Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cracker Recipes

One way we have cut down on our trash is making food from scratch.  The boys and I love to try new recipes and have a lot of good quality time in the kitchen together.  I love to be in the kitchen it is a stress release for me.  There is just something about taking simple ingredients and mixing them together and creating something yummy it calms me and helps me find balance in this fast paced world.

Homemade Saltine Crackers
2 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 c. milk
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Combine the dry ingredients, cut in the butter, then stir in the milk. Round into a ball and knead for few strokes. Divide dough into several pieces and roll out very thin on a floured surface. Cut into 1 1/2 inch squares with a sharp knife or pizza cutter. Lay on ungreased cookie sheets.  Sprinkle with salt.  Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

Graham Crackers
12 T unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour (aka graham flour)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
cinnamon and sugar for sprinkling on top

Beat butter, honey and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy.  Add eggs and mix.  Add flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and mix to combine.  refrigerate dough for one hour (or longer).  Heat over to 350.  On a well floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8 thickness (If you go any thicker, your crackers will seem more like cookies after they bake).  Cut out crackers with cookie cutters or cut into squares with pizza cutter.  Place on greased cookie sheets.  Using a pastry brush dipped in water, lightly bush the tops of the crackers.  Using a fork, poke holes in the crackers.  Sprinkle cinnamon & sugar over the top of the crackers.  Bake for 10 mins.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.  The longer these sit, the more cracker-like they become, so they're best eaten after about 30 minutes, if you can wait that long.

Homemade Wheat Thins

Recipe from King Arthur Whole Grain Baking Cookbook

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 T sugar
1/2 tsp. salt, plus extra for topping
1/4 tsp. paprika
4 T unsalted butter
1/4 cup water ( you might need to add a little more)
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Preheat over to 400 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper or grease.  Set aside.

Add the flour, sugar, salt and paprika to a medium bowl and whisk to combine.  Cut the butter into small pieces and add it to the bowl.  Using a pastry blender (I use a fork), mix the butter into the dry ingredients thoroughly.  Combine the water and vanilla in a small measuring cup or bowl.  Add to the butter/flour mixture and mix until a smooth dough forms.  If the dough is still dry add a little more water.

Divide the dough into 4 pieces.  Work with one piece at a time, keeping the others covered with a towel so they don't dry out.  Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin and roll the dough into a large rectangle.  Lift the dough and turn it as you roll to ensure it's not sticking.  You want to roll the dough as thin as possible, try to make sure it's 1/16 inch thick at most.  If you want all of your crackers to be perfect, trim the edges of the dough so you have a rectangle with even sides.  Use a pizza cutter to cut the rectangle into squares about 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide.

Transfer to prepared baking sheets.  You can place them close together because they will not spread.  Sprinkle the squares lightly with salt.  Repeat the rolling and cutting process with the remaining 3 pieces of dough. 

Bake the crackers, one sheet at a time, until crisp and browned, about 5-10 minutes.  Keep a close eye they can burn quickly.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.  Store in an airtight container.

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