"So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy"
~Colossians 1:10-11

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Homemade crackers

My kids and I have been loving Katie's recipe for homemade crackers.
The first time I made them, we ate them all that day :-)
The next time I made a double batch and they are lasting longer!
Click this link for the detailed directions - below is the recipe and simplified direction!

Homemade “Wheat Thins” Style Crackers
Adapted from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Cookbook
From Kitchenstewardship.com

1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ Tbs sugar (or honey)
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp paprika
4 Tbs butter
¼ cup water
¼ tsp vanilla
salt for topping

Mix ‘em: Combine the flour, sugar, salt and paprika in a medium bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and mix it in thoroughly, using your fingers, a pastry blender, a mixer or a food processor. Combine the water and vanilla, and add to the flour mixture, mixing until smooth.
(Note: If you use honey, just mix it in with the water.)

Prep ‘em: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets or line with parchment paper. For crackers, I would HIGHLY recommend using a baking stone , or at least parchment paper. I roll the dough right out on the stone or mat and bake them. Yep, right on the stone. That way I don’t have to worry about rumpled crackers as I move the fragile dough. People say, “Those are homeMADE?” because most of my crackers have perfect shape and are sooooo delectably thin.

Roll ‘em: Divide the dough into 4 pieces; keep the other pieces covered while you work with one at a time. Lightly flour your work surface and your rolling pin and roll the piece of dough into a large rectangle, which should be at least 12 inches square when trimmed. Keep your pin and the surface of your dough evenly floured. Flip the dough frequently to keep it from sticking, but too much flour will make it difficult to roll. Keep rolling until the dough is as thin as you can get it without tearing, at least 1/16 inch thick. Trim the dough to even the edges and use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife to cut the piece into squares approximately 1 1/2 inches wide. I skip the trimming and just deal with weird shaped crackers. Those go to the toddler right away!

Bake ‘em: Transfer the squares to a prepared baking sheet; you can crowd them together, as they don’t expand while baking. See, I get to skip this step, which seriously cuts down the time and failure stress of making homemade crackers! Sprinkle the squares lightly with salt, if desired. Oh, yes – do it! Just use real sea salt with all its minerals intact! Sometimes I also poke the crackers with a fork to make them look even more like the “real” thing. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. Save the scraps under plastic wrap and reroll them all at once just one time.

Bake the crackers, one sheet at a time, until crisp and browned, 5 to 10 minutes. If some of the thinner crackers on the edges brown too quickly, remove them and return the remaining crackers to the oven to finish baking. These crackers bake quickly, so watch them closely – even 30 seconds can turn them from golden brown to toast!
Are they done? You want them to be almost crispy, but not totally breakable to deem them “done”, because they will crisp up a bit as they cool. You’ll learn after a tray or two the difference between “too soft” “done” and “oops”. They’re still tasty when they’re soft, just not so cracker-y. Remove the crackers from the oven and cool on the pan or on a plate; they cool quickly. These crackers will stay crisp for many days, but are best stored in airtight containers.

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