December 10, 2011

local cheese and homemade crackers

2011.12_local cheese and homemade crackers We picked up 10 lbs of local wheat flour (Farmer John/Butte Mill) and some cheese (Windsor) at the winter farmers' market last weekend, so I've been working on perfecting cracker making with local ingredients. I've been using a recipe from the New York Times, minus the sesame seeds, as a base recipe:

1 1/4 c. whole-wheat flour
1/2 t. salt (not local)
5 T. olive oil (not local)
4 to 5 T. water, as needed

Mix the flour and salt in a bowl, mixer, or food processor. Add olive oil and mix. Add water and mix. You should be able to form the dough into a ball. Roll out the dough as thin as you can (I roll out on a flexible cutting board and then transfer to a baking sheet, then I roll out more with a small, maneuverable rolling device). Then perforate the dough into cracker size pieces with a pizza cutter--don't worry about actually separating them, that will happen on its own when baked! Bake 10-15 minutes at 350 F or until crispy.

This is a great base recipe for cracker experimentation. As is, the crackers are great for eating in soup or with cheese, dips, jam, or local mushroom pate. And if you add flavors like dried basil and fresh garlic, the crackers are great on their own too. If you add sesame seeds and sesame oil as in the original recipe, they taste like those sesame sticks found in bulk bins. I'm planning on trying a nut yeast version sometime as well.

And yes, this counts as a meal; we ate cheese and crackers for dinner!


  1. I found basic cracker recipes too tasteless, so I started playing around with the ingredients. I've been making crackers for a couple of years-- try substituting some of the flour with a quarter cup each of rice flour (or even just ground rice-I use a coffee grinder to grind it), and ground nuts--I've done walnuts and pecans so far, and will be trying hazelnuts. This gives the crackers an incredible texture-crisp and light. (All my cracker recipes are on the Mahlzeit blog.)

  2. Thanks for the suggestions, Xan! We also tried adding local amaranth grain recently and that added a nice texture. The possibilities are endless!