Prep 3 mins Let dough rise or not 30+/- mins Roll out crackers 30 mins Bake 10-15 mins Eat 60 mins or sooner
Home-made crackers are in the category of “Why haven’t I done this sooner?” It’s so easy and so much fun. I’ve made a lot of home- made bread and pizzas with fresh-made dough. But never crackers…until now. I introduced cracker-making at our January Soups and Stews class this year – the perfect complement to a warm bowl of soup. I didn’t want the saltines of my childhood. I wanted crackers like I’ve eaten at fancy restaurants like Spago in long trapezoid shapes that stick out of the bread basket.
It turns out they are both easy and fun to make, but more importantly, the result is unlike anything you can purchase at a store. Making home-made crackers is child’s play. Because you feel like a child creating these nibbles. You can make as many creative shapes as you like. You get to put whatever toppings you like on them and they are delicious.
Here’s what you will need for this project:
- yeast, sugar, flour, butter, salt and warm water (hot tap water, comfortable to touch; water that is too hot will kill the yeast).
- food processor to mix up the dough (Let it rest in an oiled bowl for 30 minutes or until you are ready to roll it out.)
- rolling pin
- baking sheet or two or three
- parchment paper to put on the baking sheet
- pizza cutter
- wire racks to cool the crackers on
- small bowl of water and a brush
It’s not necessary to let the dough rise much, since you want it to be flat anyway. Divide the dough into four pieces and roll out each piece into a large circle or rectangle. It should be the size of a large pizza and be super thin – almost transparent. Use plenty of flour to dust your surface and move the dough around as you roll to prevent it from sticking. Then with a pizza cutter, cut the circle into three or four strips.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (because the dough will stick to the pan unless it is greased) and lay a couple strips on it. Then with a pizza cutter, cut the strips on the baking sheet into the desired shapes you like. Brush the dough pieces lightly with water and then sprinkle with your desired toppings. Here’s some suggestions.
Toppings: Choose your favorites and mix it up.
- black and white sesame seeds
- cumin and chile powder
- minced garlic
- dried rosemary (This was my favorite)
- fennel seed (use sparingly) this grows wild in my garden, so it goes on everything!
- Look at your spice cabinet and come up with new combinations.
You will end up with beautiful gourmet crackers that will cost you very little to make, not the bundle they would cost in a gourmet shop. Store them in a container and crisp them up in a 300° oven for a few minutes just before serving.
Serve them with your home-made soup or as a nibble. In our Soups, Stews and Cracker Class, we served them with goat cheese and some home-made jalapeno jelly my friend, Mary-Ann brought to the class.
You will soon find making crackers is addictive and your creativity will come shining through. I would love to hear about the topping combinations you like and see your pictures. But above all, just get crackin and have fun.
Crackers Gone Gourmet
1 1/2 teaspoon yeast or 1/2 package
2 teaspoons sugar
2/3 cup warm water
4 cups flour
2 Tablespoons butter, cut up
2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds, mix of black and white
1/4 teaspoon cumin, ground
1/4 teaspoon mild ground red pepper or chile powder
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1. In a food processor bowl, combine yeast, sugar and warm water. Let rest for 8 to 10 minutes or until it becomes foamy. (You can skip the resting if you know your yeast is active and fresh–there’s a date on the package.) Add flour, butter and finally salt to the processor bowl. Pulse to combine and then turn to on and drizzle in more warm water (about 2/3) cup until the mixture comes together in a ball. Let it continue to run to let the dough knead for about a minute.
2. Coat a bowl with olive oil. Remove dough from the food processor and place in the bowl. Coat the dough with the olive oil from the bowl, cover and let rise for 30 +/- minutes in a warm place until you are ready to roll it out.
3. Preheat the oven to 400°. Divide the dough into four parts. Roll one part into a ball and then on a well floured surface, roll it out until it is super thin, almost transparent. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into four strips. Place the strips onto a greased baking sheet or line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
4. Using the pizza cutter, cut the strips into creative looking crackers – squares, rectangles or triangles. Brush each of the crackers lightly with water and then sprinkle with a variety of toppings: white and black sesame seeds, a cumin and chile powder mix, crushed dried rosemary or garlic and olive oil, fennel seed or whatever you like in your spice cabinet.
5. Bake crackers for 10-15 minutes or until they begin to get golden on the edges. Cool them on wire racks. Store in containers and recrisp in a 300° oven for a few minutes just before serving.
Servings: 50, 47 calories per serving