Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Homemade Crackers

Last week I restocked the cracker jar. Crackers are fun to make and my children look forward to grabbing one for a snack when they get home from school. Even my Cheezit-loving husband likes these! The cheddar crackers disappeared in no time, so I made a new batch this morning, tweaking the recipe for a little more texture.

Wheat Crackers
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4-6 Tbsp. milk

Cut butter into dry ingredients. Add 1/4 milk and stir till dough comes together (use the rest of the milk if mixture is still too dry to clump). Dough should be very dense.

Lightly flour the counter and roll dough thin, to about 1/8". Prick all over with a fork. (You can do this step before you pop the crackers into the oven, but it's easier to do it before cutting them.) I've been cutting my crackers out into fun shapes with small cookie cutters, but you can also use a knife to cut squares, rectangles, or diamonds. Arrange pieces on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 400 F for 15-20 minutes or till crackers just begin to brown. (The thinner they are, the faster they will burn, so keep an eye on them!)

Cool crackers on a wire rack and store in an air-tight container. (If they are not completely crisp, crackers will keep longer stored in the freezer.)

Cheddar Crackers
  • 1/3  cup cold butter*
  • 1 1/2 c  unbleached flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. paprika
  • dash white pepper
  • dash celery salt (optional)
  • 2 cups finely shredded extra sharp cheddar
  • 6 Tbsp. water or milk

In a large mixing bowl, cut butter into dry ingredients. Add cheese and lightly toss till cheese is coated in flour. Stir in liquid. Mixture will still be crumbly. At this point you'll have to get your hands in there and work the mixture until it forms a ball. Don't despair, it will come together eventually. :) Pat the dough into a chubby disc.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Lightly flour the counter and roll dough thin, to about 1/8". Prick all over with a fork and cut into desired shapes. (Or roll dough into two logs, wrap and chill thoroughly, then slice into rounds with a sharp knife.)

Bake crackers on an ungreased cookie sheet about 10 minutes (400 F).

Remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire rack. Store crackers in airtight container in a cool place or freeze for longer storage. 

My husband enjoys these all by themselves, but they are also marvelous topped with spiced pear butter.

 * If you use a whole stick of butter instead, the dough will be softer, but the result will be more like pastry.

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