When you find a trusted source, you kept going back don’t you? Shoes you like, you’re likely to look for the brand again? A food blog you try a recipe from, you like, you’ll look to try another? For me there’s at least one site whose products I love and even order repeatedly from and use their recipes. For a bread lover, who do you think that might be? King Arthur Flour has proven itself over and over for me and these crackers are just another proof. This is a beautifully easy recipe to mix and bake but for me at least it’s glory lies in the topping possibilities and yes the use of a variety of flours.
Probably the most often spread we enjoy with these crackers is my spinach and artichoke, made with double spinach and given it’s own crunch with water chestnuts.
Recipe By: KAF
Yield: 2 cookie sheets
Summary from KAF:
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.
198 to 227g lukewarm water
170 g King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
120 g King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons non-diastatic malt powder or sugar – I used agave
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
14 g whole milled flax or whole flax seed ground
14 g sesame seeds or whole flax seeds
*Substitute 28g golden flax seeds for the flax and sesame, if desired.
71 g sunflower seeds, midget preferred*
28 g sesame seeds*
28 g whole flax seeds
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.
1. 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.
I used the larger 227 ml of water and regardless of the flour type used, I have found this to be a sticky wet dough. I’ve played very loose with the white whole wheat flour called for in the recipe: on different occasions I’ve replaced part of it with barley flour, buckwheat flour, spelt and rye flours. Perhaps we enjoyed the buckwheat flour the most but all were terrific. Each time I’ve baked these I’ve added chopped walnuts but my Babes have show me I must expand my nut choices ~ think pecans, pine nuts …
2. Knead in the seeds.
You may do as I’ve done at this point and refrigerate the dough: if you do that, allow the dough 90 to 120 minutes to re-warm to room temp and expand slightly as in step 3 below.
3. Let the dough rise, covered, for 60 to 90 minutes, until it’s expanded a bit.
Don’t expect a large rise here. “Expand a bit” did not translate into doubling as you often expect with doughs.
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.
Perhaps it’s because I’ve always played around using different flours or maybe it’s because I’ve always had that rest period in the refrigerator but I’ve never had this dough fight back, it’s always been easy to roll out.
I also use special rubber bands on my rolling pin to take the guess work out of how thick the dough rolls out. I’ve used the yellow bands in the past for the 1/8 inch but this time I went with the red 1/16. It worked just fine and gave me very thin crackers, crunchy!
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.
7. Prick the dough over with a fork or one of these. I ruined many a cookie sheet using forks to prick cracker dough until I found one of these rollers …
and cut it into rectangles, whatever size you like. This seemed like an insane gadget to buy at the time but after using it repeatedly for crackers and biscuits, I’ve really come to wonder why I put off paying the $20 for so long. It expands to cut any width you like and locks in place. Initially I thought this would be a bugger to wash but I just open it up wide and give each roller blade a wipe, close it up and swish it in the water: clean!
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.
Once again I am KOM … Kitchen of the Month! The Babes have really gone crackers with this one so be sure to check them all out. They’re on the side bar there. If you’d like to be a buddy with us this month, I will be delighted to have you in the Cracker round up to be posed on the 29th September. To be a Bread Baking Buddy, just make the crackers, take some photos, write up your post – tell us your experience with the dough – and send an email to ~ comments my kitchen at mac dot com ~ you know to take out all those spaces ~ PLEASE PUT “Cracker Buddy” as your subject line and get those mails to me by no later than the 28th. I’ll send you the buddy badge and get you in the round up.
See those fire crackers in our badge, thank you Lien! Now get cracken and BAKE!