Rosendals Trädgård Bageri

swedish flatbreads at Rosendals Trädgård

I think I’ve been speaking in too many superlatives lately. It’s just I’ve been fortunate to be traveling and finding so many great places. Either that, or it’s just my American side coming out, the one that tends to speak in superlatives. Still (or “Oh my God!”, as we say), whenever I find something amazing, I can’t help but going a little loopy over it.

bread and butter at Rosendals Trädgård

For example, could this be the greatest bread bakery ever? Imagine a glassed-in building in the middle of a huge organic garden in Stockholm with a 16-ton wood-fired oven inside. And right in the middle is a well-aged wooden counter that is the center axis of the bakery, where the dough gets shaped before baking, and later becomes the place to gather all the breads and pack them into baskets to be sold at the cafe and the shop next door.

Swedish breads at Rosendals Trädgård

Oh, and not to mention the lovely staff, who are happy to slice into some of those loaves of bread for you, smear a somewhat unreasonable amount of Swedish butter on each one, and let you taste as much as you want.

buttering bread at Rosendals Trädgård
buttered swedish bread

Per Styregård, a Swedish food writer and all-around super fellow, took us under his wing while in Stockholm, and took us to Rosendals Trädgård, a biodynamic garden in the middle of the city. In the middle of the gardens, there is a nice café where you can take the freshly prepared food outside, and eat alongside the greenery.

Swedish menu writing at Rosendals Trädgård

We had big salads, which sounded like a good idea, until one my traveling companions, Anissa, suggested trying the roasted lamb shank, which was an excellent idea. (My only head-scratching moment was the out-of-season tomatoes in our salads. Wasn’t there something else in their own lovely gardens that they could have used?) But I do love in Sweden that there are always fruit and berry juices available. And aside from the tomatoes, it’s nice to see folks trying to grow and use local ingredients.

salad and lingonberry juice

Next to the kafé, there’s a little shop there that sells jams and the breads, those made right next door. Later in the week, a chef told me that Per is “The most popular guy in Stockholm!” – and I could see why when he led me into this bakery. He zoomed right up to the top of my list.

swedish bread

Since it was afternoon, most of the baking for the day was being finished up and the three women bakers were pulling breads off the baking sheets and lining them up in boxes. My Swedish is pretty nil, but you don’t need to speak a word of any Scandinavian language to understand how beautiful this bread is.

swedish bread loaves

Not only was the bread magnificent to look at, but one of the blue-eyed bakers started slicing up loaves and smearing them with generous amounts of butter. I mean, she was really piling it on. (I guess when you work that hard lifting bread dough, you burn it off.)

Swedish bread baker

Unfortunately (for me), the only lifting of bread I did in Stockholm was putting it in my mouth. But who can stop when the bread is this good? And boy, was it ever.

crusty swedish breads

One bread was light, riddled with seeds, with a very crisp crust. And I’m still kicking myself for traveling with just an (already full) carry-on. There were dense, square breads (uh…two from elsewhere were already packed in my suitcase), with bits of dried fruit and nuts. But the thing that stopped me mid-bite was the crackly knäckebröd. I am sure the Swedes are used to these kinds of breads. But we could not stop eating them, and kept snapping off corners and swiping them with butter until somehow, an entire stack disappeared.

flatbread and swedish butter

As I was getting ready to leave, I pointed out a bin on the shelf. Even though I didn’t speak much Swedish, I assumed it was cardamom. So she pulled it down to show me. Or more like, pulled it down to give me a smell.

cardamom at Rosendals Trädgård cardomam spice

Cardamom is one of the three most expensive seasonings in the world (saffron and vanilla are the two others), and when I asked how long that bin of cardamom lasted, she said, “Oh…about a week. Swedish people love cardamom!” Yeah, I guess.

flatbreads at Rosendals Trädgård

I’m going to confess that even though I didn’t have room to bring home any more bread, when she wrapped up a stack of knäckebröds for me to bring home, I couldn’t say no. And I hand-carried them like precious jewels (if I had an ice chest, I’m sure people would have thought I transporting an organ for transplant, from the way I was carrying it), and they made it home from Stockholm å-ök.

