Friday, July 27, 2012

Cracker Time

The Daring Baker's challenge this month was to make crackers.  Now, this would have been a good challenge to make early in the month and take for K...she's a fan of crackers!  However, I got really busy this month and wasn't able to make the challenge until this week...while she's out of town at her grandparents' house.  Oh well!

 Our July 2012 Daring Bakers’ Host was Dana McFarland and she challenged us to make homemade crackers! Dana showed us some techniques for making crackers and encouraged to use our creativity to make each cracker our own by using ingredients we love.  I decided to make the "health crackers" and some cheese crackers.  The health crackers are pretty much like wheat thins but not quite as thin.  I really enjoyed the taste of these.

 I tried flavoring them with Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb but it didn't stick.  Oh well!  These would be really good for a dip or cream cheese and jelly appetizer.  The other cracker was made for D and K...cheese crackers.  They really remind me of cheese straws but thinner.  I enjoyed them but took the rest to D.  These were both actually really easy to make and didn't take a lot of time.  Another great challenge.

Health Crackers
3 cups (720 ml) (240 gm)(8½ oz) rolled oats
2 cups (480 ml) (280 gm/10 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
1 cup (240 ml) (80 gm) (2¾ oz) wheat germ
3 tablespoons (45 ml) (40 gm)(1½ oz) sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) salt
¾ cup (180 ml) vegetable oil
1 cup (240 ml) water
1 large egg white
Cracker topping:
Sesame seeds, poppy seeds, nigella (onion) seeds, salt
Salt sprinkling 

Mix the oats, flour, wheat germ sugar and salt together in a large bowl or bowl for the standup mixer. Combine the water and oil and stir into the oat mixture until it comes together and a dough forms.  Form dough into a disk and allow to rest in the fridge for about 20 minutes but up to a day if you are making the ahead.  Preheat the oven to moderate 325°F/160°C/gas mark 3.  Divide the dough into quarters and work with one piece at a time, allowing the remaining pieces to stay in the fridge as you proceed with rolling out the crackers.  On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to about 1/16 inch (1½ mm) thick and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet by carefully wrapping the dough around the rolling pin.  Brush the dough with the egg white mixed briefly with a tablespoon of water and sprinkle with seeds and salt of your choice.
Cut the dough with a pizza wheel and bake for 25-30 minutes until browned. Crackers that are not crispy once cooled may be returned to the oven.  Store in an airtight container and eat within two weeks.

Cheese Crackers
½ cup (120 ml) (1 stick) (115 gm/4 oz) butter, well softened
2¼ cups (540 ml) (225 gm/8 oz) grated aged cheddar cheese (the better the cheese, the better the cracker), firmly packed
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons (285 ml) (190 gm/6oz) all-purpose (plain) flour
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) salt

Combine butter, rosemary and cheese in a stand mixer and beat well (can also be done by hand)  Add the flour, salt and nuts and stir to combine.  Form the dough into two tight logs and wrap with cling film. Chill for at least an hour and up to several days. The log can be frozen at this point for several months. Heat the oven to moderate 325°F/160°C/gas mark 3.  Slice a log into 5mm (1/5 inch) coins and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake about 10 minutes until golden brown. Store in an airtight container and eat within three days

No comments: