I love a good cracker. They are the perfect simple appetizer or snack, either on their own or along with a nice slice of cheese or a really good dip. I'm a sucker for almost any type of cracker, but those long thin "artisan" crackers are my favorite. And while there are a lot of really nice crackers out there available for buying, the other week I decided to try my hand at making a batch from scratch. I found a recipe for a beautiful looking artisan style cracker online and just had to try it. I only had to adjust it slightly to fit with the ingredients I had on hand, replacing the assorted seeds (which I didn't have) with some dried rosemary and garlic (which I did).
The verdict? They turned out wonderfully! I've made crackers in the past, but these turned out far better then any of my past attempts. It really helps to use a pasta roller to get the dough perfectly thin and even. The rosemary flavor really shown through giving these crackers a warm herbal aroma and a nice punch of flavor. I plan on playing around with other flavors in the future, this is only the beginning...
Homemade crackers are great, but there is no doubt that they are not the quickest thing in the world to make. It definitely takes some time to roll out all the dough, cut it into whatever shape you want, transfer them to a baking sheet, and bake them up, but it is all worth it in the end. If you have an open afternoon and are looking for a fun project, try some crackers! They will be worth it, I promise!
Rosemary Garlic Crackers
Adapted from True Food
- 2 cups flour (I used 7.5 oz whole wheat and 2.5 oz all purpose)
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon minced dried rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup water (plus 2 tablespoons as needed)
- 3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter), room temperature (I used 1 oz)
- Sea salt, for sprinkling
In a standing mixer with a bread hook, combine flour, sugar, salt, rosemary and garlic. Slowly add the ghee and water to the mixture. Mix on medium speed until a ball of dough forms, stopping the machine once or twice to scrape the sides and roll excess flour from the bottom of the bowl into the ball of dough. Note: You may need the extra 2 tablespoons water to get the dough to form, but allow it to mix for several minutes before adding any additional water. The dough should be slightly shiny and a little sticky to the touch, but should easily form into a ball without getting all over your hands
Preheat your oven to 425˚F and position the rack to the middle. Divide the dough into four equal parts. Working with one piece of dough at a time, feed one end through a pasta machine on the first setting (see note below if you do not have a pasta machine). I usually do this a few times until I get a nice supple dough. Then continue on to setting 2 and work your way up to setting 6 (this is where I stopped on my Atlas pasta machine).
Lay the flattened strip of dough onto a lightly floured surface and using a bench scraper or sharp knife, slice it into equally sized rectangles or squares, whatever you prefer.
Note: If you do not have a pasta machine roll the dough as evenly as possible with a rolling pin, so it’s about 1/8 of an inch thick (not see-through, but close) strip. If you find the dough snaps back, allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes before continuing to roll it out. Cut into crackers from there. It requires more elbow grease and they’ll have a more rustic look this way. Be sure to flour the surface so it doesn’t stick once you’re rolled the dough out thin.
Place the crackers onto a parchment lined baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with sea salt, pressing the salt in gently to ensure it sticks. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes, turning the pan once partway through for even browning. Be sure to watch them carefully, they’re done when the edges are golden brown. Cooking time will vary based on the thickness of your crackers.
Continue with the remaining three parts of dough until you’ve shaped and baked all your crackers. Depending on the size and shape you should yield about 50 crackers. Serve with cheese, dips, and spreads at your next get together. The crackers will store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a week.
Yields: How many crackers you get obviously depends on how big you cut them and how thick you roll the dough out. However, just to give you an idea, I'll let you know that I got 65-70 crackers from one recipe.