Homemade Snack Crackers

Apr 8

Written by:
4/8/2011 7:20 PM  RssIcon



Homemade Snack Crackers


I love snack crackers in unique flavors not commercially available. The above image is of some Asiago Snack Crackers that I recently made. I experimented with a number of variations while developing my basic recipe, which I adapted from Ming Tsai's recipe for his Blue Ginger Crackers. I just do a quick mix in the food processor until the dough just begins to come together, same as pasta dough.

Basic Cracker Dough
12 ounces flour (1 1/2 cups or 6 oz AP flour + 1 1/2 cups or 6 oz Bread flour); I usually go by weight
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt (plus extra for sprinkling on top)**
2 oz oil (1 oz butter + 1 oz EVOO for total amount, or bacon fat with butter and EVOO)
4 oz tepid water (adjust as needed for proper consistency)

to this I add one or more of the following:
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp anise seed
*1/2 - 1 tsp cracked black pepper
*1 tsp fennel seed
*1 tsp cumin
*1 tsp coriander
*1/2 tsp garlic powder
2-4 oz toasted nuts
Finely ground crispy fried bacon
top w/ extra kosher or sea salt
top w/ parm
*these are the combination of spices that Ming Tsai uses

for cheese crackers include the following:
6-8 oz of your favorite cheese like sharp cheddar or asiago
1 tsp smoked paprika goes great with cheddar
1/4 tsp cayenne works well with asiago
1 tsp finely ground black pepper
 
**Check the salt level in cheeses and adjust the added salt as needed.

I think those are most of the added ingredients I have been experimenting with.

If making cheese crackers, first start with cutting cheese into smaller chunks and process in food processor to grate. Add all the dry ingredients, including any added spices or nuts, to the food processor and let it run for a few minutes to finely grind and mix all the ingredients together. Alternately you can always grind the spices, etc. in a mortar pestle or spice grinder; they need to be a fairly fine grind to work with the KA pasta rollers.

After the mix is ground, add the oil and let it continue to mix; it will look almost like sand. Slowly pour in the water in a stream while processor is running. I’ve found that 4 ounces is usually just right but depending on how dry the flour is the water amount may be adjusted; should be approximate consistency of pasta dough.

Knead dough just a bit and form into a ball. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes to an hour; can be refrigerated at this point for later use as well. The dough needs to rest long enough to fully hydrate the flour and spices.

After dough has rested, divide into 4-6 equal pieces. Starting with the widest setting, roll the dough then fold; roll and fold the dough three times on the widest setting. Continue to reduce settings and roll the dough to the desired consistency. I usually roll to the setting or 3 or 4 for crackers, depending on how thin I want them.

Placed rolled out dough directly on a cookie sheet or half sheet pan. You can sprits lightly with water at this point as it does make a slightly crisper top and helps the salt or any toppings stick to the cracker. At this point I usually cut with fluted pasta wheel into cracker size; or the sheets can be baked whole and broken for more rustic look.

Bake in 400˚ F over for approximately 12-14 minutes or until golden. Remove crackers from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, and then place on cooling rack to cool. Store in airtight container.


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