I think I can safely say that making your own homemade crackers is done less than baking bread. However, whereas with bread most people are just plain intimidated (It’s supposed to double in size? You have to knead it? What?), I think with crackers there is more of this “why bother?” air about it. After all, you can buy them for a few bucks and there’s such a variety: fat-free, sugar-free, herbed, cheese flavored, salt, no salt, etc. What would be the point? Well, despite this, I decided I wanted to give it a go at least once. The recipe below is from my Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone cookbook by Deborah Madison.
oven temp: 425 degrees time: 8 – 10 minutes makes: 70 or more
- 1 1/2 c. flour
- 1/2 c. wheat bran
- 1/2 tsp. salt (optional: extra for the top)
- 1/4 lb. butter (1/2 c.)
1) Combine the flour, wheat bran, and salt in a bowl.
2) Cut in the butter until it looks like coarse crumbs. I cut the butter up into blocks then use my pastry blender.
3) Lightly stir in 5 Tbs. of ice water or more as needed (I used almost 10) until the dough clings together when pressed with your hands.
4) Roll it as thin as you can manage on a lightly floured surface. If you want a slightly salty cracker, sprinkle the additional salt onto the surface and gently roll over it with the rolling pin (I did not add additional salt and it had a strong flavor anyway).
5) Dock the surface with the tines of a fork. The (I used a pizza cutter for this) cut into squares or diamonds.
6) Transfer to a baking sheet. Dust the back of the wheat thin if you think it might stick to the cookie sheet.
7) Bake until lightly browned on top, about 8 – 10 minutes. Let cool briefly, then serve. Store in an airtight container or freeze.
Note: Despite not adding additional salt, these had a bold, buttery flavor. They might be nice served with a nice, mellow cheese or spread to balance it out. Overall, they were not that complicated to make, and I think would be a fun addition to a party or event or just to snack on around the house.