Crispness comes in many different guises
Inspiration for new culinary ideas often comes from where you least expect it to, and I’ve found that some of the best suggestions given to me are from friends and family. For example my assistant Hillal gave me the basic recipe for my crispbread.
Hillal is currently a bit of a “Girl Friday” at our Stucki restaurant, taking on whatever task currently needs doing, but I actually met her when she was my daughter Emma’s nanny. Emma developed a real love of crispbread at an early age, so Hillal started baking it for her.
At some point crispbread began to fascinate me because it seemed like a blank canvas onto which you can paint whatever you want. You start off with the basic recipe, but then you can add almost any flavour you feel like to the thin, crisp slices. For instance you could choose linseed for a nutty taste, poppy seed for something exotic or mustard seed for a bit of heat. For a hint of the Mediterranean you would use herbs such as rosemary or thyme, while grated Gruyère or Emmental lend a distinct flavour and rape seed a particular crispness.
And while we are talking about crispness – it varies hugely from one different food to another, from the gentle crunch of crisps to the hearty crack of this crispbread as you bite into it. The stiff dough used for my crispbread contains wheat bran to make it bind well and also traps in a little air, which is what makes it so uniquely crispy. Here’s how to make it:
60g spelt flour
60g finely rolled oats
40g wheat bran
25g sesame seeds
25g white poppy seeds
½ tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sesame oil
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees (convection). Mix all the ingredients together to form a stiff dough. Thinly spread the dough onto a baking mat or lined baking tray. Sprinkle
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tbsp camelina seeds
2 tbsp mustard seeds
over the dough. Bake the crispbread for a total of 50 minutes. After the first 15 minutes remove from the oven and cut into pieces. Choose whatever shape you want, classic rectangles, triangles, or maybe narrow strips that you can serve in a glass on a finger buffet. After cutting, return to the oven to finish baking, then remove and leave to cool. I must tell you though, that this crispbread tastes amazing straight from the oven.