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Polly Wants Your Crackers
April 5, 2009 11:50 PM   Subscribe

I ran out of crackers the other day and decided to try making my own. I can't say the finished product was exactly what I had in mind when the cracker craving struck, but tasty they were, and now I'm on a quest. Anyone here have a crispy, savory cracker recipe to share?

I based mine on Mark Bittman's recipe, but added all sorts of stuff because I have terrible impulse control. My crackers were crisp, but closer in texture to graham crackers than to the flaky light wheat crisps I get at TJ's. Is there a way I can recreate a savory, buttery crisp at home with a standard consumer oven and a pizza stone? Well, even if that's not really possible, I'd love some cracker recipes-- cheese, wheat, matzah, soda, low-carb, chik'n-in-a-biskitesque, any and all are appreciated!
posted by maryh to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 49 users marked this as a favorite
 
In my experience, following Mark Bittman's recipe (and not handling the dough too much) will give you a pretty good cracker. I have also added a bunch of shit to mine and have been mostly unhappy with the results, except for when I add Parmesan.

You can always cut in more butter -- chill however much butter you want (1-4 tablespoons to start out) in the freezer for an hour or so, then use the food processor to chop it up into little crumbles. Then go on with the recipe, adding flour and water and salt and whatever else.
posted by rossination at 12:10 AM on April 6, 2009


To get things started, here's the recipe I used (and I was really faking it, so the amounts are approximate):

1 cup whole white wheat flour
2 tbsp salted butter
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
about 1 tsp worstershire sauce
about 1/2 tsp coarsely ground pepper
about 1/4 tsp dry mustard
2 tbsp flaxseeds
1/4 cup cold water (plus some to make a decent dough ball)

I combined the ingredients with a fork, then divided the dough into 2 equal portions. One blob went into the fridge, the other into a much washed freezer bag. I rolled the dough out inside the bag until it was less than 1/8th" thick and pretty much filled the bag to the edges, then I transferred the bag to the freezer for about 15 minutes.
I preheated the oven (& pizza stone) to 425 degrees. Found a big knife, some coarse salt, a little spray bottle filled with water, and a couple of forks.
When the oven was hot enough, I took out the stone, sliced open the bag of dough, transferred the dough to the stone. Sprinkled salt evenly over the dough, scored it lightly with the knife into 1" x 1" squares, poke poke poked the sheet all over with the forks, & spritzed dough with the water.
Returned stone to the oven.
Let crackers bake for about 15 minutes, until they looked brownish.
Pulled them out and let them cool on a rack, while awkwardly rolling out the second ball of dough. (Not so easy to keep it square after you've sliced the freezer bag open, but not impossible.)

The scored, cooled cracker sheets broke apart easily, and they had a nice peppery zip. Not quite as crisp as I'd hoped, though. Still, a nice little landing pad for cheese or tuna salad!

Let's hear yours!
posted by maryh at 12:19 AM on April 6, 2009


Here’s my recipe for crunchy crisp crackers - the trick is to let the dough rest before rolling it, and to roll the dough as thin as possible (a pasta machine is excellent).

* 2 cups plain flour plus some for dusting
* 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary (minced finely). Feel free to replace with any selection of seasoning you want - garlic, Parmesan, black pepper, etc etc
* 1 teaspoon of baking powder
* 1 large pinch of salt plus flaky salt for dusting
* 1/2 cup water (plus a little extra depending on how dry the dough is)
* 1/3 cup olive oil (plus extra for brushing)

Pre-heat oven to 180C. Combine all ingredients until you get a smooth dough and knead gently for 5 minutes or until silky. Let the dough rest for at least 20 minutes. Roll dough out very thinly on baking paper and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with flaky salt and cut into strips (a pastry cutter or pizza roller is excellent), and then cut again at 90 degrees to make your shapes. Cook for 10 minutes and check the colour. They should be golden. Turn off the oven and let them cool in the oven for added crispness.

