The July Bakers challenge is being hosted by Dana McFarlane , a non-blogger who loves to create in the kitchen. She has challenged us with the (almost) lost art of homemade crackers. I say lost art since you very rarely see homemade crackers served anymore. What a shame since you can personalize it at home yourself, though I will admit it is a lot easier to purchase premade crackers at the last-minute, and there are a lot of good ones on the market. But can they be as good as your own?
I wish I had concentrated on this challenge more since I have quite a few cracker recipes that I enjoy making but summertime fun and entertaining has pretty much taken up all of my time. Not to mention the fact that I went down to Montana this past weekend to go cherry picking (and Glacier National Park). Oh, and I am leaving in 1 1/2 hours for the airport to go to New York for a month (and still not quite packed…) so this has to be quick.
The crackers I chose to bake are sesame crackers from Bernard Claytons New Complete Book Of Breads. These are super easy to whip up but a pasta machine is very helpful to roll them out thin and even (though I am sure that when there is a will there is a way, so don’t let this stop you). We really enjoy these with some hummus and they keep really well so you can always have some on hand. We were provided with three other excellent recipes that I promise to get to and post at a later date. In the meantime go check out some other fabulous bakers here. Bake On!
1 Cup whole wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 package (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup hot water (120-13o F)
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
1/2 cup sesame seeds
egg white for brushing
Mix together 1 cup each whole wheat and white flours and add the yeast and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the hot water, butter, honey and sesame oil. Pour the liquid slowly over the flours and beat with the paddle attachment (or a wooden spoon ) on low-speed for 3 minutes . Add the white flour, 1/4 cup at a time to forma soft dough.
Knead for 5 minutes (by hand or with the dough hook). Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise for 1 hour.
Preheat your oven to 375 F
Divide the dough into 4 pieces, covering the dough you are not working with). In a pasta machine, or with a rolling-pin, roll the dough into a thin rectangle, as thin as you get it (I went to 5 on my roller). Worry more about the thinness than it’s length or width (insert jokes here). Place the length of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet and cut strips about 1-2 inches wide. Dock with a fork (that just means to pokes holes all over the dough with the tines of a fork). Brush with a little white and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 6 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the cracker. Watch them carefully!. Let cool completely then break off into pieces. They keep 2 -3 weeks in a covered container.
Okay, 40 minutes left to pack!!