Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"I'm never buying crackers again!"

That's what I said after making my own flatbread crackers last week. Well, they were delicious. But I did also buy crackers this weekend, so go figure. Anyhow, the best benefit was realizing how easy it was to make your own crackers! Here is how I did it.

I had my pasta maker out already, (stay tuned for pasta post), so I figured I'd take advantage of its rollers by making some flatbreads. I also had leftover semolina flour, which I combined with whole wheat flour for these simple flatbreads.

I followed these basic ratios of dry to wet ingredients....

1 cup semolina flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup warm water
1/2 tsp salt

...but was pleased to find how versatile the recipe was. I added some ground flaxseed and about 2 tbsp of raw sesame seeds to the batter and adjusted the liquid accordingly. The dough should be on the dry side, but all of the ingredients should be mixed together well.

I don't have a nifty stand mixer (next big kitchen purchase, when I'm not a soon-to-be-poor grad student!) so I kneaded the dough by hand for a few minutes until it seemed combined. Then I covered the bowl with a clean dish towel and let it sit for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, I preheated the over to 400 and put in the pizza stone. While the dough rested, I pulled together two different toppings: rosemary salt and cinnamon sugar.

For the rosemary salt, I used fresh rosemary, removing leaves from the stem and mixed them into a pile of kosher salt on the cutting board. I chopped the salt and rosemary together, and them mixed a little garlic powder and ground black pepper.

The cinnamon sugar was easy as pie - just mixed about 1/4 cup sugar with a few tablespoons of cinnamon.

Once the dough had rested, I divided the ball into about 8 pieces, and rolled them to desired thickness in my pasta roller (I went to level 4 on the roller). For the bigger pieces, I cut them into smaller strips, lay them out on the cutting board and sprayed them with my nifty olive oil sprayer. I then sprinkled with the toppings (did about 1/2 sweet and 1/2 savory).

I put the dough directly onto the pizza stone and cooked for about 5-10 minutes, keeping a close eye on them because they go from delightfully golden-brown to burned really quickly!

These crackers ended up being a really great snack! I ate the savory ones with pieces of delicious farmer's market white cheddar, and with some homemade hummus. The sweet ones were not at all overly sweet, so they were good either alone or with another farmer's market treat - lemon quark (which is essentially a fancy kind of cream cheese).

If you don't have a pasta roller or a pizza stone, don't be deterred! You can use a rolling pin (or even a wine bottle!) to roll out the dough and the crackers cook just fine on a cookie sheet. Happy baking!

1 comment:

  1. I was there when you said that! Those crackers were delicious :) I can't wait to make a big batch of them for our roadtrip!