Making crackers

As you may have noticed, we make many items from scratch and buy very little processed food.  However, crackers are an exception to that general practice.  We don’t eat all that many crackers, probably in part because they ARE processed and involve a good bit of packaging waste.

Once a baby entered the picture, crackers went on my mental “things I could make from scratch, but since I’m not in the habit of doing so, and life is now crazy, I probably never will” list, along with making soy milk and a few other things that I don’t remember right now.

A few weeks ago, Matthew printed out this recipe for homemade crackers.  I set it aside, assuming nothing would come of it.  Shortly thereafter, he took a turn staying home with our sick little Sir.

When I returned home from work that day, I found a fresh batch of homemade crackers.  (In case making crackers and prepping dinner while caring for a sick baby weren’t enough, he also made homemade croissants, ensuring that I would look like a complete slacker on my days home with the baby — just sayin’).

Anyhow, I tried my hand at the crackers over the weekend, giving them a multigrain twist, and making a double batch, because we noticed that a single batch disappeared very quickly. 

Multigrain Crackers
Recipe by Melissa

Ingredients

1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 c. oat flour
1/4 c. rye flour
1/4 c. combo of teff flour, corn meal, and/or rice flour
3/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 T. sugar
1 t. paprika
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. water

Directions
Combine flours, baking soda, salt, sugar, and paprika in large bowl.  Cut the butter into pieces, then use a pastry blender to thoroughly work the butter into the dry ingredients.  Stir in water to form a smooth dough (you may need to add an extra tablespoon or two of water).

Preheat oven to 400° F and line two trays with parchment paper.

Divide the dough into 6 pieces and roll each piece on a well-floured pastry cloth.  Roll to about 1/8 of an inch thickness, then cut into squares with a pizza cutter (some will have uneven edges, which is fine).  Use a thin spatula to transfer to parchment-lined baking tray.

Bake 7-12 minutes, switching top and bottom trays at half-way point, until browned on top.  Transfer to cooling racks.  They should crisp up a bit more as they cool, but if they are not as crispy as you want, you can put them back in the oven for a bit, even if they’ve already cooled.

Recipe adapted from King Arthur Whole Grain Baking cookbook.

A few notes:

  • I have a cookbook with an otherwise similar recipe that uses buttermilk instead of water, which I may try next time.
  • If you don’t have a pastry cloth, I highly suggest you buy one.  We use ours All. The. Time.  Pie crust, bread dough, pasta dough, biscuits, and now crackers.
  • Experiment with dough thickness and baking time to get your desired level of crisping and browning.
  • Because these lack the preservatives found in store-bought crackers, freeze any that you don’t plan to eat within a day or two.  This can also help ensure that they last more than a day or two 😉
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