Perfect for cheese or dips. One batch of dough will make a large bowl of crackers.
posted by ninazer0 at 1:59 AM on April 6, 2009 [5 favorites]


My uncle published a small book of cracker recipes - thought it might be of interest. He's been on HGTV and writes columns in a number of herb and gardening magazines, so many of his cracker recipes contain herbs of one sort or another, though some are plain - intended to be used for herb dips and spreads.
posted by chr1sb0y at 2:45 AM on April 6, 2009


I have made Mark Bittman's cracker recipe four different ways. (1) As written with tarragon and lemon, (2) ranch: replaced cream with buttermilk, added most of the dried herbs in my spice cabinet, (3) "water:" only 1 tbsp butter, and water as the liquid, rolled very thin, and (4) rosemary and olive oil: replaced butter with olive oil, added dried rosemary and kosher salt.

I think three things make them crispier: rolling the dough very, very thin; bake them long enough, (although the oven temperature in my lovely (read: crappy) apartment is a bit all over the place); and reducing the amount of fat in the recipe.

Try water crackers, and I'd love to hear how they come out. 1 c flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 c water, 1 tbsp butter. Roll thin thin thin!
posted by teragram at 3:48 AM on April 6, 2009


If you want delicious, easy and impressive, get yourself a Silpat and some high quality Parmesan, and bake little mounds of plain cheese in the oven. You end up with exquisitely crunchy, delicate "crackers."
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:01 AM on April 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ganked from a low-carb forum, this is my favorite cracker recipe EVER (and only a *smidgen* of that love is owed to the utter simplicity of this recipe):

1 cup almond flour
1 egg white (from large, extra large, or jumbo egg)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder

Preheat oven 325. Mix ingredients well. Place mixture onto a well greased piece of parchment paper (preferred) or tin foil. Spray a piece of wax paper with cooking spray and lay over top of mixture. Use a rolling pin to roll out to a cracker thickness. Gently remove wax paper. Sprinkle more salt on top if desired and press lightly into dough. Score with knife or pizza cutter into squares. Lay tin foil on rack in oven. Bake until golden brown about 10 minutes. Makes around 50 crackers.

*

Makes some crispy, delicious crackers that remind me of a cross between wheat-thins and triscuits. If you want buttery goodness, then pull them out bout eight minutes in, brush them with butter, and replace them in the oven.
posted by artemisia at 5:36 AM on April 6, 2009 [4 favorites]


There are a few good cracker recipes, like these cheddar-cornmeal crackers, in Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres Handbook. The recipes for the icebox crackers are also online here.
posted by belau at 6:25 AM on April 6, 2009


If you like Wasa or other crispbreads, here's a recipe for making your own crispbread. These are much better with stuff on them than on their own. And you can store them on a dowel if you put holes in the middle!
posted by cabingirl at 6:29 AM on April 6, 2009


Hey you asked my question. Thanks!

I just looked at the Bittman recipe, it is pretty much the same one I use, but I roll it much thinner than he recommends. I've found you really need to roll it out nearly as thin as you can get, less than 1/8th of an inch thick, to get good cracker texture.
I've cut the cracker shapes with cookie cutters and with a pizza cutter. I've also just baked it as a cracker "pancake". While not the prettiest, the cracker pancake seems to be the tastiest (can shape affect taste?)
I make a cheesy version of this recipe for my one-year-old. Here are the ingredients:

1 cup flour
1/3 cup shredded cheese
2 tablespoons butter
pinch of salt
1/4 cup water

In order for the cheese flavor to develop you need to let the crackers get "golden".

Another recipe I love is this Graham cracker recipe.
posted by a22lamia at 7:13 AM on April 6, 2009


If you like the Lesley Stowe Raincoast Crisps style crackers, this recipe is pretty darn close to the real thing. You can vary up the seed and dried fruit ingredients to get the flavour combo you like best.
posted by filmgoerjuan at 10:15 AM on April 6, 2009


Thanks everyone! These sound great!
posted by maryh at 10:28 AM on April 6, 2009


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