Well things have been a little quiet here on the baking front; a New Year and a newly expanding waistline have pushed baking onto a backburner for a little while. But you know me you can’t keep me out of the kitchen for long.
So this time it’s simple and not sweet. This recipe may be good for my friend Dave inthe USA, who has to watch his sugar levels! Quite often when you head for the diet books out come the crackers and crisp breads – frankly most of them taste like reconstituted cardboard, some of them they have not even bothered to reconstitute them! So I thought, why not… I’ll give-em a go with my Crisp Bread recipe; and what’s more I’ll do my darndest to get some flavour into them.
This makes about a dozen large crisp breads – about dinner plate size, I found the basis for this recipe on line (I always like to credit my starting point, but please forgive me if this is yours – I didn’t keep a record of where I found the basic recipe – so sorry!).
- 300ml Warm Water
- 420g Spelt Flour (I used white, but you can use wholegrain)
- 100g Rye Flour (again I used white, but whole grain would be more nutty, but perhaps heavy).
- 10g Dried Yeast
- 10g Salt (granular not flaked)
- 3 tsp Cumin Seeds (whole) – you can use Poppy Seeds, Sunflower, Slithered Nuts or a combo if you prefer.
You need to start these the day before you need them, once mixed you do not need to do any work until you come to roll and bake but it needs at least overnight to sulk in the fridge. Note on the salt – please use ready flowing salt. Salt is salt – it may be dried by blind monks that are only able to work on Tuesday when there is a full moon. Posh, flaked salt, pink salt, rock salt are throwing money down the drain, use ordinary salt and send the spare cash to me. In this case the free flowing salt will mix and disperse better than any other type. Do not add it to the warm water to dissolve it as this will impede the yeast action.
It couldn’t be simpler – put all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix them up. It will be quite a stiff dough, kneed it until the dough comes together, but don’t go all Paul Hollywood and build up the gluten here – we want them crisp not chewy. My Grandfather gave me many sage nuggets of wisdom, he said when mixing bread only ever use one hand – the other one is then clean so you can pick your nose whenever you want to.
Put the dough into a Tupperware box (how 1960’s is Tupperware?) any plastic box with a lid will do. Leave this somewhere warm for about an hour, you need to start the yeast off first. Then pop it into the fridge and leave it for a good few hours, overnight at least. You know it is ready when you can see bubbles in the dough through the side of the plastic box.
Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan425F/Gas 7.
Take the dough out of the box, don’t expect it to be uber fluffy, it will be lighter than before but not a huge amount, divide into 50G portions (yes weigh them). On a floured surface roll the crisp breads out until they are very, very thin. I rolled mine until I could see the Cumin Seeds from both sides of the rolled out dough. As you roll keep turning them and ensuring there is enough flour to stop them sticking. Also keep your rolling pin totally clean (other than a dusting of flour), when rolling out this thin any buts of dough stuck to the pin will rip the crisp bread.
Lay the rolled out dough on a sheet lined with paper and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, but keep an eye on yours for the first batch as the ovens do vary. They are cooked when they are just slightly golden. I remember a saying that a chef I knew used ‘If it’s brown – it’s cooked – if it’s black – it’s buggered! – keep that in mind. Once cookend pop them onto a cooling rack.
I also used a star cutter to make some small ones, they worked very well. They tended to puff up on cooking so I docked them. Docking is where you take a fork and make rows of holes to keep your finished product flatter, you might like yours more irregular.
They were yummy! I particularly like them with a little low-fat spread and Marmite, mummm. But the were also delicious with marmalade, cheese or paté. Store them in an airtight tin, use within a couple of days. If they loose their ‘snap’ after a couple of days a quick go in a moderate oven will revive them and they are delicious hot!