Sunday, 10 October 2010


The hunt is on in earnest for an excellent, long shelf-life crisp-bread. The first problem that I am confronted with is that I have no idea what a good crisp-bread should be like. I never used to eat them as I regarded those packaged things as something eaten under duress when given them at the mother-in-law's for lunch. Mr Taster never eats them, and never even liked crackers. I have tried several versions and am getting to a product I am very happy to eat, made with a combination of quinoa, urid, tapioca, polenta and seeds. However. I realise there are some serious questions that need answering:

How much dry strength should they have? What force, in other words, should be necessary to crack one held between both hands and forcing the cracker up between them (bending).

How much wet strength should they have? How long should a crispbread loaded with mashed avocado, for arguments sake, be able to to retain a horizontal position whilst held at one end.

Should you be able to bite the cracker easily between the front teeth or is it OK to have to use the molars to help? What compressive force is necessary to shatter it?

What crack pattern is optimal - a single crack along the line of the teeth or should the cracks radiate out like thin ice when you throw a rock onto it?

What texture is desired when chewing the crispbread? Should it disintegrate fast or take some work to disperse? Is a smooth texture or one interrupted by seeds etc good?

Should the cracker taste, salty, sweet, nutty? Should it be neutral so that the topping shines or should it be assertive in it's own right?

Then there is all the business about residual moisture and the change in texture as it get older. I figure get it right straight out of the oven then keep testing. I have noticed some of the samples get munched a lot faster than others. So far they have been the ones made with a wet batter spread onto a baking sheet rather than those made into a stiff dough and rolled. Aesthetically I prefer the rolled crispbreads but the spread ones are a lot easier to eat, not softer really but with a cracking pattern that spreads with much less force.

Any comments welcome.

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