What was your go-to after school snack as a kid?
Mine was undoubtedly cheese and crackers. I was reminiscing about this old favorite snack recently and decided to try my hand at a homemade version.
I’ve tried making homemade crackers a couple of times in the past and while they were tasty, ultimately they missed the mark. Mostly I think they weren’t crispy enough for my liking. I played around and experimented until I had a cracker I was satisfied with, both in flavor and texture. And wouldn’t you know it, my little buddy was wild for these. I realize that making your own crackers may seem a little crazy to some but the whole process takes less than 3o minutes and you probably already have the ingredients on hand. Give them a try and feel free to customize the seasonings to your liking.
Makes about 50 crackers (depending on size)
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground flax seed (optional)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Dash of cayenne pepper
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 ounce (about 1/4 cup) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, cold
4 tablespoons cold water, plus more as needed
About 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine the flours, flax seed, sugar, salt, garlic powder, cayenne, and black pepper. Add in the Parmesan and stir with a fork to blend. Cut the butter into small pieces, add into the bowl, and toss the mixture together lightly. Use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add in the water a tablespoon at a time, stirring with a fork, until the dough begins to come together. After adding the full four tablespoons of water, add more water just a few drops at a time until a dough ball forms.
Transfer the dough ball to a well floured work surface. Roll the dough out into a very thin layer, about 1/8-inch thick, sprinkling with additional flour as needed to prevent sticking. You want the dough as thin as possible while still workable so the crackers will be crisp rather than chewy. Once the dough is rolled out to the desired thickness, sprinkle the top evenly with sesame seeds and roll the rolling pin over the seeds to lightly press them into the dough. Use a pastry roller or pizza cutter to cut the crackers into small squares or rectangles, about 1-1½ inches per side. (Alternatively, use a decorative cutter, cut into triangles, etc. Make whatever shape you like!) Reroll any scraps from the edges and cut into more crackers.
Transfer the pieces of dough to the prepared baking sheet. (They can be spaced relatively close because they shouldn’t spread much.) Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until the crackers are golden brown and crisp, about 16-18 minutes. Let cool briefly on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
baking, cracker, kid-friendly, whole grain
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