Hummus, cheese, dips, olives, wine… more wine. What doesn’t a good crunchy cracker go with? Unfortunately, prepackaged crackers at the grocery store can be loaded with sodium, and if you’re buying non-organic brands, they can even contain that baddest-of-ingredients, bad boy high fructose corn syrup, as well as other additives. When you bake crackers at home, you can avoid unnecessary (and unhealthy) ingredients and can create a cracker that’s all your own.
In this recipe, whole wheat and semolina flour (often used to make pasta) along with olive oil, combine to make a light, snappy cracker with an earthy taste. A smattering of pumpkin seeds gives the crackers an added pop of flavor and a bit more crunch. These crackers are sturdy enough to stand up to heavy dips and spreads, and are also super adaptable. You can add infused oils, a dusting of your favorite spices, toasted sesame seeds or any other toppings you like to give this cracker canvas your own personality.
Mix together the flours and salt. Add the oil and water. Then, use a mixer with a dough hook to combine the dough at medium speed for about five minutes. (You could also hand knead the dough.)
After the dough is combined, roll it into a large ball. Then, cut the dough into equal size pieces. You could, for example, cut the dough into 12 pieces for 12 extra large crackers, or 24 pieces for 24 medium-sized crackers. Then, shape the pieces into smaller dough balls, cover them with a cloth and let the dough rest for one hour.
Just before the hour’s up, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Then use a rolling pin or pasta machine to shape your dough balls into flat strips. (This will take some elbow grease if using a rolling pin.) The flatter, the better, as it will make for a crunchier cracker.
At this point you can cut the dough into whatever shape you like. Use cookie cutters to make perfect circles, leave the crackers in long strips, or cut them into squares.
Place your crackers onto a baking sheet that has been lightly dusted with flour. Add the toppings of your choosing to the crackers. Be sure to poke your crackers with a fork a few times, otherwise they’ll puff up as they bake. Then, bake the crackers in batches for about 10 minutes or until they turn golden brown.
image: Kirsten Hudson
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