Blog Checking Lines: Sara from All Our Fingers in the Pie was our February 2013 Daring Bakers’ host and she challenges us to use our creativity in making our own Crisp Flatbreads and Crackers!
In the time since I’ve joined the Daring Bakers, I’ve acquired a few go-to recipes that I make over and over again and I can tell that the Raincoat Crisps from this month’s challenge is going to be one of those recipes! I absolutely love a certain brand of crispy cranberry and hazelnut crackers that I splurge on at a local gourmet market. The Raincoat Crisp recipe we were given as part of this challenge is very much like those beloved crackers! These crackers have lots of healthy items in them and are a great snack at any time of day. The original recipe called for raisins, pecans, pumpkin seeds and rosemary. I chose to use dried cranberries, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds and to omit the rosemary to mimic my favorite flavor of those gourmet market crackers. Success!
The recipe is super simple: make a low-sugar buttermilk quick bread loaded with dried fruit, seeds and nuts. Bake in a loaf pan like a normal quick bread. Cool the loaf completely (preferably freeze first for a short time), slice the loaf very thinly and re-bake those slices like biscotti until they are golden and crispy. Then try not to eat them all the same day! They keep pretty well and can be frozen, making them the ideal cracker to serve to company.
- 2 cups (280gm/10oz) all purpose flour
- 2 tsp. (10gm/ ⅓ oz) baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups (480ml) buttermilk
- ¼ cup (50gm/1.75oz) brown sugar, firmly packed
- ¼ cup (60ml) honey
- 1 cup (180gm/6.5oz) dried cranberries
- ½ cup (60gm/2 oz) chopped, skinned hazelnuts
- ½ cup (125gm/4.5oz) roasted sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup (30gm/1oz) sesame seeds
- ¼ cup (30gm/1oz) ground flax seed
- Preheat the oven to moderate 350F/180C/gas mark 4.
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the buttermilk, brown sugar and honey and stir a few strokes. Add the cranberries, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and flax seed and stir just until blended.
- Pour the batter into two 8″x4″ loaf pans that have been sprayed with nonstick spray.
- Bake for about 45 minutes, until golden and springy to the touch. Remove from the pans and cool on a wire rack.
- The cooler the bread, the easier it is to slice really thin. You can leave it until the next day or pop it in the freezer (recommended) for a short time. Slice as thin as you can and place the slices in a single layer on an ungreased cookie sheet. Slice so thin that they are almost lacy.
- Reduce the oven to slow 300F/150C/gas mark 2 and bake them for about 15 minutes, then flip them over and bake for another 10 minutes until crisp and deep golden. You can also cut them in half before the second baking for a better size. Be careful not to burn them.