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Crick-Cracks: Savory Turkish-Style Crackers

Cookbook

Spice

Published by William Morrow

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

My friend Ayfer Unsal from Gaziantep, Turkey, introduced me to the savory treats she calls crick-cracks. Found in many different shapes-round rings, long and thin breadsticks, or flat-in bakeries throughout turkey, they’re traditionally eaten with afternoon tea, but I like to serve them as a cracker for spreads (such as whipped feta, creamy parsnip hummus, and hot buttered hummus with basturma and tomato). Turkish crick-cracks are sprinkled only with nigella seeds, but Oleana’s pastry chef, Maura Kilpatrick loads the restaurant’s crick-cracks with nigella, poppy and sesame seeds.

Makes1 pound of crackers to serve up to 12 people as a snack

Cooking Methodbaking

CostInexpensive

Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionBuffet, Cocktail Party

Recipe Coursehors d'oeuvre, snack

Dietary Considerationegg-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Equipmentfood processor

Mealdinner, snack

Taste and Texturecrisp, nutty, salty

Type of Dishbread, flatbreads

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups of flour plus ½ to ¾ cups for rolling out the dough
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 10 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds

Instructions

  1. In the mixing bowl fitted for a standing mixer (such as a Kitchen Aid), combine the 1½ cups of the flour, the cornmeal, sugar, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and the butter.

  2. Using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, mix the ingredients on low speed until the butter breaks down into pea-sized pieces. Pour in the buttermilk and mix again until it is just combined. The dough will come together quickly and will be a little wet.

  3. Wrap the dough in plastic, pressing it into a flat rectangle about an inch thick. Chill the dough for 3 hours or overnight.

  4. Divide the dough into quarters. Lightly flour your rolling-out surface with about ¼ cup of flour. Roll out the first quarter into a rectangle, approximately 12 × 15 inches. Don’t worry about making the dough into the perfect size or shape; it’s most important that it rolls out to be 1/16 inch thick or as thin as you can make it.

  5. Line a heavy baking sheet with parchment paper.

  6. Roll the dough over the rolling pin or fold it in half to pick it up and place it on the lined baking sheet. Place another sheet of paper on top of the rolled dough and roll out the remaining quarters of dough, layering them on the baking sheet, separated by parchment paper. This is an easy way to store the dough as it chills. Chill the rolled-out dough for at least an hour or overnight.

  7. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  8. Place 1 sheet of dough onto each of 4 heavy baking sheets, leaving them on the parchment paper. Dock the dough by pricking little holes into it with a fork; this keeps the dough from bubbling too much when it bakes and creates a cracker pattern.

  9. Using a ruler and a pizza cutter or knife, cut the dough into 3-inch squares, leaving odd pieces on the ends. It’s easier to leave those pieces to snack on after they’re baked rather than reroll the scraps and repeat the process. The dough will get tough if rerolled.

  10. . In a small mixing bowl, combine the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, nigella seeds, and the remaining teaspoon of salt.

  11. . Using a pastry brush, moisten each sheet of cut crackers lightly with water and then sprinkle each evenly with the salted seed mixture.

  12. . Place the crackers in the oven and reduce the temperature to 325°F. Bake them for 8 minutes and rotate the pan. Continue baking the crackers for another 10 to 11 minutes or until lightly browned. If your oven can only hold two pans at a time, keep the other two chilled while you are baking the first two.

  13. . Cool the crick-cracks completely before serving. Store them in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

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The word "crack" in the title is a testament to how addictive these are. Didn't use nigella seeds, but did sprinkle with extra maldon sea salt before baking and would highly recommend that.

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