Sunday, February 7, 2010

Homemade Crackers

My lox is ready! What better way to celebrate (other than bagels and cream cheese which WILL HAPPEN) than some homemade crackers. This was my first time making crackers - and i have mixed feelings:
A. i may never buy crackers again as it is sooo easy and cheap to make and i can flavor them exactly as i see fit
B. i may never bake crackers again as they are so freakin' delicious i can't stop eating them!
Anyway, the recipe i used is a mix of several cracker recipes i found online from Towards SustainabilityChowhound, and Bliss Tree. I added fresh herbs and pepper from the garden and chose the oils i prefer:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 pinch finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 3 cloves garlic, also finely chopped
  • 5 chile pequins, mashed
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt (i used fine sea salt)
  • 1/3 cup oil (i mixed olive and safflower)
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • +garlic salt for topping
Pre-heat oven to 400. First mix the dry ingredients, then add first the oil then the warm water. Mush to form a consistent dough. Divide in half and roll out on two greased cookie sheets. I would roll them out thinner than i did and get to the far sides of the cookie sheets. Sprinkle with garlic salt and cut with a pizza cutter. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Mine did not get totally crispy in this time, i used whole wheat flour and didn't roll them as thinly as i could have. I recommend either rolling them more thinly, or increasing cooking time to at least 15 minutes. I rebaked them after they'd cooled by 4 minutes and now they're perfecto.

These are SO GOOD. They taste a lot like those rosemary crostini crackers you can get at Whole Foods, but less oil or sourdoughy.  They filled the house with a delicious garlic smell, and readiness was determined with the sound of sizzle, slight browning, and a lifting of the edges and puffing of the center.

The lox is also super good. Maybe a little dilly - i have a hard time pegging dill as a flavor, but the husband mentioned "dilly." It was tricky to cut up without wasting, but the chickens and dog appreciated the skin. We're excited to pair it with bagel, as the crunch of the cracker was a bit discordant with the smooth of the salmon.
**next day: yes, i think the lox is perhaps 'too dilly' Next time i'll season with more fresh chives and a little less dill, and maybe def use all the sugar/salt mixture - i didn't use it all this batch as it seemed to be more than necessary.

PS: i stored the lox on a sheet of wax paper in a freezer ziplock. Two bags in the fridge, two in the freezer.

Can't wait for my next cocktail party so i can serve from scratch crackers with my from scratch dips.

Things just keep getting better and better around here.

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Thank you so much for your feedback, especially if you've cooked one of my recipes or tried one of my tips: let me know how it turned out!