(Oops, I accidentally posted this while still in draft form. Here’s something more coherent.)
I had an epic day in the kitchen this week, mostly involving my big sack of New Mexican whole wheat flour. As the snow swirled down outside, I puttered away, making bread and yogurt, then two cherry-peach tarts (with frozen fruit from last summer), then egg noodles and goat milk ricotta for ravioli. I figured while I had the big sack of flour out and getting all over the place, and the oven roaring, I should make some crackers, which after our long deprivation, we seem to inhale by the dozen. It was a day of creativity and sustenance, the steady rhythms of measuring and mixing fueled by inspiration and an adventurousness that used to find its powder day outlet in the mountains rather than in the kitchen with flour flying everywhere.
Maybe crackers seem like an obvious thing to make from scratch, but to me they were a final frontier. So necessary, and yet so…impossible. Or did I think them boring? But they’re lovely and oh so simple (how could they not be given that so many other things that have no business acting like crackers often do?). Best of all they contain only the ingredients I actually want to put in, rather than all the white flour and cane sugar and what all the store-bought ones contain. It should also come as no surprise that they are cheap. This recipe is a simple foundation, a blank canvas for your culinary genius. No part of it is set in stone, and everything is up for adaptation.
Whole Wheat Crackers
2 cups whole wheat flour, or flour of choice. (I like to add in at least a 1/2 cup of cornmeal or rye. Adjust accordingly.)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup melted butter or oil
1 spoonful (you decide which spoon!) honey or molasses
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
About 1 1/2 cup of water, but not all at once.
Note: The right moisture content is key to happy rolling–add water in small amounts until the dough is smooth and elastic. My flour seems like a sponge, it takes in so much moisture (we’re all a little dry here in the high desert) so what works for me might be way too much for you. Do not attempt to roll out crumbly dough. It might make you cry in frustration and curse my name. If the dough becomes too sticky, sprinkle with flour.
Roll dough out thinly, and cut out with cookie cutters or into strips or squares.
They can bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until golden. They might come out a little soft, but will turn crispy when cool.
~ lightly press poppy or sesame seeds into top of rolled dough–we call these birdseed crackers
~replace water with apple juice and add a few dashes of cinnamon
~brush with olive oil and sprinkle on dried herbs and parmesan
~brush with egg and top with raisins and sliced almonds
~replace 1/4 cup butter/oil with 1/4 cup nut butter
~add a dash of your favorite curry spices, and granulated garlic or onions
11 Replies to “Homemade Crackers”
Oh hooray, just what I have been looking for. Crackers are on my list for foods we need to start making ourselves. We already stopped buying them several months ago (trying to greatly reduce the amount of food packaging that comes into our home), I will definitely be trying your recipe soon. Thanks!
thank you for this new to me recipe! i have made varieties of crackers and they are one of my least favorite things to make, i don’t know why, but at some point recently, i got fed up with buying them (and Os cereal, any brand, because man is boxed cereal wasteful and expensive. they were my last hold out and i do miss them. yes, we all ate them. Os and homemade granola are the best).
that was babbly. sorry!
I hear you about the O’s–they were our gateway drug to processed snack food. Can’t imagine how one would make them…
Yummy…can’t wait to try these. Crackers are one “convenience food” it’s hard to do without.
Thank you for sharing this beautiful post!
We recently ate at our neighbors home, they had ground the grain in the morning and cooked crackers for us in the afternoon. They were so good and easy! I like your idea to press sesame seeds into the crackers. I look forward to stocking a jar full of them for snacks : )
Thanks for this! Just copied it down to add to my recipe book and will try them soon! Where did you get your NM WW flour from?
We get our wheat through our CSA. A source close to you, though, might be Gosar Ranch Mountain Mama Wheat, which is up the valley from you in the San Luis. Also, I hear there’s wheat farmers in Costilla and Questa…ask around!
oh yum, i know crackers are basically just like a pie crust, but for some reason i never make them…why is this? thanks for the inspiration!
One and a half cups water? Really?
I just added a scant quarter cup and my dough is pretty sticky already.
well. i’ll play around with it and see what works….
the dough itself tastes great already!
(using melted coconut oil, honey, and a half cup cornmeal substituted for some of the w.w. flour —-maybe that’s part of it, that i need to add more flour.)
thank you for the inspiration. it’s been years since i’ve made crackers and it seems that they all called for some sort of dairy added which not all of us in our family can eat anymore.
I know, I’ve decided 1 1/2 cups water is too much, also . I end up using less than 1 cup these days. But have been using a different wheat, so at one time, that really was true for me…
Glad you are enjoying.
I just finally got around to trying out these crackers and they are so delicious. I made a little larger batch – to put some away, and made them with rye and spelt and olive oil – yum! I also tried some of your suggestions for toppings – delicious fresh, with hot soup. Thanks!