Sometimes my inability to think laterally astounds me. Kids, I hope I’m raising you with a little more street smarts. Or bake smarts. Time will tell.
In an effort to be more conscious with our groceries, I stopped buying crackers a long time ago – if they were affordable then they were either full of additives, or had their nutritional value processed out, and if they had any sort of nutritional value, or at the very least no nasties, then they were the over-priced natural artisany ones, and I couldn’t justify the expense. I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to realise I could just make my own. My generation has grown up with so much ‘convenience’ food that the idea of ‘why don’t I just make that? Or bake that? Or plant that?’ doesn’t always come so readily. And sometimes we think it’s probably too hard, whether it’s the time involved or skill. But have no fear. These crackers are ridiculously easy and quick to make, and open to variation, and it doesn’t matter if some are thicker or thinner or wonky or whatever. Can it hold some cheese or dip? Yes? Alright then, let’s begin.
(While there are almost identical cracker recipes all over the net, the first time I made them, I used this recipe – I’ve since tweaked them to suit me but I will be eternally grateful to Emily Christensen of The Kitchn for getting me started. Check it out, it’s an awesome resource for cooks – bookmark it, refer to it often, it’s fabulous.)
1 1/2 cups plain flour*
1 1/2 cups rye flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp raw honey
4 tbs coconut oil**
1 cup water
Mix suggestions (or toppings, but I prefer them blended with the dough)
3 teaspoons will do a whole batch, so halve it or cut it down further depending on how many different flavours you’re going for.
Sea salt/pink Himalayan Rock Salt (course ground)
Pepper and Parmesan
Garlic and Parmesan
Sea salt and rosemary
Nutritional yeast (sometimes called yeast flakes, tastes cheesy, super for Vegos, hello B12! I double this when adding, so 6 teaspoons for a whole batch.)
Preheat your oven to 160c.
Line your trays (I use three) with baking paper, or dust them with plain flour.
Combine your dry ingredients (flours, salt, sugar), then gently mix in your oil and water. Use could do this by hand, although I use the dough attachment in my Kitchenaid.
If you want to add a mix to the whole batch, do this now, or you can first divide your dough into two or three batches and add in different mixes.
Roll out to roughly 3ml thick (or thinner if you can), then take a knife or pizza cutter and slice away. Or cookie cutters if you’re feeling fun. Transfer to your trays, then prick each with a fork a few times to keep them nice and flat.
If you’ve decided to use toppings and not mix extras into the dough, then brush your crackers with some extra water now and add your toppings.
Bake for 15 minutes, but keep an eye on them as they can burn quickly.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool and crisp up.
They should stay nice and crispy for about a week, although you can always whack them back bit the oven to crisp up if the weathers been humid.
(Also, maybe watch your babies to make sure the temperature doesn’t get turned up part way through cooking. It happens….)
*I use white, but you could use wholemeal, or all rye, or another kind. This just gives me the result I’m after. I know plenty of people who are switching out or have already switched out all white flours from their diets, and I try not to use all white flours in my recipes, because yes, too much refined foods = not so good for you, BUT there are actually some benefits to some refined foods, like white flour. Shock, horror, I know! To find out why, check out this great post from Emily Benfit from Butter Believer. Actually if you’re interested in the whole ‘real food’ thing, but think it’s a little full on, then her website is definitely for you. Truly. She’s fabulous.
** Or olive oil in a pinch, but if you’re interested in finding out more about coconut oil, the Internet is full of coconut oil converts, and this is one great post on the subject. And this article will help you sort out the good from the gimmicky.