Sunday, February 7, 2016

Seedy Sourdough Crackers

I love making homemade crackers. Hang on, let me rephrase that; I love having homemade crackers on hand to eat. I have to admit I don't always love making them. But honestly, they're not that big of a pain to make, it just takes a bit of time, especially when you have a big recipe. But the end results are completely worth it and that is why I keep making different versions of homemade crackers again and again. 

This recipe is probably the best that I've made to date. I used a basic recipe for sourdough crackers that I've used in the past, but to add some interest to the crackers I added some seeds and grains, for flavor, texture and looks. Looking at what I had hanging around, I decided on poppy seeds, sunflower seeds and rolled oats. I coarsely ground the sunflower seeds and oats in a food processor for just a second or two before adding them so the pieces wouldn't be too big. The resulting crackers turned out delicious! Crisp and nutty with a slight tang from the sourdough. I highly recommend taking the time if you have it to roll out these addicting homemade crackers. 

You could use whatever seeds or nuts you have on hand to add to these crackers. Just be sure to grind up any bigger pieces so they incorporate better into the dough and make it easier to roll out. I used my pasta making to roll the crackers to an even thickness. I have found that this is by far the best way to roll out crackers, but that doesn't mean you can't roll them by hand with a rolling pin if you don't have a pasta machine. Just do your best to roll them as thin and as evenly as you can. You'll have to watch them a little more closely when baking too, to make sure they don't bake too unevenly.

Seedy Sourdough Crackers
Adapted from King Arthur Flour and Reformation Acres
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup (9 ounces) unfed sourdough starter
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) butter, at room temperature
  • 2-4 tablespoons assorted grains and/or seeds (poppy seeds, sesame seeds, coarsely chopped sunflower seeds, coarsely ground oats, etc)
Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium low until everything is well combined into a nice, cohesive dough. Add a little extra water if the mixture seeds too wet and sticky. 

Assemble pasta maker. Roll small pieces of the dough through the machine until very thin (I went to setting 5 or 6 on my machine). Alternatively, you can use a rolling pin and roll the dough out on a well floured surface, trying as much as possible to roll the dough to an even thickness. Cut the dough out using cookie cutters, or use a pastry scraper to cut freehand. 

Place the cut shapes on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the fridge for a few minutes while you preheat the oven to 375 degrees (I find it easier to dock the dough when it has firmed up a little in the fridge, but this is not absolutely necessary). Sprinkle crackers with a little extra kosher salt if desired and use a fork or toothpick to poke a few holes in each cracker. Bake crackers for 12-15 minutes, until nicely golden brown and crisp all the way through. Watch them carefully toward the end as they can over cook quite quickly. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container. 

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