Super Simple Recipe of Finnish Rye Cracker – “Näkkäri”


Four friends in the kitchen together. What can be more fun? Or when can be better chances to burn something ’cause you just have too much fun together? Rye is the thing of us, Finnish people. Here’s the super simple recipe of Finnish rye cracker -“Näkkäri”- designed by our dear friend Paula. 

Ingredients of simple finnish rye cracker recipe, näkkäri

Paula Huovinen developer of our simple recipe of Finnish rye cracker, "Näkkäri"

Just like I, also Paula is a mother and lives in Kerimäki – only about 20 minutes drive from Punkaharju, where Mari lives. We used to be good workmates at Hotelli Punkaharju with Paula, and she still does magic at the hotel’s kitchen as a warm-hearted cook. 

Finnish family home of SaimaaLife Stiina in Kerimäki, Saimaa

Here’s our new recipe for you:

Super Simple Recipe of Finnish Rye Cracker – “Näkkäri”

(Amount of one roaster)

  • 1 3/4 dl water
  • 1 dl Rye bran
  • 1 tsp salt
  • About 4 1/2 dl rye flour
  • 0,5 dl oil / 25 g butter  

(Outside Finland, you often find rye flour in special stores. If not, you can also order them from Suomikauppa -“Finland store”- which is an international online store of all kinds of Finnish foodstuff and products.)

Baking simple recipe of Finnish rye cracker, "Näkkäri"

Baking this cracker is super simple:

  • Melt butter and mix it OR oil with water. Blend rye brans and salt and add them to the liquid. Let the mixture swell for a moment.
  • Add rye flour bit by bit and after it knead the dough with your hand. The dough is ready!
  • Roll the dough on top of baking paper. Thickness about 2 mm. Use (wheat) flour for rolling to make it easier. 
  • Bake the cracker in the middle of the oven at 225 °C for about 6-10 minutes – until the cracker is LITTLE brown. Note! Don’t call or chat with your friends during it – especially in the end 🙂
  • Let the cracker cool down without covering it. 

Enjoy rye cracker with warm soup or with tea, coffee, whatever. Cracker works pretty much everywhere! 

By the way, to keep the cracker good, store them in a paper bag and in a dry place.

Baking simple recipe of Finnish rye cracker, "Näkkäri"

SaimaaLife Mari waiting to taste simple recipe of Finnish rye cracker, "Näkkäri"

Rolling the dough of simple recipe of Finnish rye cracker, "Näkkäri"

In case you’re interested; A word about the history of “Näkkäri”

Crispbread or cracker -“Näkkileipä” / “Näkkäri”- has originally come from Sweden to Finland. It is typical Nordic countries’ hard bread which is usually baked out of whole-grain rye and water. Schools and the army are serving rye crackers a lot because they can be preserved long. Because of its lightness, it is easy to carry with you as well.

When Finland was battling Winter and Continuation War against Russia, Finnish women –Lotat– made rye crackers for Finnish men to get energy in the battles. 

Here in the North cracker is eaten as everyday food by many but outside the Nordic, cracker is considered as health food.

And healthy it is so it’s good to eat rye cracker!

Nature inspired interior at Stiina's family home in Kerimäki, Saimaa

Baking simple recipe of Finnish rye cracker, "Näkkäri", in the oven

Nature inspired interior at Stiina's family home in Kerimäki, Saimaa

Three companies lead the global cracker markets; originally Swedish -nowadays- Italian “Wasabröd”, Finnish “Vaasan” and English “Ryvita”.

Nowadays you can find also spelt cracker from Finland made by Finnish “SunSpelt” and “Leipomo J Martin”.

Rye is a super healthy grain but so is spelt as well. It is an ancient grain widely recognized for its many health benefits. We recommend looking for and trying spelt too -besides rye!

Baking too long simple recipe of Finnish rye cracker, "Näkkäri"

Oscar Wild has said, “Life is too short to be taken seriously”. It is exactly so! Our cracker was a bit too long in the oven because of our chatting – but there were still some good parts left there too. So, all’s well that ends well! No (too big) harm happened.

Enjoying saimaaLife rye cracker wit Finnish salmon soup

We four ate crackers with butter and warm salmon soup. The soup of the recipe you are going to get in my next recipe saimaaLife story.

Join our ladies’ baking for a moment through this 360° video. In the video, you also hear where our rye flour “Puhtaat Jauhot Pussissa” is coming from. Their roots are actually too both in Punkaharju and Kerimäki. Thanks, Vanha Salmela for the flours!

To watch this 360° video, tap on this link in your Youtube app. In Youtube app you can watch the video also with virtual reality headset. Remember to turn on HD to get better quality!


I have to say still one thing about Paula. I like to develop my own recipes, but Paula does that too – and she makes it beautifully! For example, she has developed a delicious seed porridge recipe for Hotelli Punkaharju’s breakfast. Also last year she developed Christmas mushroom cookie recipe that includes candy cap mushroom! Wow!

Anyhow, I recommend trying the rye cracker. As I said, they work with many things – try for example with our warm apple drink.

With love from Saimaa,

Stiina (& Mari)

Share this story:

Any thoughts or questions about this story? Send me a message

You Might Also Enjoy