Our July 2012 Daring Bakers’ Host was Dana McFarland and she challenged us to make homemade crackers! Dana showed us some techniques for making crackers and encouraged to use our creativity to make each cracker our own by using ingredients we love. I've had a few different cracker recipes pinned that I've been wanting to try, but after seeing the recipes Dana posting I ended up trying two of hers.
The good news is that crackers are much easier to make then I thought. This means I can make more of them in the future. When given this task it was requested that we make crackers using two different techniques. I made the Seedy Crisps using the pasta roller technique. They came out thin and crisp. The seeded crackers were great for topping with different cheeses because they were hearty and sturdy.
I then made Pepper Jack, Smoked Cheddar, and oregano crackers using the hand rolled technique. I had difficulty getting the dough really thin but these crackers were awesome! I didn't need to put anything on them because they were already full of spices and cheese. I can't wait to try more cracker recipes in the future!
Pepper Jack, Smoked Cheddar, and Oregano Crackers (adapted from Garde Manger: The Art and Craft of the Cold Kitchen (3rd ed.))
1 c. flour
½ c. Pepper Jack cheese
½ c. Smoked Cheddar cheese
1 t. oregano
1 t. parsley
½ t. salt
½ t. black pepper
¼ c. vegetable oil
¼ c. water
1. Grate the cheese and put it in a large mixing bowl along with the flour, oregano, parsley, salt, and pepper. Mix well with your hands until everything is well combined. This can also be done with a food processor.
2. Add in the oil and mix until it has the consistency of wet sand.
3. Add in enough water for the dough to come together. Form the dough into a large disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
4. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
5. Cut the dough in half and use a rolling pin to roll it to ⅛ inch thickness. Cut the dough into square crackers or use a cookie cutter to make them into shapes. (I used a small biscuit cutter)
6. Place the crackers on a parchment paper lined cookie sheets. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
7. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Store in an air tight container for up to 3 days.
Seedy Crisps (adapted from Good Eats 3:The Early Years by Alton Brown)
1 c. flour
3 T. poppy seeds
3 T. sesame seeds
1 t. salt
½ t. garlic powder
¾ t. baking powder
2 T. olive oil
⅓ c. water
1. Mix the flour, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, salt, garlic powder, and baking powder in a large bowl.
2. Add in the oil and stir until well combined.
3. Add the water and stir until the dough comes together.
4. Knead the dough 5 or 6 times. Cover the dough and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
6. Working with half the dough, roll out using pasta rollers until desired thickness is reached. Place the strip on a parchment covered cookie sheet. Repeat with remaining half of dough.
7. Bake crackers for 6 minutes then flip over and bake for an additional 6 minutes.
8. Cut into squares and then return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes.
9. Remove from oven and store in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks.