Published by Villard
Homemade crackers are so easy to make, I can’t give you a good enough excuse not to make them. For a perfectly shaped cracker, cut the dough with a cutter into individual-sized squares or rounds. Or bake them in sheets and when cool, break them into uneven shards. For an eye-catching assortment, sprinkle some with seeds and others with coarse sea salt.
2½-inch round cutter, optional
Pizza wheel, optional
OccasionBuffet, Cocktail Party, game day
Recipe Coursehors d'oeuvre, snack
Dietary Considerationhors d'oeuvre, snack
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and Texturebuttery, crisp, crunchy, salty, savory, spiced
Type of Dishbread, flatbreads
- 3½ cups unbleached pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) butter, chilled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1¼ cups buttermilk
- Fennel, anise, cumin, poppy, sesame, dill, mustard, flax, or caraway seeds, optional
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, and pulse a few times to incorporate. Add the butter and pulse on and off until it’s the consistency of a fine meal.
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and make a well in the center. Pour in the buttermilk and using one hand, draw in the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. The mixture will be sticky.
Wash and dry your hands and dust them with flour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead a few times to gather into a ball. Wrap in plastic and chill until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight.
Cut the dough into quarters and return three pieces to the refrigerator. Dust the surface of the dough with flour, and on a heavily floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/16-inch thickness. You should be able to see the color of the countertop through the dough.
Dust the surface of the dough with flour and roll it around a rolling pin to transfer it. Place the rolling pin over a parchment-lined baking sheet to unroll. Using the
tines of a fork, dock the surface of the dough several times to prevent it from rising. Chill until firm, about half an hour. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough, rolling out only as much dough as you have baking sheets.
Adjust the oven racks to the upper and lower positions and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Use a cutter to cut the dough into individual shapes or leave in one big sheet or score the sheet into 3½-inch squares or triangles. Chill for about 10 to 15 minutes. Brush or spray lightly with water and sprinkle on your choice of seeds and salt and pepper.
Bake two baking sheets of crackers at a time, for 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned and crispy. Halfway through baking, rotate the baking sheets to ensure the crackers evenly bake.
Allow to cool. Break sheets into uneven shards or, if scored, break along the score marks.
2000 Nancy Silverton