Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Now this is my kind of snack!
Homemade crackers and pepper cheese.
I found the recipe for what I call Rustic Crackers in the current edition of Mary Jane's Farm (Oct/Nov '09). At first I was skeptical, but I decided -- what did I have to lose but a little flour, salt, an egg and some vinegar? So I gave it a trial run and I am most delighted with the final product. I'll share the basic cracker recipe with a slight change that I made to it. Mary Jane has some nice variations to her cracker recipe that you'll want to try too -- sun dried tomato, garlic dill, rosemary, and tamari and pumpkin seed. As you can imagine, you just add the flavors and herbs you like to the dough recipe.
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 t. cream of tartar
3/4 t. salt
3/4 t. baking soda
1/4 c. oil (I used olive oil)
1/2 c. water
1 medium egg
2 t. sugar
1 t. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. sesame seeds
course salt for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350* and lightly spray or wipe cookie sheet with oil.
In a medium bowl, combine first four ingredients and mix well. Add oil and stir until mixture resembles course meal. Add water next and stir until dough forms and sticks together.
In a small bowl, whisk together egg, sugar, and vinegar. Set aside.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out very thin. (think pie crust) Brush generously with egg mixture and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Sprinkle lightly with course salt. Cut, tear into strips, or use cookie cutters to make any cracker shape you want. (I used a pizza cutter and then tore off pieces from the strips) Transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350*. Bake time will vary with thickness/thinness of the crackers. Transfer to racks for cooling. Store crackers in an airtight container. If they ever pick up moisture and lose their crispness, just pop them into a 250* oven for a few minutes.
I found that the more of the egg/vinegar wash I put on the dough, the browner and tastier the cracker. I didn't brush it on until I had already cut and torn the dough it pieces so I had one batch with more egg wash and one with less. I preferred the ones with more. I didn't oil my cookie sheet, but instead I lined it with parchment paper. (I missed that part of the directions)
Now I'm imagining a plate with all sorts of delicious cheeses on it and a bowl of these rustic crackers to sample them with. Add a bottle of wine and you've got a party!