February 26, 2014 in Food

Homemade crackers tasty and fun

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Nothing goes together like cheese and crackers.

And, if you’re going to make your own cheese, you might as well make your own crackers – it’s even easier than making mozzarella.

I used an April 10, 2013, recipe from the Washington Post that had been adapted from the July 2008 issue of Gourmet magazine. After I made a couple of batches of the Crisp Rosemary Flatbread Crackers, using fresh rosemary and flaked sea salt, I experimented with different seasonings. The uncomplicated dough proved to be a versatile canvas for a variety of combinations – from parmesan and garlic to an Italian seasoning mix of basil, marjoram, oregano, sage, savory and thyme.

I also tried sea salt and dill; sea salt, parsley and white pepper; and herbes de Provence, with savory, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, marjoram, fennel seed, salt, pepper and lavender.

It was so easy and so much fun. It almost felt like decorating cookies.

Making crackers is even easier if you have a pasta maker, which rolls the dough super-thin. Using a rolling pin works, too. Or, you can do what I did and hand-flatten the dough, giving the crackers more of a rustic look.

Next time, I’m thinking of trying some sort of sesame seed or flax seed combination.

“Bagged and banded by a nice ribbon, they would make an ideal hostess gift to take along to a dinner,” reads the Washington Post website where the recipe can be found.

But that’s only if they last until dinner.

Crisp Rosemary Flatbread Crackers

From www.washingtonpost.com, adapted from the July 2008 issue of Gourmet magazine.

1 3/4 cups flour, plus more for the work surface

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped rosemary

1/2 cup water

1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing

Flaked sea salt, such as Maldon

Place a heavy baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven; preheat to 450 degrees. Lightly flour a work surface.

Stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and 1 tablespoon of the chopped rosemary in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center, then add the water and oil, gradually stirring them into the flour until a soft, shaggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto the work surface and knead gently 4 or 5 times to bring the dough together into a soft, smooth ball.

Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Work with one piece at a time and keep the remaining pieces covered with plastic wrap. Divide the first piece into 4 equal pieces; roll each one out on a sheet of parchment paper into a long oval shape, roughly 2 inches wide and 9 inches long, or into a circle with a diameter of at least 5 inches. The dough will be very thin. Use the tines of a fork to prick the dough several times.

Alternatively, and for crisper results, use a pasta machine to roll out each piece of dough until very thin, usually the fifth setting on the machine, and transfer to a sheet of parchment paper.

Right before baking, lightly brush the top of each cracker with oil. Scatter a little of the remaining chopped rosemary on top, then a little of the flaked salt, pressing in slightly so they adhere.

Slide the parchment onto the preheated baking sheet and bake until pale golden and browned in spots, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer the crackers to a wire rack to cool. Repeat to use all of the remaining dough.

Yield: 24 crackers

Make Ahead: Crackers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.


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