Healthy, Thrifty Homemade Crackers
Provided you aren’t making cheese-crackers, homemade crackers are Daniel Fast friendly, Orthodox Fast friendly, and of course suitable for Lent. You can make crackers using different types of cooking surface, using many diverse kinds of grain, adding various seasonings if you like, and in just about any kind of shape you want, too.
Best of all, they are really easy to make.
Traditionally, crackers were baked in stone or brick ovens so if you have an oven stone, like a pizza stone, you can get fairly close to an artisan style cracker. They also cook up just fine on an ordinary cookie sheet.
For grains, I prefer fresh milled whole wheat flour, but just about any flour will do. Use cornmeal, buckwheat or other non-gluten grains for gluten free crackers.
Feel free to experiment with the herbs and seasonings if you don’t want just a plain cracker. Some successful combinations might be cornmeal with chili powder, rye with caraway or dill seed, whole wheat with garlic powder, or spelt with poppy or sesame seed.
This recipe makes a semi-crisp, fairly dense cracker.
1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour (or substitute rye, buckwheat, spelt, cornmeal, etc.)
4 Tbs (add more as needed) water
2 Tbs (add more as needed) butter or olive oil
½ tsp Kosher or sea salt or to taste
1 tsp seasoning or dried herb of your choice (optional)
Baking sheet or cooking stone
Preheat oven to 400° degrees F
Sift your flour to ensure a light cracker
In a food processor, mix 1 cup of flour, ½ teaspoon salt and oil. Add 3 tablespoons water and mix well.
Gradually add more water, mixing after each addition, until mixture forms a compact ball. If it seems too sticky to handle, add a touch more flour and pulse. If it is too dry, sprinkle a little more water and pulse. Various factors, like altitude and humidity, affect this so use your good judgement.
Sprinkle your work surface (or parchment paper) with some of the remaining flour. To prevent sticking, dust your hands and the rolling pin with a little more flour. Press and roll the dough to about ⅛ inch thickness. If the dough is too dry to roll out, return it to the food processor and add a little more water.
Try to get the dough really uniform. Setting two ⅛ inch thick wooden dowels on either side of the dough so that the rolling pin eventually rides over the top of the dowels like rails is a good trick.
Place the rolled-out dough on a baking sheet (or cooking stone) dusted with a little flour or cornmeal. If you’ve used parchment paper, transfer dough and parchment paper directly to baking sheet.
If you like, take a serrated edge and press serrations into the dough; squares, rectangles, triangles, or whatever. A clean hair comb works great for this, by the way. This will facilitate breaking the crackers once baked.
Place in preheated oven and bake for 10 – 15 minutes, until light brown.
Let cool on a wire rack and break into pieces. If making several batches, mix another while the first one bakes. Remember that you can re-use the parchment paper several times.
About 1 pound of crackers
|High in selenium
High in thiamin
Very low in sugar
I would love to hear any feedback about this recipe. Did you make it? Did you enjoy it? Did you make any adjustments to it?
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