Scandinavian flat bread is world famous, but Norwegian housewives look on it as art. It is said that if you master the art, flat bread cooked at the birth of a child will last until that child has married.
The origin of preparing flat bread is lost in the mist of history. Today, Indians, Armenians, Turks, Greeks, and Scandinavians bake and enjoy a range of flat beads. Some of these breads have to be cooked and consumed immediately, others, can keep for months.
Scandinavian flat bread that is harder in texture, keeps for a long time. In Norway, winters are long and summers short. Shortly after the wheat harvest, it is milled and women get together to prepare flat bread as a ritual and as entertainment. This opportunity is also used to teach the next generation to continue this cherished tradition.
You can buy factory made flat bread, but you will notice a difference in taste and texture.
Once the dough is ready (mostly flour, salt and pepper and water), it is rolled out thin and baked on a specially designed wood fuelled platter.
There are sweetened and unsweetened versions of flat bread.
Norwegians also bake artisanal bread in wood fired ovens. When baked in wood fired ovens, the bread crust is crisper and darker due to the intensity of heat and shape of the oven.
These leavened breads require expertise and more time for cooking.
First, the dough is prepared using live yeast, then it is placed in a warm area to rise. After a while the dough is “punched” and then process is repeated several times during the next 24 hours. Once the dough is ready, it is portioned, and baked in a hot oven for 40 – 50 minutes pending on shape and thickness.
Artisanal bread tastes infinitely better than “factory” bread, and texturally is more satisfying.