Rosendals Trädgård in Stockholm

Rosendals Trädgård
Rosendalsterrassen 12
Stockholm, Sweden

bread rack at Rosendals Trädgård

Related Links and Recipes

Rosendals Trädgård Levain (Video)

Mixed Seeds Knäckebröd (Bread & Companatico)

Fröknäcke: Seed Flatbread (Bathen)

54 comments

  • I love cardamom (but yes, I live in Sweden), but I had no idea that it’s one of the most expensive spices in the world. I use it alot, in coffee, in baked goods, in cookies, sponge cakes. I tend to buy them while still in their green pods, reserves more flavour but it’s a workout to get the seeds out of those pods.

  • Oh this bread looks heavenly. Nothing beats fresh bread and butter. I plan to visit Sweden summer of 2014. I will put Rosendals Tradgard gardens and Per on my ‘must visit’ list. :). Thanks for sharing this delightful post.

  • The Dutch greenhouse tomatoes are always in season:) I think tomatoes are in season now, you must have visited a little while back.
    Traditional Swedish baked goods like cinnamon bun, lussekatter and semla contain cardamom and/or saffron. I guess prices were low in those days when these were adopted as national dishes.

    • Actually, spices have always been expensive. When a lot of our traditional Swedish recipes were developed, the spices were added not only because they tasted nicely but to show off your wealth.

      Nowadays we are used to them and continue to use a lot, especially in baked goods. Foreigners are usually surprised when they notice how popular spices are here

  • Jimmeny Crickets! I honestly think I could live on nothing but bread and butter, especially bread like this slathered with that much (of which I’m sure was fabulous in itself) Swedish butter! I’ll never understand how people can live on plain, store-bought white bread (what I call “lightening bread”) when there are loaves like these to be had. Who says food is not art??? Are those pistachios in the loaf in that third picture? Is it cardamom on those little crispy, cracker-like wonders? Again, David, I say that if you ever tire of blog or book writing, you have a career in food photography. Such beauty!

  • Claire: Glad you like the photos. But to be honest, the breads (and people) were so beautiful, I just aimed my camera and let the goods speak for themselves : )

    Cheryl: Sweden is a lovely place but if you’re coming in June, I recommend booking your hotels as soon as you can. It’s a very popular month for visitors and we had some difficulty finding hotel rooms as much of city was booked. (And prices were climbing the longer I waited – I booked via Expedia.com)

  • My husband was in Stockholm at the same time you were. Apparently there was a medical convention going on, which is why hotels were scarce.

    Normally, I’d show him this post, but it would make him sad, as he’s now gluten-free. He did find a good GF bakery while he was there last time, so he’s not entirely without bread. Thank you for taking us on all your travels!

  • Oh what an amazing and delicious trip you are on :) I was just in Copenhagen and had some of the best bread and pastry similar to these. And, as a huge fan of cardamom, your post just kept the drooling going…

  • Oh yes, we Swedes (including we Swedish-Americans!) really love our cardamom. Like Jessica I never realized it was so expensive — it costs what it costs and one can’t live without it, so…

    And we also love our knäckebröd. I grew up eating Siljans brand with peanut butter, for a cross-cultural experince, but since going to Sweden have come to appreciate the variety of types possible. Which makes it sad that your links don’t seem to be working.

    There’s a coding error that’s I’m working on fixing, so I hand-coded them for now. They should be working. ~ dl

  • It’s interesting to meditate on what it is in the Scandanavian culture that allows them to feature a biodynamic garden in the center of their capitol – and why that is difficult to see happening anytime soon in any similar US city, (outside of – maybe – Oregon or San Francisco…). Why do Americans resist representations of progressive health and beauty? It’s so weird here! Anyway, beautiful post, thank you. I have a Swedish friend and she is a lovely person, lol.

    • There seems to be something about their culture that makes them gravitate towards sustainability (the train from the airport is run on 100% green electricity) and they were very proud that a lot of their foods were organic. The city of Paris has planted a garden in front of city hall. But alas, it’s just temporary. But I was thinking how great it would be when they renovated Les Halles, they would be inspired to put some sort of sustainable food-related thing (like a daily market featuring great local products) – however I think they are just erecting some kind of structure in its place.

