As part of our No Buy February Challenge, I’m going to be posting Make Your Own how-to’s on Wednesdays. Learning to make things yourself from scratch is a great way to save money.
I’ve been making my own crackers and flatbreads for quite a while. Healthy crackers can be very expensive, and it’s very difficult to find them without all kinds of hard to pronounce ingredients that you probably don’t want to eat. For our Super Bowl party I made whole grain olive oil crackers, they’re kind of like wheat thins, only much better. I used freshly ground wheat flour and super tasty olive oil from Chaffin Family Orchards.
I used the recipe from Chocolate & Zucchini, making mine with sourdough starter, but you can make them without. I also make mine with freshly ground 100% whole wheat flour.
WHOLE WHEAT OLIVE OIL CRACKERS
2 1/2 cups whole grain flour
(I used 2 cups flour and 100 grams of sourdough, slightly less than 1/2 cup)
5 Tablespoons of coarsely ground wheat or other flour (cornmeal, millet, etc)
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup water
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. If you have a baking stone put that in the oven and you can slide the crackers on that to bake them, if you don’t have a stone you can bake them on a cookie sheet.
Place the flours and salt in bowl, add the olive oil and stir it in with a fork until mixture resembles find crumbs (it’s like making pastry). Add the water and sourdough mix is making the sourdough version and mix it in. When the water is absorbed, turn the dough out onto lightly floured work surface and knead gently to form a ball. Add a few drops of water if the dough feels too dry to gather into a ball, but you don’t want the dough to be sticky in the least or it will stick to the pastry roller.
Divide the dough into 8 pieces equal size, and cover with a towel. Take a piece of dough and flatten it into an oval with hands, dust lightly with flour. Set a pasta roller on the widest setting, and slip the disk of dough in the roller to thin it out. Fold the dough in half so the two short sides meet, and put the dough through at the thickest setting again, repeat a few times until dough feels soft. Since I made mine with 100% whole grain flour it cracked a bit on the edges, but it still worked well. If you don’t have a pasta roller, you can use a rolling pin.
Switch the pasta roller to the next smaller setting and feed the dough through. Repeat reducing the setting on your pasta rollers, making the dough thinner each time. Stop when you reach the #5 setting. Your dough should look like a long oval. Place it on one of the prepared baking sheets, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Continue this process for each piece of dough.
Slide crackers on parchment onto the baking stone, or put baking sheet in the oven and bake for 7-12 minutes, turning once to ensure even browning. If you’re using whole grain flour you might need to bake them for 15 minutes so they’re dry enough when you pull them out of the oven. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
If you find you didn’t bake them long enough i.e. they’re soft after cooling, simply put them back in the oven on 300 for a few minutes to dry them out more. Store crackers in a container and enjoy, you’ll have these eaten up LONG before they go stale believe me!
If you have a large family, or consume a lot of crackers I’d highly recommend making a few batches of these at once. You can change the flavor by subbing in different kinds of flours and different kinds of oils or fat. They’re perfect paired with cheese, and equally delicious with dips. I bet if you made them with half corn meal they could taste a lot like tortilla chips. I have a few other recipes I like to make for store-bought cracker alternatives, see links below for some of my faves.
Do you ever make crackers at home?
Sesame Semolina Flatbread from Wild Yeast
Crisp Rosemary Flatbread from Smitten Kitchen
Parmesan Cheese Crackers from Smitten Kitchen
Soaked Spelt and Yogurt Crackers from Nourished Kitchen