Savory Olive, Almond, and Raisin Crisps

Savory Olive, Almond, and Raisin Crisps

Adapted from Salted Olive Crisps found in My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz

Makes 30 to 36 crisps

½ cup (70 grams) all-purpose flour (flour spooned into ½ cup measure and leveled off if not weighed)

½ cup (70 grams) whole-wheat flour

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 teaspoon herbes de Provence, or ½ teaspoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon fine salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup buttermilk (or 1 tablespoon lemon juice plus enough milk to get to the 1-cup mark)

1/3 cup slivered raw almonds, coarsely chopped (45 grams)

1/3 cup (60 grams) packed, coarsely chopped pitted black olives (dry them in a paper towel if they’re in brine)

¼ cup golden raisins (30 grams), roughly chopped

Flaked or coarse salt

Olive oil for coating pan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Cut a piece of parchment to fit the bottom of a 9” x 5” loaf pan (preferably with straight rather than sloping sides, but don’t worry about it).  Brush the inside of the pan all over with olive oil.  Then put the parchment in the bottom and lightly oil it, too.

In a bowl whisk together the flours, dried herbs, fine salt, pepper, baking powder, and baking soda.  Set aside 1-1/2 tablespoons of the flour mixture.  In another bowl, mix the chopped olives, almonds, and raisins.  Add the reserved flour mixture, and toss with your fingers to separate and coat every piece.  Stir the buttermilk into the remaining flour mixture with a spatula, then add the coated mix-ins.  Let the batter sit on the counter for 10 minutes.

Pour the rested batter into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle the top lightly with coarse salt, a couple of big pinches worth.  Set in the oven and bake for around 30 minutes.  You can tell it’s done because the center will feel firm and the loaf will start coming away from the sides of the pan.  Turn the loaf out onto a cooling rack, remove the paper, and set it right side up to cool for at least 30 minutes, preferably 45.

In the meantime, turn the oven to 325 degrees F, or 300 degrees F if you have a convection oven.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Holding the outside edges of the cooled loaf firmly with your hand to keep the edges from crumbling, slice the loaf crosswise with a sharp serrated bread knife as thinly as possible, a maximum of ¼-inch per slice.  You’ll have to hold the loaf right up to where you’re slicing, so be careful.  Despite your best efforts, there will be some crumbling.  You can push pieces that crumble off back onto a slice; sometimes they’ll stick and sometimes they won’t.  But try it nonetheless.  (Go ahead and eat the ones that won’t reattach.)

Lay the slices down on the baking sheets and bake for anywhere from 30 to 50 minutes.  Flip the slices and rotate the baking sheets after 15 minutes.  You’re looking for them to be a deep golden brown, so watch carefully after about 20 minutes.  Check after 30 minutes and if they’re not browning (which happens for me more than half the time) flip the slices again and then bake them in five-minute intervals until they’re done.  If some of them get done before the others, remove them to a cooling rack while the rest continue baking.

Remove the pans from the oven and let the crisps cool completely on a rack before serving.  They’ll keep for about five days in an airtight container at room temperature.