      (There was a plan to put 600,000 plants on the Eiffel Tower to show “France’s commitment to the environment“, which never happened – but I’d love a composting program instead!)

  • I love any kind of bread… or that any carb?

  • Oh! I didn’t know cardamom was one of the most expensive spices… learn something new every day! Those flatbreads looks amazing… I’m hungry just looking at your beautiful pictures!

  • Oh god oh god oh god…. I think the site is pretty much Rated E for everyone for me to speak about everything I felt while reading this & dreaming of Stockholm….. You are so lucky… Thank you for everything you bring us!

  • You know I’m very picky with the meat to bread ratio in my sandwiches and tend to pick extra bread off which makes people think I’m afraid of carbs or something….but give me a loaf of bread and some butter and I will devour the whole thing :)

  • I’ve been looking out for this piece. Visiting Stockholm in 2 weeks time and this looks like just my kind of place. Thank you.

  • David, I have only recently discovered your wonderful site and books, and I’ve spent all my free time the last two weeks reading back issues. I’m more of a savory person myself, but I love people who love desserts so I try to learn…
    So wild that you move into my “neighborhood” at the very time I find your blog!
    Sweden is a huge country with few (but great) cooks. Recently I organized a pot-luck dinner, and all the Scandinavian students offered were sweet pancakes and fillings for pancakes. I suspect all the skiing keeps them slim. Luckily the Asian students had more filling and healthy ideas. As the teacher, I want to install healthy, and curious, habits, and your blog and books wil lcertainly become a mainstay.

  • The swedish tomato season is actually April-October (depending on the weather that year), so they were really in season :)

    • That’s so early! Maybe they are hothouse tomatoes? I do know that they were biodynamic, but it still would have been more interesting to have items for the garden – although I do know that Sweden is farther north than the rest of Europe so things aren’t as easily available.

  • Your post made me swoon. Bread is my favorite food – especially the crusty, dense type. Thanks for sharing your adventures. I never thought I’d like to visit Sweden, but it has gone on my bucket list.

  • I`ll be the happiest person alive if I could find a bakery like this in my town, I love bread and always try to find a good one, or a good recipe but it`s hard for me to cook the bread in the inside oven, looks delicious, I have to go to Stockholm to taste

  • More gorgeous Scandinavians making gorgeous food, thank you David.

    Can you tell us what are the doughnut shaped breads and why do they have string tied thorough the hole?

  • Oh wow that bread looks so good! The picture right up the top of the
    Square bread with the nuts looks exactly like my mother’s sourdough
    Vollkornbrot (we are German). We eat it with lots
    and lots of butter too! I make almost all my own sourdough
    bread because good bread is so herd to get in Australia,
    but I’m lucky to work close to a fantastic authentic
    German bread bakery for those times I don’t
    have energy to bake myself!

  • Love this place. If there is anyway you can get their cardamom bun recipe I would be forever grateful :-) Have been trying to replicate them since my visit in April.

  • Oh my. Beautiful pictures of beautiful food and beautiful people. Celiac me would not be happy having to pass up that beautiful food. Also, Swedish American me used to love love love any good bread slathered with lots of good butter. I miss it.

  • This is – to a bread nut-case person like me – the most glorious post ever… I go absolutely crazy over bread like the ones you showed here – and I probably would return home with about 20k on my hips (never mind the fresh butter and fish and …)
    Too beautiful for a rainy afternoon on the first day of summer… or stop – maybe just what we need! :) Thank you
    Kiki

    PS: A general question: How come I have to add every single time my ‘data’? Didn’t we have a square to tick that we wd be happy for the site to store this data? Or is it just me? I’m useless with technical stuff (but type VERY quickly!)

    • If you want the site to remember information, make sure you have cookies enabled since that is what allows you not to have to enter that information repeatedly. Also it could be an issue with your browser. The site is optimized for most but some may be different.

