Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Week 19: Homemade Crackers

I am a carb lover!! Give me pasta, bread, sweets, and crackers and I am all over them! I can admit that I am addicted to carbs and I am okay with it! We have been making a lot of soups lately since it has been chilly in Southern California, yes, in the 50's! Well, we finally used up all of our crackers and I thought, hey, why not make our own crackers. We used to love a home brand of multi-seed crackers at Whole Foods, that were loaded with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, caraway seeds, and all kinds of spices. Well, I guess Whole Foods decided to out source these crackers to someone else and we just don’t like them anymore. So I thought I would try and see if homemade crackers would do the trick.

So, I took out my Joy of Cooking and of course, they had a section on crackers. Really, all they said is use any bread dough or pizza dough and just roll it out thin and cut them into crackers. Easy! Who knew?! So I decided to use a basic pizza dough recipe, which used ingredients I always have in the house (I think all bread is like that). The process was really easy and I just used my dough hook with the Kitchen Aid mixer. The part I had a hard time with was trying to roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thick! How the heck do you do that? Any suggestions would be appreciated!! I was able to get the edges pretty thin, so they crisped up nice when they were baked, but the middle pieces were thicker and didn’t crisp up and dry out as much as I would like in a cracker. The taste was great, but when they cooled down, they were a little more rubbery. (They are great re-heated in the toaster oven!)

So, it is worth a try to make your own homemade crackers and experiment with different doughs and toppings.


  • 1 package active dry yeast

  • 1 1/3 cups warm water (105 to115 degrees)

  • 3 ½ to 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)

Special ingredients: nothing, just use what you have in the house for seasonings. I had some truffle salt crystals that I crushed and sprinkled on top of the crackers, YUM!!

Step 1: Place yeast and water together in your mixer bowl and let stand for 5 minutes until dissolved. (I used my Kitchen Aid mixer with a dough hook, but this could all be done by hand as well, just a little more tiring!)

Step 2: On low speed mix in the flour, salt, sugar, and olive oil and stir.

Step 3: With the dough hook mix on low to medium speed for about 10 minutes. I found I needed more flour in my dough since it looked too sticky and no way I could roll it out. I think you just get a feel for how much is enough flour. I stopped it a few times and pushed on the dough to see if it sprang back a bit, if so, then you probably have enough flour and the kneading process is about done.

Step 4: Transfer dough to a bowl that has some olive oil in it and just coat the dough ball with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 to 1 ½ hours in a warm place. I just sat it on top of the stove to keep it warm.

Step 5: Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Step 6: After the dough has risen, punch it down and divide the dough into two balls. Let sit for another 10 to 15 minutes, lightly cover.

Step 7: Now the messy part! Put flour down on the counter, take one of your dough balls and start rolling it out to 1/8 inch thick. (Tips would be helpful!!) Try and get the dough as thin as possible. You may need to add flour on top to keep from sticking, but I tried to roll it into a rectangle so my crackers would be square-ish.

Step 8: Cut into squares or any shape you want.

Step 9: Place crackers on jelly roll pan. (I think it will work better than a regular cookie sheet, since we want them to be crispy) Brush crackers with oil.

Step 10: Place any toppings you want. I used course salt, but if you have other seeds, herbs, garlic, etc. go for it! Have fun.

Step 11: Bake for 6 to 9 minutes. I found my thinner crackers were done in about 7 minutes, but the thicker crackers got a little puffy and were just good to eat right out of the oven.

Step 12: Let cool completely and enjoy. For storage, I put mine in zip lock, but they soften up some. I decided to freeze most of them and take out a handful of crackers when I need them and they will stay much longer.

I think that is it. These crackers were pretty easy and fun to make. I definitely like them better than the new Whole Foods version of a flatbread cracker, but you really can’t beat a Triscuit every now & then. Have fun and enjoy!

Recipe credit to: Joy of Cooking

1 comment:

gail said...

cool! And thanks for the reminder to flip through ALL cookbooks sitting on the shelf - "joy" was my first cookbook!