Sarah 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! They make lovely hostess gifts and healthy nibbles to have in your kitchen. Soft is not a part of this challenge, so no soft pretzels or soft flatbreads. It must be crispy; any flavors your mind can create, any type of flour and ingredients.

RAINCOAT CRISPS

Ingredients:

2 cups (480 ml) (280 gm) (10 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour

2 teaspoons (10 ml) (10 gm) (1/3 oz) baking soda

1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) (3 gm) salt

2 cups (480 ml) buttermilk

1/4 cup (60 ml) (50 gm) (1¾ oz) brown sugar, firmly packed

1/4 cup (60 ml) honey

1 cup (240 ml) (180 gm) (6½ oz) raisins

1/2 cup (120 ml) (60 gm) (2 oz) chopped pecans

1/2 cup (120 ml) (125 gm) (4½ oz) roasted pumpkin seeds (optional)

1/4 cup (60 ml) (30 gm) (1 oz) sesame seeds

1/4 cup (60 ml) (30 gm) (1 oz) flax seed, ground

1 tablespoon (15 ml) (2 gm) finely chopped fresh rosemary

Method:

  • Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4.  In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  • Add buttermilk, sugar and honey. Next add raisins, pecans, seeds, and rosemary and stir just until blended.
  • Pour the batter into two 8”x4” (20cmx10cm) 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.
  • Slice the loaves 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 heat to slow 300°F/150°C/gas mark 2.
  • Bake them for about 15 minutes, then flip them over and bake for another 10 minutes, until crisp and deep golden.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month. Freeze for up to 3 months.  Makes 8 dozens.

SPICY CORN CRACKERS

Ingredients:

½ cup (120ml) buttermilk

3 tablespoons (45 ml) vegetable oil

1 cup (240 ml) (170 gm) (6 oz) blue corn meal

½ cup (60 gm) (2 oz) pastry flour

¾ teaspoon (1½ gm) salt

¼ teaspoon (1½ gm) baking soda

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

½ teaspoon (3 gm) chili powder, or more, to taste

1 teaspoon (4 gm) garlic powder

Method:

  • Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4. Combine buttermilk and oil.
  • In separate mixing bowl, thoroughly stir together the dry ingredients. Add milk mixture and stir until dough forms a ball.
  • Knead on floured board (adding a little more flour if necessary) about 5 minutes. Divide dough in half and roll each.
  • Roll as thinly as possible. Cut into 2-inch squares. Sprinkle with additional salt or paprika.

  • Bake in a preheated moderate oven on baking sheet lined with parchment paper for about 15 minutes.
  • Be careful not to brown the bottoms. Cool slightly before removing from baking sheet, finish cooling on wire rack.
  • Store in loosely covered container. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.
  • Prolong the freshness by freezing for up to 3 months. Makes 4 dozens.

ONION AND POPPY SEED CRACKERS

Ingredients:

1 medium onion

1 large egg, room temperature

1/3 cup (80 ml) vegetable oil

2 teaspoons (10ml) (12 gm) salt

2 cups (480 ml) (280 gm) (10 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour

1 teaspoon (5 gm) baking powder

2 tablespoons (30ml) (18 gm) (2/3 oz) poppy seeds

1 tablespoon (15 gm) (½ oz) granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  • In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, puree the onion.
  • One medium onion will yield approx. 1 cup puree. Measure 1 cup puree and liquid from the onion.
  • Return to the food processor. Add the egg, oil and salt and blend until well incorporated.
  • In another bowl, measure the dry ingredients. Mix lightly to combine. Make a well in the center.

  • Add the liquids in this well. Mix in one direction until the dough is fully combined.
  • Lightly knead the dough, flouring as needed, for 2 minutes. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
  • Rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.   Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4.
  • This is a very soft dough and you may find it best to roll it between two sheets of parchment paper.

  • Roll as thinly as possible. In fact, it is best if rolled as thinly as a strudel dough.
  • Cut into desired shapes. Bake until evenly golden. The time required will depend upon thickness.
  • Cool thoroughly before storing. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.
  • Prolong the freshness by freezing for up to 3 months. Makes 6 dozens.

HERBED FLATBREAD

Ingredients:

1 cup (240 ml) warm water (about 110°F/43°C)

1 teaspoon (5 ml) (2 ¾ gm) active dry yeast

3 cups (720 ml) (420 gm) (15 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour, plus more for rolling

3 tablespoons (45 ml) of extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon (5 ml) (5 gm) sugar

1 large egg whisked with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) water, for egg wash

sea salt, for sprinkling

1/4 cup (60 ml) (7 gm) (¼ oz) fresh rosemary or thyme

Method:

  • Place water in a medium sized bowl and sprinkle the yeast. Stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in flour, oil, 2 teaspoons coarse salt, and the sugar. Stir until a dough forms.
  • Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  • Use as much flour as necessary so it is not a sticky dough. Place in a lightly oiled bowl.

  • Roll the dough around in the bowl so that it is also lightly oiled on the surface. Cover with saran wrap.
  • Stand in a warm place till doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4.
  • Divide dough into 16 equal portions and cover with plastic wrap as you work on each portion.
  • Roll out each piece to approximately 4″x10″ (10cm x 26cm) on a lightly floured surface.

  • Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet. Brush with egg mixture and sprinkle with sea salt and herbs.
  • Bake, rotating sheet halfway through baking, until crisp and golden, 18-22 minutes.
  • Let cool on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month. Makes 16 pieces.
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