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Author Notes: These crackers are infinitely adaptable. From the flours to the dried fruit, to the nuts, seeds and sweetener, you can substitute here endlessly. Included in the recipe are ingredients that I used, but below are options so you can bake your perfect cracker. And don't forget that you can make your own buttermilk so easily! Click my profile for a homemade buttermilk recipe. (Recipe adapted from The Kitchn.) —Samantha Ardry
Makes about 12 dozen crisps
- 1 cup unbleached pastry flour
- 1 cup whole wheat bread flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups buttermilk, shaken and at room temperature
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup dried fruit (cranberries, apricots, tart cherries)
- 3/4 cup toasted nuts (walnuts)
- 3/4 cup toasted seeds (sunflower, flax, pumpkin)
- Preheat a conventional oven to 350 F. Grease 4 mini loaf pans and set aside. In a bowl, stir together the flours, baking soda and salt.
- If using a variety of dried fruit and nuts, make sure they are all chopped to a similar size. Add the fruit, nuts and seeds to the dry ingredients and stir them to combine.
- Add the buttermilk and maple syrup to the dry ingredients, then stir thoroughly. Divide the batter between the four pans evenly and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.
- Unmold the mini loaves and let them cool completely on a wire rack. After they are cool, freeze them for about 2 hours. If you do not want to make the crackers right away, wrap the loaves in plastic before freezing them.
- When you are ready to slice the crackers, remove the loaves from the freezer and let them come to room temperature for about 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 300 F and line 3-4 half sheet trays with parchment paper.
- Using a serrated bread knife, slice the crackers fairly thin, no more than 1/4" thick. Lay them flat on the baking sheets. Bake them for about 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp around the edges. Let cool completely.
- SUBSTITUTIONS:Flours: All purpose flour can be used instead of bread and pastry flours. Half of either flour amount in the recipe can be substituted with spelt or rye flour. All white flours or all whole wheat flours can be used instead of a combination.Buttermilk: Kefir can be used in place of buttermilk in equal amounts. 1/4 cup of milk and 3/4 cup of plain yogurt combined can replace 1 cup of buttermilk. 1 cup of milk combined with 2 tsp of cream of tartar can replace 1 cup of buttermilk. If you do not have buttermilk, make a "mock" buttermilk by adding 1 tbsp of white vinegar or lemon juice to a 1 cup measuring cup. Top the acid with skim, low fat or whole milk. Stir and let sit for 2 minutes. For a non-dairy option, combine 1/4 cup of soy or nut milk, 3/4 cup of soy or nut milk yogurt and 1/2 tsp of white vinegar or lemon juice. Sweetener: Brown sugar, raw sugar, brown rice syrup, honey, agave nectar or even corn syrup can be used instead of maple syrup in an equal amount. Fruit: Currants, raisins, dried mango, candied citron, dried figs, dates.... Nuts: Pecans, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews... Seeds: Chia, flax, sunflower, pumpkin, white or black sesame, poppy....