These crackers are very much like a thin savory version of biscotti---they start their life as a dense loaf that is heavily studded with nuts, seeds and dried fruit. The loaf is then thinly sliced and baked again until crisp. The final crackers are crunchy with a nice bit of chewiness, full of flavor, and beautiful. We've always used these crackers with cheese--- our favorite pairing is with soft blue or goat cheese. But I'm thinking they would make a glamorous breakfast, smothered in cream cheese. And you'd be hard pressed to find a healthier snack.
It's so easy to make these your own. The recipe calls for a cup of seeds, so you could mix and match any way you want. I used sesame, millet, pepitas, and flax. Then you can further personalize it with your favorite nuts and/or fruits, herbs, etc. I used whole hazelnuts and rough chopped dried figs.
The loaf comes out of the oven a deep glossy brown. Let it cool, then wrap it up and pop it in the freezer. When it hardens you'll have a much easier time slicing it thinly for its second round in the oven.
This batter comes together absurdly easily. It's like a quick bread, and all you do is throw everything together in one bowl. The hardest part is choosing your add-in ingredients because the possibilities are endless.
I originally sliced the bread after it was in the freezer for about an hour. I tried leaving the loaf in the freezer a little longer, and managed to get very thin slices on the mandolin set at 1/4 inch. Only try this if you're skilled with the mandolin...you have to apply even pressure, and use caution. If the bread becomes frozen solid it can't be sliced, so you have to let it thaw somewhat. The good news is that however you slice them, these crackers are fabulous.
Hazelnut Fig Seeded Crackers ~~~adapted from Dinner with Julie
oven to 350
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sesame seeds1/4 cup peptias
1/4 cup millet seeds
1/4 cup flax seeds
1 cup whole hazelnuts
1 cup dried figs, rough chopped
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup honey
- Mix all the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
- Stir in the buttermilk and honey. Mix well. (The batter will be thin)
- Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for about 40-45 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry.
- Cool on a rack.
- When cool, wrap the loaf in foil and pop in the freezer for an hour to an hour and a half to firm it up for slicing. You can also freeze the loaf at this stage and slice and bake it at a later date.
- Slice as thinly as you can, using a very sharp serrated bread knife. The thinner you are able to slice the loaf the crisper your crackers will be. Lay the slices out on a baking sheet.
- Bake at 300, for about 15 minutes, then flip over and bake another 15 minutes, until the crackers are a rich brown and crisp on both sides.
If your slices are a bit on the thick side, pop them in the toaster! I think I will experiment with some intentionally thicker slices. They would make fabulous tartines, or crostini, too.
One year ago today---