heat the butter and milk together in a saucepan until all the butter has melted. Allow to cool to below 45°C (115°F).
2. Add the flours, salt and hjorthornssalt to a bowl and mix. Add the dried yeast and mix again.
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 5 minutes until it is smooth and shiny.
(If you are using a stand mixer, such as kMix or a KitchenAid, fit the dough hook, set the speed to minimum then slowly add the milk mixture and syrup. Once all the liquid has been added, increase the speed to 2 or 3 for about 3 minutes so that dough forms a ball and becomes slightly shiny and a bit less sticky. If desired, turn on a floured surface, whilst you clean our the bowl.)
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 6 round balls and flatten into 15 cm (6") rounds, cover them with a cloth and leave them to rise again for 30 minutes.
6. Preheat the oven to 250°C (475°F, gas 9, fan 220°C), or higher if you can, with a metal tray or pizza stone in the top of the oven.
7. Take one of the flatbreads and roll it out very thin using a kruskavel (a knobbly rolling pin).
If you haven't got a kruskavel use a fork. (Swedes even have a special fork to do this!)
8. Slide it quickly on to the metal sheet/pizza stone and bake for 3-5 minutes until nicely coloured. When baked, turn on to a wire rack and cover with a cloth.
9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 with the remaining flatbreads. When the bread is cool it can be cut into wedges or freeze in whole rounds.
The flatbreads are at their nicest when still warm. They go brilliantly with so many things: butter, tangy cheese, jam, honey or pickled herring.
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