Oct 16, 2012

I Made Crackers!

I love the show Iron Chef. A couple years ago I realized that many times, the chefs and their challengers would whip up crackers to go with their meals, and I thought that was neat-o. I wondered aloud countless times over the past couple years how they made their crackers...it looked so easy and tasty! The Iron Chefs never take more than a couple minutes to throw their crackers together, and I wanted to know how to do that.

I don't think about it often, but occasionally it has popped in my head and I remember that I am on a quest for a cracker recipe. Most of the recipes I have found are not easy, they take time and more than a couple ingredients. I love to cook, but if I wanted a complicated cracker, I'd have made one by now.

Last weekend, I made a delicious, from scratch spicy split pea soup, and wanted something starchy to go with it. We never buy soda crackers, and we rarely have bread or bread products in the house, so I either had to get out of my PJ's and go buy something, or make something at home. There wasn't time to bake bread, so I decided enough was enough, I was figuring out this whole cracker thing.

I ended up modifying a couple different recipes I found, and came up with a tasty, so easy my dog could do it cracker recipe. It went over so well, that I decided to whip up a few batches this afternoon so the husband and I had some snack foods on hand and weren't tempted to make any late night Shoppers Drug Mart runs for goodies. We're trying to save money for a trip to Saskatchewan and trim our waistlines, so being able to quench our cravings at home is a very good thing.

Here's the basic recipe:

2 cups of flour ( I have used all-purpose, whole wheat, rice and chickpea flour so far, all have worked very well!) 
1 cup of water
1/3 cup of olive oil

I added different Epicure Selections toppers and dip mixes to each batch I have made so far for flavour, as well as flax seeds and sesame seeds. I'm sure you could add anything your heart desires!

Rice flour w/flax seeds and Epicure's Garlicy Dill Topper and Chana flour with sesame seeds and Epicure's Curry Dip Mix.

 Put all the ingredients in the bowl and knead until you have a soft dough. Rice flour and chana flour are a bit different to work with, and you may need to use less water or more flour to keep it from getting too gooey. You do not want wet or gooey dough.

This jar is now designated as the "cracker rolling jar". Respect. 

Once the dough is ready, get out a large cookie sheet, and brush on a layer of olive oil to keep your crackers from sticking. Put your wad of dough in the middle of the cookie sheet. You are going to have to roll it very thin, to each corner and the sides. A traditional rolling pin is a pain in the ass for this job. I ended up using a small jam jar I had in the cupboard to roll the dough. It was much easier to roll the dough into the corners using the jar. Please Note: Rice flour can be frustrating to work with. It is very fragile. If you can't get it to roll, then just use your fingers to work the dough to the edges! 

Whole Wheat w/ flax seeds and Epicure's Chili Lime Sansel. 

Once you have your dough rolled onto the cookie sheet, you need to cut the dough into squares. Make sure to use a really sharp knife. I wrecked some of mine by trying to cut with a dull knife. 

All purpose flour w/ Epicure's Bacon Leek and Tomato Hot Dip Seasoning. Please excuse my disgusting oven. It's supposed to be self-cleaning, but its hygiene habits leave something to be desired. . 

Once they're all cut, pop those suckers in the oven at 375 degrees Celsius.  Go do something for awhile. I personally played Hanging With Friends on my phone while listening to The Ricki Lake Show while I waited, but really, that's up to you. Bake your crackers until they are either golden brown or "cracker" like. If they are still moist, keep on baking. You want these babies to be crispy.  The rice flour doesn't brown very well, so if you are using it, you will have to go by texture. Each dough is a bit different, so they can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes to be done. Do not try and speed up the process by using a higher temperature. You will burn them, and then you will be sad. Be patient! 

Rice flour w/ flax seeds and salt! 

Once finished, gently remove them from the cookie sheet and let them cool. If your husband or wife insists on eating them right out of the oven, let them. It's a good laugh.  Break them apart gently if any of them are still stuck together. This will be easy, because you have already pre-cut them. 

The finished product! 

When they're ready, make sure to store them in an airtight container, so they don't go stale, or just eat the whole thing while you watch an entire season of The Walking Dead on Netflix.

Bon Appetite!

*If you make any, please let me know how they turned out! :) 

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