Monday, September 16, 2013

The Bread Baking Babes make Crunchy Crackers!

Crackers. Easy to make. You just have to have faith in rolling them thin and baking them til crisp, which is more about using your own discretion than obeying the times on a recipe.

You can whip these up in an afternoon and have something special to pair with your wine and cheese when people stop by.

Bread Baking Babe Tanna challenged us to bake these fun crackers for a late summer hurrah, perfect for snacking on on deck or in the kitchen.

I made mine to the recipe, the lower amount of water and more whole wheat flour for rolling and shaping. My toppings are sesame seeds, flax seeds and Hawaiian rock salt for crunch. See below for the recipe and try your hand at homemade crackers.

Delicious!

Crunchy Crackers
Recipe By: KAF
Yield: 2 cookie sheets

Summary:

This recipe mimics an extra-crunchy, seed-topped whole-gain cracker you may find at your supermarket. These are great for spreads and dips of all kinds.

Ingredients:

198 to 227g lukewarm water
170 g King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
120 g King Arthur Whole Wheat/Spelt
2 tablespoons non-diastatic malt powder or sugar - I used malt syrup
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
30 g whole ground flax
14 g sesame seeds
*Substitute 28g golden flax seeds for the flax and sesame, if desired.

Topping
71 g sunflower seeds, midget preferred*
28 g sesame seeds*
28 g whole flax seeds,* golden preferred
sea salt or your favorite flavored salt, if desired
*Substitute 3/4 cup artisan bread topping + 1/4 cup whole flax seeds for the sunflower, sesame, and flax seeds, if desired.

Directions:

1) To make the dough: Mix and knead together all of the cracker ingredients (except the seeds) to a smooth, fairly stiff dough. Add 1-2 more tablespoons of water if the dough is dry.

2) Knead in the seeds.

3) Let the dough rise, covered, for 60 to 90 minutes, until it's expanded a bit.

4) Divide the dough in half. Working with one piece at a time, roll it into a rectangle approximately 14" x 9", a generous 1/8" thick. This will probably require you to roll the dough until it fights back; give it a 10-minute rest, then come back and roll some more. It may need two rest periods to allow you to roll it thin enough.

5) For easiest handling, turn the dough onto a piece of parchment paper. Spritz the dough with water. Sprinkle with 1/4 of the topping seeds, lay a piece of parchment on top, and press the seeds in with a rolling pin. Turn the dough over, peel off the parchment, and repeat. Set the seeded crackers on a baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining piece of dough.

6) If you don't have parchment, roll on a rolling mat or on a very lightly floured or lightly greased work surface; and transfer the seeded crackers to a lightly greased baking sheet. Sprinkle each sheet of crackers with some sea salt or flavored salt, if desired. Crush the sea salt between your fingers or grind it in a salt mill if it's very coarse.

7) Prick the dough over with a fork, and cut it into rectangles, whatever size you like. Pull the crackers apart just a bit; you don't need to separate them completely. Let the crackers rise for 30 to 45 minutes. while you preheat your oven to 350°F; they'll get just a bit puffy.

8) Bake for 20 minutes, until the crackers are a medium brown. Turn off the heat, wait 15 minutes, then open the oven door a couple of inches and let the crackers cool completely in the turned-off oven. When they're completely cool, break apart, if necessary, and store airtight.

The Bread Baking Babes