How to crisp crusts

The proper ways to warm chips & breads for dips & spreads

By Jane RodmellJane Rodmell

Pita chips

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Even when the cracker supply has been demolished, you need never be at a loss for suitable accompaniments for dips, spreads, or salsas. Watch these carefully while they’re baking; they’ll very quickly go from golden to burnt.

Crostini

Cut a baguette into ½” (1 cm) slices on the diagonal. Brush lightly on both sides with olive oil. Place on cookie sheets in a ­single layer and bake at 350°F (180°C) for about 5–7 minutes, until just crisp and light gold, turning once. Or grill slices on the barbecue until marked on both sides. Rub the toasted slices with a cut garlic clove. Crostini are best when freshly made but keep for several days in a sealed container.

Homemade Melba Toasts

Cut good-quality stale bread—rye, whole wheat, walnut, sourdough, challah, or fruit-and-nut bread—into thin slices. Place in a single layer on cookie sheets; bake at 300°F (150°C) until crisp (about 10 minutes).

Pita Crisps and Tortilla Chips

Cut wraps, flatbreads, whole wheat or corn tortillas, or pitas into triangles and bake as for Melba Toasts. Pitas are especially crisp and tasty when split in half horizontally, brushed with ­garlic-flavoured olive oil, and sprinkled with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or a favourite spice blend before being cut into wedges and baked.

This article was originally published on June 17, 2008


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