  • You’ll find some magnificent recipes for cinnamon buns (cardamom buns) all over. I haven’t seen Rosendahls recipe anywhere. I tend to use recipes that call for cold-proofing and fresh yeast (well actually, those ARE the only recipes I go for).
    There’s a nice book – it’s a very classical book that goes back for decades. My mother has a copy from the 60s and I have a newer update. It’s available on amazon under the title Swedish Cakes and Cookies (Sju sorters kakor). Has recipes for cardamom buns and cimmanon buns. Rosendals also has a cookbook but unless they’ve updated it significantly, doesn’t hold any recipes for cinnamon buns or cardamom buns.
    Also at amazon under the title The Garden Cafe at Rosendal.

  • What a wonderful mail including a perfect spelling of Swedish names. Thank you David!
    Actually the passion for bread is a fairly recent trend. During my growing up in Stockholm there was none of this. In those days however mothers were excellent at baking bread. My mother did so once a week and how!

    Should you care for the patisseries of Sweden there is a classic called “Prinsess tårta” or in French “la Princesse tarte.” Get a slice and understand why it is a favourite in Paris with the great Mozart of patisseries, Pierre Hermé .
    All of us living in Paris find several kinds of Swedish ” knäckebröd ” let alone a deepfrozen fine sample of Prinsess tårta -plus other delicacies- at the little Swedish shop “Affären” in a small street near place Pigalle. Check content at http://www.affarenparis.com.

  • Jessica, thanks so much. Have found a couple of recipes on the web but they have not compared yet, so will definitely check out the cold proofing and fresh yeast (which I cannot seem to find here in Michigan???) and your cookbook recommendations. Can’t wait.

  • David , am I ever glad you went to Rosendals too…. wondering what other places you were able to visit?? Again….. she is beautiful isn’t she? Stockholm <3

  • David, your photos and article are making me crave artisinal bread right now…I’m planning to buy Kerrygold butter and fresh bread at the farmer’s market tomorrow. Then I’ll think about baking bread next…maybe in my once used bread machine.

  • Bread is my weakness. Just plain old bread and butter can drop me to my knees. In fact, I’m going to have bread and butter for dinner. I am going to Le Panier here in Seattle and I’m buying a baguette and that’s dinner. Thanks for the inspiration. It’s been too long.

  • OMG … Must bake some bread soon!

  • Oh my. We’ve been trying to decide where we want to go next time we go to Europe (trying to narrow it down is more like it), and Sweden may just have jumped to the top of the list!

  • I usually don’t feel too sorry for myself that I have celiac disease, but this post made me have a full-on pity party.

  • I am fascinated by that photo of the beautifully printed menu. Can’t read Swedish but I must have stared at the lettering for at least 5 mins.

  • David, an unrelated question. I made the lemon (yogurt) cake with icing recope you posted not long ago. I followed the directions to a tee. Yet the mix overflowed in the oven! Ouch! I used a 9 inch cake pan, as you posted. My pan was 2″ high. Was it the wrong size? Wondering why this happened. I tried rescuing the mix and pulled it out and redistributed into two pans. Then, I re- inserted pans in the oven. This time, the mix never rose. Not a baker, so probably it’s me. Just wondering. Thx

    • I answered that question in the comments of that post, as it relates to that cake and recipe. So you can find the answer in the comments there. Thanks!

  • David, your post took me right back to my exchange student year in neighboring Finland (1960). I first tasted cardamom when my Finnish mother (a member of the Swedish speaking minority) made Pulla (a sweet cardamom-laced, buttery braided loaf). She used the same dough to make delicious breakfast buns. The fragrance still takes me back to those wonderful days.

    Sadly, I’ve lost her recipe, but the following from allrecipes.com is very close. I’d recommend it to Simone.

    http://allrecipes.com/recipe/finnish-pulla

  • Wow! I’m glad I put bagel dough into the fridge last night, or I would be really suffering after reading this. Off this minute to boil!

  • So lovely!
    And big yes to cardamom!!
    I actually found a giant bag of just the seeds in an Indo-Pakistani market: sort better than ground but less work than pods. They come up nicely fragrant under the pestle too. And very reasonably priced. I made holiday cookies the last 2 years, called Pepperkracker, or something like that, they are really thinly sliced butter cookies spiced with cracked black pepper and cardamom that were very popular with the recipients.

