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Baking for Beginners • Raincoast Crisps

November 24, 2010 by Joan Nova in Appetizers, Baking, Breakfast + Brunch | 9 Comments

More savory than sweet, crunchy rather gooey, and a seemingly simple recipe…this was the perfect baby step for my official foray into baking. Though ‘seemingly simple’, things didn’t go exactly according to the recipe. Do they ever? There was some intended substitution of ingredients — and there were some unintended. Midway, a frantic post went up on a twitter and facebook: SOS – can I substitute egg nog for buttermilk in a cracker recipe? Bought the wrong thing. Some of my foodie friends came to the rescue about mixing regular milk with vinegar. Didn’t help…I had no milk.

Oh, well, I said I wanted to start baking and that I wanted to do it ‘my way’…

When Val of More than Burnt Toast posted these Raincoast Crisps that were filled with a variety of nuts, fruit and rosemary, I just knew I had to taste it. And if I had to taste it, I had to make it. And so begins my foray into baking. [Check Val's blog for the 'proper' recipe. There's also lots of links on google. It apparently originated with a caterer in British Columbia.]

Doing it My Way

  • I used whole wheat flour instead of white.
  • The recipe called for buttermilk but I mistakenly bought eggnog! I used it anyway.
  • But I eliminated the called-for honey and sugar and just sprinkled a little turbinado on the top before it went in the oven
  • I didn’t have flax seed but felt the batter was plenty seeded-up so I didn’t think it would be missed. It wasn’t.
  • Baking it in a loaf pan is the first stage. Slicing and toasting in the oven (like biscotti) is the second step.

    Coming out of oven as a loaf (taken with iphone).The slicing process.

    After the second bake.The uneven cut.

    What Went ‘Wrong’

  • My slicing was totally uneven. I started cutting the loaf down to make ‘melba toast’ size crackers. In the end, I halved them to create a preferred bite-size…and that’s the way the cookie was crumbling anyway!
  • I was leery of burning them on the second bake and perhaps didn’t leave them in long enough. Some were crisp like a cracker; the thicker ones were more like well-done toast.
  • Some got damaged in the slicing, but they were delicious for breakfast. :)
  • And I’ve got about 1/2 cup of crumbles which I’m reserving for I-know-not-what, but I’m sure it will be a good addition to something.
  • I yielded much less than 8 dozen. Don’t know if that’s attributable to the substitution of ingredients or my own ineptitude.

  • Analysis

    Well, I said I wanted to do it my way – but I wasn’t quite ready to wing it the first time out. The taste is exactly as I anticipated…nutty, woody and with a hint of sweet. They’re perfect as a stand-alone treat. However, I’m fearful they might not stand up to heavy-duty spreading. I’ll have to warn everyone tomorrow to gently place a piece of the stuffed brie I made on top of the cracker. And I’m prepared with a back-up plan.

    Would I make this again? Definitely! And I’d even try doing it the proper way.

    Footnote. This post also marks the debut of my new camera, a Canon S95 (see sidebar). I just got it yesterday and I’m still trying to learn all the settings. So far I’m pleased and anxious to learn more.

    NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for. A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!

    9 Comments

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    1. Joan says:

      For some reason, comments were set as ‘closed’ on this post. Sorry for any inconvenience to anyone who wished to leave a comment. I received this email from Val at More Than Burnt Toast:

      I am so glad that you tried the Raincoast Crisps. Have a look on their web site and you will see what other flavours they have for inspiration. Before I experiment I always make the recipe as is, especially when baking. I am not much of a baker but these are pretty much foolproof.

      I agree that it is hard to get them as thin as the packaged ones but we do our best don’t we? There has to be a perfect thickness so that they won’t be crumbly but it takes practice. I used the knife we received in our Foodbuzz package with the serrated edge. It works perfectly but takes a skill I don’t have to get them Uber thin. I hope that you try them again since the loaves are not crumbly and easy to slice even when fresh from the oven and cooled.The secret is to get them as thin as possible to be more like the storebought ones.

    2. I think you should be commended on your efforts Joan! I know the kind of texture and style you were after and I think you did a great job. Topping these with a variety of ingredients would be great for entertaining purposes. And congrats on the Canon S95…can’t wait to see more.

    3. Sometimes that technology has bugs..
      That crunchy is magnificent with the topping I want, so yummy!

      Happy Thanksgiving :)

      Cheers,

      Gera

    4. there was a period when I baked biscottis nonstop; I am tempted to get back into it after seeing this; I like that they are crunchy and full of nuts and of course “good for you”; I would have used yogurt instead, but then I never drink eggnog.

    5. These are a bit like biscotti, in being twice baked and I love what worked and what to do different next time. Thank God food is so forgiving and we can learn from our mistakes! Congrats on your new camera……..enjoy it

    6. Rich says:

      Wait, so I’m assuming that if I want to taste these, I have to make these? And you’re not willing to just mail them? Because I’ll bake them if I must, because I must taste them. But having them dropped off at my door by a kind member of the FedEx team would certainly be easier for me :)

    7. Mariko says:

      Ha! I love when mishaps in the kitchen still turn out. I guess baking is not a science after all.
      Egg nog, I bet, would make some very tasty baking, however unconventional.

    8. redkathy says:

      Bravo Joan, beautiful crisps uneven and all! Bet they taste great. Use those crumbs to top a salad or one of those fabulous tossed pasta dishes of yours. Eggnog sounds interesting.

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