We are big snackers at the Williams house and we love any kind of crackers. It seems like with the recent recession and grocery price hikes that crackers cost much more than they did before. Of course I still buy them, but I wanted to try to make some from scratch. The health benefits have also been a factor in my experimentation, because I can pick and choose the ingredients that go into them. I came across a thread on the Cooking Light message board that recommended Alton Brown's Seeded Crisps. I gave them a try last Friday night (yes, I am a wild woman, baking crackers instead of painting the town.) Terry ate each and every last one by Saturday afternoon.
Seedy Crisp Crackers
- 5 ounces whole-wheat flour
- 4 3/4 ounces all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling
- 1/3 cup poppy seeds
- 1/3 cup sesame seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 1/2 ounces water
In a medium bowl whisk together both flours, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, salt, and baking powder. Add the oil and stir until combined. Add the water and stir to combine and create a dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead 4 to 5 times. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, cover with a tea towel and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
For a thin snacking cracker: On a lightly floured surface, roll out 1 piece of dough to 1/16-inch and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. If there is room on the sheet pan, repeat with a second piece of dough. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 4 minutes then flip and bake for an additional 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. When cool, break into desired size pieces. Repeat procedure with remaining dough.
For a thicker dipping cracker: On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough as above but to 1/8-inch thick. Bake for 6 minutes on the first side, then flip and bake another 4 to 6 minutes.
For super even thickness and easy rolling: Roll out using a lightly floured pasta roller. Flatten the dough until it will pass through the first setting and go to the highest number that your pasta roller will allow without tearing the dough. Bake according to the thin cracker instructions.
Note: Baking times will vary depending on exact thickness of dough and oven temperature, so watch them closely. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Alton Brown's Seeded Crisps were SOOO good. They tasted better than any store bought crackers that we have had. I wanted my crackers to be very crispy, so I baked them a few minutes longer than called for in the recipe, monitoring them closely to see that they did not burn. Because I did not have any poppy seeds, I used 2/3 of a cup of sesame seeds, the flavor was strong, but not overwhelming. I read many reviews of this recipe on Food Network's web page and some thought that these crackers were too salty. I thought they had just the right amount of salt. These crackers can be broken into irregular smaller pieces, which I think is nice because you can tell that they are homemade, they are a bit rustic looking. Seeded Crisps can also be cut into perfect shapes before transferring to the parchment paper for a more uniform look. We topped these with cream cheese, and I plan on making some vegetable cream cheese in the future to compliment these crackers. These will surely be repeated often, and will have to be, in order to keep up with the rapid pace that they were eaten.