Our July 2012 Daring Baker's Hose was Dana McFarland and she challenged us to make homemade crackers! Dana showed us some techniques for making crackers and encouraged us to use our creativity to make each cracker our own by using ingredients we love.
I was super excited about this challenge as I love crackers. My favourites are anything cheesy, krackawheat and those fluffy Cornish wafers! Cheese and crackers is a staple at Christmas in our family and (you should know about me and my phases by now) I went through a phase of eating lots of Cornish wafers. I'm not particularly keen on sweet crackers so I decided to make salt and pepper crackers and some mini cheese crackers.
Our challenge was to make two types of crackers, made using different techniques. I chose one recipe which was rolled by hand and another one where the dough was chilled and then sliced. What is great about both of these recipes is that they are really simple and quick to make, you have to chill the doughs, but to actually make the doughs took minutes! They were also delicious! Here are my recipes:
You will need:
> Rolling pin
> Small round cutter, about 2"
> 2 medium sized bowls
> Wooden spoon
> Hand mixer
> 2 baking trays, lined
Salt and Pepper Crackers
Makes about 24
> 1 cup plain wholemeal flour + extra to dust
> 1tsp baking powder
> 1/4tsp ground pepper
> 1/2tsp salt
> 1 1/2tbsp olive oil
> 1/2 cup water
> Extra salt for sprinkling on top
> Place the flour, baking powder, ground pepper and salt in a medium sized bowl.
> Add in the olive oil.
> With a wooden spoon, mix the olive oil into the flour.
> Add in the water and mix into a dough.
> Knead the dough briefly and wrap the dough in cling film and put in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes.
> After chilling, preheat the oven to 230 degrees C and flour the work surface. Line a baking tray.
> Turn the dough out onto the work surface.
> Roll the dough out with a rolling pin, you want it quite thin, probably about 0.5cm.
> Cut your rounds out and place them on a baking tray. Repeat the rolling and cutting process until all the dough is used.
> Sprinkle some salt over the crackers and then place them in the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes, keep an eye on them though as cooking time will change depending on how thick you made the crackers. They are done when they are golden brown and firm to touch.
> Leave to cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Will keep for a good few weeks.
Mini Cheese Crackers
Makes about 30
> 60g butter, softened
> 120g cheddar cheese (as strong as you like)
> 1/2 cup + 1 1/2tbsp plain flour
> 1/4tsp salt
> Grate your cheese.
> Place the butter in a medium bowl and then add in the cheese.
> Beat with your hand mixer until well combined and fluffy.
> Add in the flour and salt.
> Beat until well combined and then, using your hands or a spoon, gather the mixture into a dough.
> Form into a log, by flouring the work surface and then moulding it with your hands. I made mine rectangular, but you can make and shape you want.
> Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge for at least an hour.
> After chilling, preheat the oven to 160 degrees C and line a baking tray.
> Slice the log into rectangles about 1/2 inch thick.
> After you've cut them all, place on a baking tray.
> Place in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes until lightly brown and firm to touch.
> Leave to cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Will keep for up to a week.