Croccantini Flatbread Crackers

croccantini flatbread crackers -trustinkim

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:

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line baking pans with parchment paper. A pizza stone would be great here!
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. Bake immediately, starting to watch it after about 3 & 1/2 minutes. It should be slightly browned.
  7. 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.
  8. 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!


Parmesan Thyme Crackers

parmesan crackers - trust in kim

“Parmesan pieces of heaven” is what my friend Amanda called these savoury bites. They go great with a glass of red wine! Another recipe I have made that is similar to this calls them ‘savoury shortbread’ rather than ‘crackers.’ These have that same richness of shortbread. Yum!

The dough needs to chill for at least half an hour before baking, so keep that in mind when planning your baking. You could make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate overnight, or keep the log in the freezer until you need it.

I found the recipe blogged on Lottie & Doof, originally by Ina Garten.

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • about 1 cup good quality freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

What you do:

  1. Cream the butter for 1 minute.
  2. Add the Parmesan, thyme, salt and freshly ground pepper and mix on low speed to combine.
  3. Add the flour and mix until it forms large crumbles, for about 1 minute. Add a teaspoon of water if the dough seems too dry.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured board or countertop, and press it into a ball. Roll into a log, about 20cm/9 inches long. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes, or up to 4 days.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350F. Use a small sharp knife to cut the log into 1cm thick slices. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and place the dough circles on it. Bake for about 20-22 minutes, rotating the pan once half way through baking, until lightly browned. (Mine were done quite quickly, so watch out.)
  6. Move the baked crackers to a cooling rack and serve at room temperature. With a glass of red wine. And olive tapenade would be great too!


Parmesan Rosemary Savoury Shortbread

trust in kim - parmesan rosemary savoury shortbread

I was looking for something to bring to a friend’s house to complement a glass of wine, and came across this tasty recipe.  Unfortunately I didn’t know that this new friend was celiac, so she couldn’t eat any.  So even though I seemed a little insensitive, the others who got to eat the leftovers were more than pleased to eat them up.

This is an Ina Garten/Barefoot Contessa recipe, with only a few little changes.  I used rosemary instead of thyme, so feel free to substitute thyme if you wish. I also added some fleur de sel on top of the crackers, but if you need to have lower sodium content you can leave it out.

You need to refrigerate the dough for a little while, so it works great to make it a day or two in advance, then pull it out and bake it so you have some freshly baked crackers.

What you need:

1/2 cup unsalted butter (or add less salt)

1 cup freshly grated parmesan

1 – 1 & 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 & 1/4 cups flour

What you do:

1. Cream the butter.  Mix in the parmesan, rosemary, salt and pepper on low speed.

2. Add the flour on low speed, mixing for one minute. You might need to add a teaspoon of water to hold it together a bit, but it will still be a bit of a crumbly mixture.

3. Turn the mixture out onto your counter top and knead it together, then form it into a 9 inch log.  Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or up to 4 days.

4. Preheat the oven to 350F, then cut the log into slices about 1 cm thick with a small sharp knife.

5. Place the slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet and top each slice with a little fleur de sel.  Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until they are just slightly browned.

6. Remove the shortbread from the pan and let them cool on a cooling rack.  Keep any spares in an airtight container.

Rosemary Crackers

I just happened to be making these crackers on Easter weekend, so they are in the shape of little bunnies.  It’s pretty easy to make your own crackers, just mix, roll, cut and bake. I like the idea that I know what is going into my food, so I try to make as much of it from scratch as I can.

I got this recipe from a cook book called 100 Perfect Pairings, and the original recipe used fennel seeds instead of rosemary.  The crackers are brushed with red wine before baking, giving them a pink hue – this is optional, as I didn’t find I could actually taste the wine.  So if you want pink crackers, brush away!

I served mine with olive tapenade and goat cheese, but other sliced cheeses would work well too.

What you need

1 cup all-purpose flour, plus a little more for rolling

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 & 3/4 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine (optional)

3/4 teaspoon fleur de sel for sprinkling

What you do

1.  Combine the flours, salt and rosemary in a bowl.  Add the oil and 1/2 cup of water, working it until it combines into a crumbly ball.

2.  Preheat the oven to 450F.

3.  Cut the dough into three pieces and wrap two of them in plastic wrap.  Work with one of the balls, rolling it out on a floured surface until it is about 2mm thick.  Cut the dough into squares, or into any shape you desire.

4.  Lightly brush the dough with wine, then sprinkle with a little fleur de sel.  Move the crackers to a baking sheet.

5.  Bake for 7-10 minutes, watching carefully so they don’t burn.  While they are baking you can roll out the next batch.

6.  Allow the crackers to cool on a wire rack. After they are thoroughly cooled you may store them in an airtight container for about a week.