homemade crackers

It was so beautiful outside today!  After swinging herself silly at the park, Emmeline went down for a nice afternoon nap.

During her nap, I did what I do best: list-making.  I am a “to-do list” junkie.  Until I put pen to paper (or keys to keyboard?), I get this overwhelming “I’m going to forget everything I need to do!!!” feeling.  Making lists gives me a sense of calm, if only temporary! Then I’m bound to get stressed about something else, but that’s another story….

ANYWAY, my list du jour consisted of all the things I want to do in preparation for our Halloween party.  On that list was “make homemade crackers”.  Why, you ask?  Because I am a sucker for making things harder than they need to be?  Why drop $2 on a box of Wheat Thins when you can spend 2 hours making your own?

Why I really wanted to make crackers from scratch was because I needed ghost-shaped crackers to go along with my witchy dip I’ve planned, and until they sell ghost-shaped crackers at Safeway, I’m stuck doing it on my own!

The thought of making homemade crackers was a bit intimidating, until I found a recipe for Sea Salt & Pepper crackers on Lemons & Anchovies (a cute/interesting blog name, huh?).

Instead of waiting ’til the day before said party, like I normally do, I thought I’d take a crack at making a batch today and (hopefully) work out the kinks!  And hey, I had all the ingredients on hand!  Well, that is a fib.  I am out of sugar and just haven’t made it to the grocery store for more.  Thank goodness for Jason swiping a handful of sugar packets from Royal Farms the other night for me!  Very boughetto, people!  And in case you’re wondering, approx. 5 sugar packets = 1 Tbsp.

The recipe was surprisingly easy, and I’ve adapted it if you are crazy like me and don’t want to do regular squares.

Here it is:

Sea Salt and Pepper Crackers

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (or 5 sugar packets)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Sea salt to sprinkle on top of dough
  • 2 turns black pepper from a peppermill plus more for sprinkling
  • 2/3 cup milk (my milk was sketchily close to its expiration date, so I used half&half and it worked fine! someone needs to go shopping!!!)
  • 2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F.
  2. Using a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, salt and pepper until combined.
  3. Add the pieces of chilled butter and process until the butter is no longer discernible in the mixture, a few seconds.
  4. With the food processor on, add the milk and process until the dough comes together.
  5. Turn dough out on a floured surface and knead for 5-6 minutes.
  6. Shape into a ball and cut in half.
  7. Roll out one half of dough on an inverted baking pan. I used a half sheet size pan and rolled out as thinly as I could until the dough came close to the edges of the pan.  Repeat for the second half.
     It is super important to get them thin, or they won’t seem very cracker-like! Like this thin:
  8. Sprinkle sea salt and more black pepper (like seen in above picture).
  9. Pierce the surface of the dough with a fork and score it with a knife into serving size pieces. Or, if you are cutting into particular shapes, use your cookie cutter, and peel the dough away from the cut pieces.  It pulled away very easily!
  10. Bake on the sheet pan for 10-12 minutes, making sure to rotate the pan halfway through the cooking time.  This is important or they will definitely burn around the edges!
  11. Take out of the oven and allow to rest on the pan for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  12. Cut into serving pieces (if you’re doing boring squares).

They reminded me of a water cracker, but with a nice salty flavor.  Self-critique: I will definitely concentrate on getting them very thin…my first couple batches were too thick, and while they still tasted good, they were a bit chewy.

I think I will use my family as test subjects tonight, and serve them with some nice Trader Joe’s soup for dinner!

This is the point where I realize I didn’t actually cross anything off my to-do list.  “Do trial run of crackers” was not on there.  Oh well.  At least I have less anxiety about making them now!  Cracker anxiety… admit me to the nearest mental institution.



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