February 2019 Recipe of the Month

This recipe, by Kim Ode, originally appeared in the Star Tribune in September 2018.
Delicious and s
imple to throw together, I am completely obsessed and am never without them in my cupboard or waiting in the freezer to be baked.
They are wonderful with Manchego cheddar cheese.

Rye Crackers with Nuts, Seeds, and Dried Fruit

Note: The baked loaf needs to chill at least an hour before slicing and re-baking the crackers. Don’t want 70 crackers at a time? You can freeze one half of the loaf, double-wrapped in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, for up to a month. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before slicing and baking. From Kim Ode.

Ingredients

1 c. buttermilk
¼ c. honey
1 c.  rye flour
1 c. whole-wheat flour
½ tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 c. dried fruit, a combination of chopped dried mission figs, apricots, craisins, cherries, etc., to total 1 cup
½ c. nuts, such as sliced almonds and pistachios
2 tbsp. each of flax seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a standard loaf pan and dust with rye flour. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together buttermilk and honey. Add both flours, baking soda, salt and dried fruit.
In a skillet, mix together nuts and seeds and toast on medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring, until there’s a slightly nutty aroma. Be careful not to let them scorch. Add to bowl and mix thoroughly.
Spread dough evenly in prepared pan and bake 45 minutes, until firm. Let bread cool 10 minutes, then invert onto a cooling rack.
After 30 minutes, cut loaf down center into 2 long loaves and place on refrigerator to cool for at least an hour. (Overnight makes cutting easier)
To make crackers, preheat oven to 300 degrees. With a serrated knife, cut chilled loaf crosswise into slices slightly more than 1/8 inch thick but not thicker than ¼ inch. Take your time with this step to keep crackers consistent. (I agree completely)
Arrange slices in a single layer on 2 baking sheets and bake for 15 minutes. Remove sheets from oven and turn over each cracker, then return to oven (switching the sheet’s position on the oven racks) and bake 15 to 20 minutes longer, watching carefully so they don’t over brown. Let cool completely; they will further crisp as they cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

My comments in italics –CJ

 

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