  • David, thank you for posting your trip to Stockholm on here. I’ve been to Sweden twice and fell in love with the food and the culture there. On one three-week trip I gained about 12 pounds due to the fantastic hotel breakfasts, which almost all feature regional cheeses, yogurts, that fabulous yellow butter and the most delicious breads and baked goods. Oh, and the coffee was terrific, too. You should try to visit the Saluhall in ritzy Östermalm at Östermalmstorg, 114 42 Stockholm. It’s a gorgeous 19th century food hall filled with all kinds of kiosks, especially seafood which features herring, gravlax and crawfish (“kräftor”) in season. I am living vicariously through you on this trip. Enjoy what’s left!

  • Knackebröd…just the excuse I needed for breaking out my lefse rolling pin!

  • Just came across a swedish cookbook that I’d go for (I have it and use it frequently, wasn’t sure if available in english), Swedish Cookies and Desserts by Malin Landqvist.

  • David, I must give a big bravissimo to your salted caramel ice cream recipe out of ‘Ready for Dessert’. Owned the book for several years and just now tried this recipe. It is better than gelato eaten while I was sitting on the Spanish steps. ( Which I have done many times!)

    The caramel instructions are spot on.

    We are hosting dinner for the vet and her husband from the next ranch over and I will proudly serve this dish!

  • David, were you able to get any recipes, especially for the knackebrod? Your photos bring the taste of the breads to life! So beautiful. I bake bread, as well as pastries, and would love to explore Swedish recipes after reading your post.

  • I’d love a recipe for knäckebröd; a friend/neighbour in our co-op building is a trained boulanger and he could no doubt turn some out. I’ve only head the commercial kinds, and while I really like the thin kind with caraway, this is far more special.

    I’d just been kneading pizza dough and letting it rise as I read this. I had some buffalo-milk mozzarella, so it is very special. Had made a sauce with shallots, olive oil, a bit of Portuguese red-pepper sauce and tomato purée (passato), and your post inspired me to add some powdered cardamom. With black olives and very mild Vidalia onion, it was perfect!

    I bought bread very much like one of the loaves you show, with the hazelnuts, at an organic market stand in Cologne. Not only was it delicious; it kept for a long time.

  • Butter is good for you. Seriously. The Swedes know that.

  • Honestly, is there any food more appealing than bread and butter? Those beautiful grainy slices with the skiff of butter…I’m in heaven, just looking.

  • David, I am flattered and honored by the link to my Swedish crackers. So glad you liked Stockholm, Swedish breads and Rosendals. I used to go there when my child was a baby, they have a beautiful apple tree garden where is very nice to have a picnic in the summer. And I particularly like their home-made herbal teas and their breads, of course. I will be following you and your foodie’s adventures closely!

  • Oh, I’m so homesick reading these entries about Sweden! I have lived in the US since 1984; my dad’s Swedish and my mom is Finnish, and my dad’s father was a pastry chef for his whole career, so traditional breads and pastries are definitely something I have grown up with– I’m nowhere near to a decent baker, but I keep practicing now and then. My mom’s tiny little Finnish mother (aged 96, and still kickin’) published an archival-style book of traditional Finnish breads, pastries & cookies in 2009 when she was 92. (I’m sorry the link is in Finnish only: http://www.adlibris.com/fi/product.aspx?isbn=9525556565 )

    It makes me so happy to find people discovering the pure delight of Scandinavian baked goods and butter. That butter! I think it’s the sun-drenched long summers & green, green grass that those cows consume that makes the butter all that much more amazing.

    PS. I just made your vanilla ice cream for the umpteenth time today. I alternate between that one, the saffron-coconut, and the salted caramel one which are my three favorites. While I’d be hard pressed to really choose a final meal on this earth, I would hope that it included a scoop of salted caramel ice cream.

  • David, I am so glad I discovered your blog. Those photos are amazing, and the butter is sooo yummy. And that bread, what a vision! I wish I could be there inside those photos to have a taste of that.

  • Adoro los panes de diferentes sabores y texturas :)
    Un saludito