Sunday, July 26, 2009
On more than one occassion (including one just a few weeks ago), C and I ordered an appetizer that included housemade crackers. Each time, the "crackers" were thick and doughy, and pretty disappointing.
Before passing judgement, I decided to try and make some at home. I went with a recipe from one of my favorites - Cindy Pawlcyn. While slightly time consuming, I was very happy with the results. Now, if I can do it, why can't they?? hmmmm.
1 1/2 teaspoons active dried yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup warm water
1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon cold water
2 cups flour, or more as needed
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut up
2 teaspoons kosher salt or sea salt
seasoning topping of your choice (CP uses sesame seeds, I went for italian dipping oil seasoning)
1. Combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Let rest for 8 to 10 minutes, until foamy. Add the 1/3 cup cold water, then add the flour, butter, and salt. Mix to combine on medium speed until smooth and elastic, pulling the dough down off the hook if necessary. If the dough is sticky, add a little more flour.
2. Gather into a ball, place the dough in an oiled bowl, turn to coat lightly, cover, and set aside in a warm place to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until doubled in size.
3. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
4. Roll them out as thinly as possible into 6-inch-wide, 3- or 4-inch-long strips. (I used a pasta roller to make paper-thin sheets).
5. Lay the strips of dough on a nonstick baking sheet or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Beat the egg and the 1 teaspoon cold water, and brush the crackers with the egg wash. Sprinkle with salt and seasoning, then score the strips of dough to make triangular shapes (they’ll break apart into individual crackers when they bake).
6. Bake for 5 minutes, flip and bake for 2 more minutes or until golden brown.