A quick, wholegrain, no-fuss fruit and nut-studded Scandinavian-style crispbread for the cheeseboard, with soup or just for nibbling.
If like me, you aren’t an expert baker, this is the recipe for you. No yeast, no waiting, no expensive equipment. Just bowl, tray and chopping board. Sound good? Even better than the ease of prep, imo, these snappy bakes are healthy, deliciously crispy and pretty much like the fancy crackers that come with a fancy price tag. In short, these Cranberry and Hazelnut Crispbreads make the perfect food gift this holiday season.
Just make sure and keep some for yourself.Based on my out-and-out savoury Scandinavian Multi-seed Crispbreads from last year, I unashamedly give you a vaguely Christmassy version dashed with best quality dried cranberries and hazelnuts.
Today’s crackers were a “prop” in my last post’s Sweet Onion, Cabbage and Wild Rice Soup (in essence, a healthier French onion soup), topped with dinky butter-fried figs. But they are truly cheeseboard crackers. Serve a pile of them with a few hunks of best cheese, some split figs, grapes and dark chocolate shards (yes, chocolate) and wait for the plaudits.
How to get the snappiest crackers
The prep for the crackers is as easy as the eating. All you do is stir together a few basic ingredients – mainly store cupboard stuff – roll out, cut out shapes or just into strips, and bake low and slow. Once baked allow them to cool completely before storing in an airtight container. These crispbreads keep well for about 2 weeks but they can be re-crisped in a low oven for a wee bit to extend them if needs be.
The key to the best snap on these crispbreads is in the rolling. Go as thin as you dare. They will be sturdy enough to dunk into dips without breaking and certainly robust enough for cheese duty. And keep that oven slightly cooler than you might think – 160C for fan ovens, 180C for non-fan, and 350F for you North Americans.
Ring the Changes The basic dough of my original crispbread recipe is a canvas on which to add all manner of seeds, herbs, flavoured oils, spices and salts. For Christmas, I’ve given these crispy, healthy bakes a festive vibe by peppering the mix with seasonal hazelnuts and cranberries. But use any nuts or dried fruit that you have. As for the ginger, make it more pronounced if you wish, or swap it for a light touch of mixed spice. I think the orange zest and the juice are fairly useful so do keep them in if you can.
Help! Now, I need your help. I am not much of a Martha Stewart or Kirsty Allsop so have little clue or skill in making these prettied up for giving as gifts. I think I may just get those clear gift bags and tie up with rustic twine (to match the rustic interior!) and a hand-lettered gift card (I can do a bit of calligraphy). Any other suggestions??
Cranberry and Hazelnut Crispbreads
A quick, wholegrain, no-fuss fruit and nut-studded Scandinavian-style crispbread for the cheeseboard, with soup or just for nibbling. xx
120g wholegrain flour (I used this gluten-free one from Free From Fairy)
100g wholegrain oats
50ml olive oil or a neutral-flavoured oil, perhaps avocado
50g finely chopped hazelnuts
1 tbsp poppy seeds
2 tbsp flaxseeds
25g dried cranberries or sour cherries, chopped
1/2 to 1 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp honey or mild maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
100ml warm water
50ml fresh orange juice
Zest of one small unwaxed orange
1. Heat the oven to 180C/160C (fan)/350F. Take out two large baking trays and line with parchment paper.
2. Add all of the dried ingredients to a very large, spacious bowl, stir with your hands, then tip in the oil, juice and water. Stir very well. Squidge with your hands if needs be.
3. Ideally, rest the dough in the refrigerator for half an hour but the dough will hold even if you don’t. Divide the dough into two pieces and roll out each between two sheets of parchment paper. Go as thin as you can for a real good snap after baking.
4. Use any shape cutters that you like, or roll out into a rectangle and slice into rectangular crackers. If doing the latter you can just keep them as they are on the paper; no need to divide them up, just lift the loaded paper onto the tray.
5. Use a spatula to move the cut out pieces onto the two parchment-lined baking trays (or do in batches). Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, swapping around the trays halfway through. If you are doing rectangles and haven’t divided them up, you will need longer, perhaps moving the more done ones to the centre when you check on them.
6. Take the crackers out of the oven. After a few minutes use the spatula to transfer them to a baking rack. Let them cool completely before storing in an airtight container. They will keep up to 2 weeks.