Years ago, I became ferociously addicted to Lesley Stowe’s Raincoast Crisps – the Rosemary-Raisin-Pecan variety, in particular. The crisp crackers, packed with ingredients like olives, figs, cranberries, nuts and seeds, have taken over cheese platters around the world, popping up at parties as the one nibble everyone seems to adore. The problem is, they’re pricey – and so I set about figuring out how to make them myself. Turns out there are a lot of fans out there equally excited about the prospect of making them from scratch! Not only do they taste just like the real thing, they cost a fraction of the price – and there’s nothing better than a crisp, freshly baked cracker to set out with some good cheese. You’ll go mad for these!
Unlike other crackers, which are rolled and cut, these crisps are baked as a loaf, then sliced and baked again; the style has spurred many copycat crackers – in fact, there were other versions before Raincoast Crisps made this particular type of cracker so popular.
I made a classic Boston brown bread batter and set about tweaking it – the great thing about this recipe is that you can adapt it to use any number of ingredients to flavor the batter or as additions – hazelnuts & cranberries, olives & figs, nuts & seeds, and rosemary, raisin & pecan (my fave!) are all popular combinations, but experiment to come up with your own.
Freezing the loaf before you slice it is not only a great way to have a stash of fresh crisps ready to go anytime, but will make them easier to slice nice and thin, which means they’ll bake up nice and crisp. (You may need to thaw it on the counter for 20 minutes so that it’s not rock-hard!)
Rosemary Raisin Pecan Crisps
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup flaxseed, ground
1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
Preheat oven to 350° F.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the buttermilk, brown sugar and honey and stir a few strokes. Add the raisins, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, flaxseed and rosemary and stir just until blended.
Pour the batter into two 8”x4” loaf pans that have been sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake for about 35 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. I like to slice and bake one loaf and pop the other in the freezer for later. Reduce the oven heat to 300° F and bake them for about 15 minutes, then flip them over and bake for another 10 minutes, until crisp and deep golden. Try not to eat them all at once.
Makes about 8 dozen crackers.
Per cracker: 30 calories, 0.8 g total fat (0.1 g saturated fat, 0.4 g monounsaturated fat, 0.3 g polyunsaturated fat), 0.7 g protein, 5.3 g carbohydrate, 0.2 mg cholesterol, 0.3 g fiber. 23% calories from fat.