Monday, July 12, 2010

My Latest Obsession......CrAcKeRs

This recipe is one you can whip up fast without making a trip to the grocery store.  I was inspired to make these crackers after buying a goat cheese spread with apricots and honey from the farmer's market.  Since Saturday, I've made this recipe twice.  The first time following the recipe as listed below and a second time, making adjustments to the bake time and pan type.

The 1st time I didn't roll the dough thin enough and I cooked them for 10 minutes then rotated the pan and cooked another 10 minutes, as stated by Peter.  The cooking time was too long.  On the 2nd try I rolled the dough much thinner and baked the crackers on  an air crisp pizza pan, removing them from the oven after 12 minutes.  The crackers did not burn or turn the rich brown. 

Only cook 1/2 the dough on your first try so you don't ruin the entire batch.  You can make adjustments as needed depending on your oven temperature and pan you are using.    

Thin Wheat Crackers
Taken from Whole Grain Breads - Peter Reinhart

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons milk, buttermilk, yogurt, soy or rice milk
2 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons vegetable oil or light olive oil
extra whole wheat flour for adjustments
1 tablespoon kosher salt or sea salt dissolved in 1/2 cup wather for salt water wash

1. Combine the 1 cup of flour and the salt, milk, honey, and oil in a bowl and mix to form a ball of dough.  Add extra flour or milk as needed to make a firm but tacky dough. 

2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 3 minutes, adjusting the flour or liquid as needed; the dough should feel like molding clay and have a satiny surface.  It should not be soft and sticky or crumbly.

3.  If baking the crakers immediately, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cover the dough with a cloth or towel or plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes, then move on to the next step.  If holding the dough overnight, form it into a ball, place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and leave at room temperature overnight.

4. When you are ready to bake the crackers, prepare a sheet pan by lining it with parchment paper or a silicon mat.  Mist the work surface lightly with pan spray or wipe it with a touch of oil on a paper towel.  This makes it easier to lift the dough later.  Transfer the dough to the work surface and working from the center of the dough out to the four corners, roll it out into a rectangle, dusting the top of the dough with flour only if needed to prevent sticking.  Roll the dough out as thinly as it will allow, about 1/4 inch.  If the dough begins to spring back, let it rest for a few minutes, then continue rolling until the rectangle is about 1/8 inch thick.  Brush the top of the dough with the salt water wash.

5. Use a pizza roller or pastry scraper to cut the dough into whatever shapes (small rectangles are suggested).  Transfer the crackers to the prepared sheet pan.  The crackers should not touch.  Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees and continue baking about 10 minutes longer, until the crackers begin to turn a rich brown on both the top and the underside.  (Waiting unil they turned a rich brown made them too burnt for my liking)

6. Let the crackers cool on the pan before serving.  They will crisp up as they cool.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, if I had only read this yesterday! I tried to make crackers today and failed ;( I'll have to try your recipe soon. Thanks Amy!