Seeded Crackers

After a few days of rain the desert preserve by our house looks like this. To some people they might think what? a few rain puddles, no big deal! But to someone that goes up there every day I have to tell you, look at all the green. Right before your eyes the plants start changing, it's amazing.

The holidays are right around the corner and I have been trying out different recipes for a New Years Eve party. These seeded crackers from the "Fine Cooking Magazine" 2013 issue #89 will make a great beginning.


For the topping:

1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
2 teaspoons fennel or caraway seeds (I used caraway)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the dough:

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

To prepare:

Position oven rack in lower third of oven. Set temperature to 450°F.

In a small bowl combine seeds and kosher salt, set aside. Fill another small bowl with water and have along side of this a pastry brush, set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the flours and salt. Add olive oil and water. Stir together with plastic spatula until you have a crumbly ball of dough. Pat excess dough around sides into ball.

Set dough on lightly floured work surface and divide into three equal pieces. Set two pieces aside and cover with a clean towel. Roll remaining dough into a rectangle about 1/16 inch thick, 7 to 8 inches wide and 14 to 15 inches long. If there is any resistance, lift that corner of the dough up and sprinkle more flour underneath.

With pastry brush, lightly brush dough with water and sprinkle about 1/3 of the seeds and salt mixture. Lightly roll over seeds with rolling pin to help them stick to dough.With dough scrapper or pizza cutter, cut the dough in half lengthwise and then cut across to make rectangles about two to four inches. Transfer to baking sheet. (I lined mine with a silpat). Bake until nicely browned about 10 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Store cooled crackers up to a week in a tightly sealed container or a zip-lock bag. Repeat the process for the remaining two pieces of dough.

A couple of tips: I found that the cooking time really varies according to the thickness of the dough. So be mindful of the time after 6 minutes or so. Plus other people who had comments on this recipe found that weighing the flours really helped with the flour to water ratio. (I had added a little extra water myself, so this should help). Also, using a pasta machine to help roll out dough for consistency worked wonders. (Will try that tip next time myself)


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