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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Homemade Crackers for Pennies on the Dollar

Here is a great reci-pea that you can make with your kids, customize to your tastebuds, and feel good about the snacks they are eating because you made them!

This highly versatile recipe comes together from just four essential ingredients. To customize: add 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese to make cheese crackers. Mix rosemary into the dough and sprinkle coarse salt on top for a gourmet snack. Add sesame seeds to the dough for added nutrients. The possibilities are endless for crackers healthier and tastier than any boxed brand!


1 cup all-purpose flour, more as needed

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup water

Optional additions for inside or on top of the dough:

herbs like rosemary and thyme, coarse salt, cracked pepper, sesame or poppy seeds, minced garlic or onion, parmesan, cheddar or other cheese, etc. We love adding a tablespoon of wheat germ for its nutty flavor and nutritious crunch!

For added richness, an equal amount of milk, half and half or cream can be used in place of the water. Butter can be used in place of the olive oil.

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or dust lightly with flour.

2. Combine flour and salt in the workbowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add oil all at once and then do a few quick pulses until oily clumps form. Do not over-process. Add about 1/4 cup of water and process with several longer pulses. Continue to add liquid a teaspoon at a time until mixture holds together but is not sticky. The dough should have streaks of oily parts of dough and wet parts dough which will make tender, flaky layers in the crackers.

3. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until 1/4-inch thick or even thinner, adding flour as needed. Transfer sheet of dough to prepared baking sheet (drape it over rolling pin to make it easier). Score lightly with a sharp knife, pizza cutter or a pastry wheel so you can break crackers into squares or rectangles later on. Sprinkle with salt or other topping if you like.

4. Bake until lightly browned, about 8-10 minutes. Cool on a rack; serve warm or at room temperature or store in an air-tight container for a few days.

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