These crispy crackers were a big hit at the New Years party I brought them to last night. They are reasonably easy to make, but take a little bit of time. It is so worth it though – they are nice an crispy, a little salty, and the bubbles are pretty cool.
My friend Sarah often buys La Panzanella Croccantini to serve with cheese. They are delicious crackers, but quite expensive. So this was my attempt to make a cracker like those. I also made some into uniform rectangles and poked them with a fork to get rid of bubbles like the store-bought version, but they didn’t get into the photo. For presentation I really liked these big ones, and the bubbles in them.
I served it with a red pepper jelly, an apricot and peach jam, and a beautiful Manchego cheese.
I found the recipe here. The original recipe had rosemary in it, which I will try next time, but for this appetizer I wanted to stick to this salted version to highlight the flavours of the jams and cheese. Also, it was a messy slushy afternoon, and I couldn’t be bothered to head out into that weather again for an herb. In the original recipe they were baked for 3 minutes per side, but I didn’t read that part of the recipe (oops), and it worked well to just bake them on one side.
It is really helpful to have a pasta machine for this, to roll the dough out to a uniform thinness. You can also do this carefully with a rolling pin.
What you need:
- 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup cold water
- spray bottle filled with water
- more salt to sprinkle on top
What you do:
- Combine the flour, salt and sugar on your countertop and make a well in the centre. Pour half the water and the olive oil into the centre. Little by little, add the flour to the centre, until you can mix and form it into a ball, adding more water as you need it (as you knead it). (Or you could do this all in a food processor by drizzling the liquid in as the food processor it running.)
- Knead the dough until it forms a smooth ball, adding a little flour to the countertop if it gets sticky. Divide the dough into four pieces and cover with a towel for 10 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line baking pans with parchment paper. A pizza stone would be great here!
- Use a pasta machine or rolling pin to roll the dough out as thinly as possible. I did the same process I would use for making pasta: start by running the dough through the thickest setting, then fold the dough over in thirds, run through again, and repeat one or two more times, until you get a nice rectangle. Change the setting to one thickness lower, run the dough through, then keep going until you get to the thinnest setting. Part way through you will get a really long strip of dough – you can cut this in half at any point.
- Carefully place the dough flat on the parchment paper lined pans. Spray with a little water, then sprinkle some salt on top (I ground some kosher salt).
- Bake immediately, starting to watch it after about 3 & 1/2 minutes. It should be slightly browned.
- Place the crackers on a cooling rack. They will crisp up more as they cool. If they don’t seem crispy enough they can go back in the oven for a minute or so, even after they have cooled.
- Once they have cooled completely, store in an airtight container. I have no idea how long they will keep because there were no leftovers this time!