Swedish Oat Flatbread comes from an old family recipe and has a tender yet chewy texture from the oats and buttermilk.Jump to Recipe
All over the Nordic region you will find many different varieties of flatbreads, from soft and supple to ultra thin and crispy. The crisp versions were traditionally meant to be stored for long periods of time and thought to have been a big part of the Viking diet. The crisp breads had just a small number of ingredients and were simple to prepare and transport. In most cases they were made from ground barley or oats and cooked on a flat surface such as a griddle over an open fire. Being high in fiber they were also nutritious and sustainable. Since those times, flatbreads evolved with additional ingredients like rye and wheat flours, cultured dairy like buttermilk and sugar or herbs for different levels of sweet or savoriness. Flatbreads are intended to be topped with soft butter or other spreads, meats or fish, cheeses and vegetables. My Swedish Oat Flatbread is a versatile recipe for this purpose, but also tastes so delicious on its own.
Swedish Oat Flatbread has been made by my family for ages. The original recipe calls for a blend of wheat and rye flours, rolled oats, granulated sugar, canola oil and buttermilk. Over time I have adapted the recipe into a gluten-free or low gluten version, and also use alternative sweetener and oil. It is a forgiving recipe that can be altered to fit your dietary needs and pantry staples.
All ingredients are simply mixed together by hand or in a stand mixer (it is a rather stiff dough so the mixer comes in handy). I like doing a combination of dark rye flour and gluten-free flour blend, but oat flour is nice to mix in. Again–all purpose wheat is the original flour so feel free to experiment! I also started using gluten-free quick oats in place of the rolled oats, as I thought the quick oats made for a nice texture. I switched out the granulated sugar for coconut sugar, which adds a rich depth of flavor and color to the dough. I also prefer using olive oil, but canola is traditional. The dough will be stiff but still a bit sticky. The key is letting the dough rest in the refrigerator overnight so that all of the ingredients have a chance to absorb the buttermilk.
Once the dough has rested and chilled, remove it from the bowl and roll out on a floured surface to about 1/4-inch thickness (use one of the flours you chose for the dough).
Prick the dough all over with a fork to allow steam to escape while baking.
Use a pizza wheel to cut squares or rectangles in the dough.
Transfer the squares to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes until starting to brown. You want them to stay soft. They will puff slightly while baking from the baking soda and buttermilk.
Cool the Swedish Oat Flatbread on a rack and then serve as desired. They are a delicious Fika treat with butter and jam or try them in Salmon Smörgås with Cucumber and Sweet Mustard Sauce.
Swedish Oat Flatbread
- Pizza Cutter optional
- 1 pint buttermilk
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ cup sugar (I use coconut sugar but white sugar is in the original recipe)
- ½ cup vegetable oil (I use olive oil but canola is traditional)
- 1 ½ cups oats (I use gluten-free quick oats)
- Enough flour to make a stiff dough–about 4 cups (rye blended with white is the original formula, but I use a gluten-free blend mixed with rye or oat flour)
- Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours.
- The amount of flour will depend on the type that you use, but it will be around 4 cups. You want the dough to be thick but still a bit sticky as the oats will absorb the buttermilk as it sits. You can also knead in more flour later, if needed.
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Roll out dough about ¼-inch thick in batches on a floured surface, kneading in a little more flour if dough is too sticky.
- Prick the dough all over with a fork and cut into squares with a pizza cutter or knife.
- Place squares on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for about 10 minutes, depending on size and thickness, until golden brown.
- Cool on racks. Freezes well!
- Don’t mix in too much flour. You want the dough to be firm, but still a bit sticky. It will continue to absorb liquid as it sits overnight. It is better to add more flour when rolling out if needed.
- Experiment by adding spices or herbs into your dough for different flavor profiles.
- This flatbread is delicious with butter and jam, or use for open face sandwiches like Salmon Smörgås with Cucumber and Sweet Mustard Sauce