I know, crackers are like $3 a box. Why go to the trouble of making them? Simply, that is what one does if one receives 18″ of snow, the box in the cupboard is empty and the nearest reliably open grocery store is a 30-minute drive away. Even if you have an awesome bodega next door you might want to give it a try anyway. You can switch out the flours, the flavorings, the oils and come up a signature cracker to match whatever wine or appetizers you’ve got planned. Since I was serving these with champagne I kept them pretty nondescript.
Water Crackers, Recipe – Makes about 60
1/3 c. sourdough starter
1 t. yeast, mixed with 1/4 c. warm water and 1/3 c. flour
2-1/2 c. flour (can be a mixture, I used all all-purpose unbleached here)
1/2 c. warm water
2 T. olive oil
Salt and seasonings to taste
Stir the yeast/starter into the water and flour. Let rise for an hour.
Knead in as much additional flour as you need to make a soft dough. I used about another cup, but it will depend on your flour and the humidity where you are.
Roll the dough out on a floured surface as thin as you can get it, about 1/16″ thick. Cut it into circles. I used the top of a wine glass for these.
Now you can decide if you want them puffy or completely flat. If you want them puffy, place them directly on a lightly greased cookie sheet, sprinkle them with sea salt and put them in at 450, on a rack just above the bottom element. Bake for about 10 minutes, turning once halfway through. Some will puff more than others. If they are not completely crisp just return them to the oven for a few more minutes.
If you want them as flat as possible place them on a lightly greased cookie sheet and dock them all over by poking them with a fork. Sprinkle them with sea salt and bake at 325 in the middle of the oven for about 15 minutes. Turn them once halfway through the time. They are not completely crisp just return them to the oven for a few more minutes.
It really doesn’t take long to turn these out. You could mix in cheese, garlic, pepper, ground oatmeal, whatever strikes your fancy. Store them in an airtight tin or bag until you’re ready to serve them. If you like heartier crackers stay tuned, as there will be a future post on my multi-grain farmhouse crackers as well as how to build your own sourdough starter!