In the interest of exploring alternate flours, we went looking for a cracker recipe that could stand up to some serious dippin’. We were pleased to find the answer (or one of them!) so close to home; a book on our shelves by Peter Reinhart. Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day holds many a kneadful secret; here’s one. It makes a hearty, crunchy-crisp cracker, acclaimed by our taste testers in such remarks as “wow wow wow!” “bombsauce”… and a pile of crumbs where a double batch of crackers had been just an hour before.
Makes 4 pans of crackers
Combine the sunflower and pumpkin seeds together in a blender. Blend in pulses until the seeds have become a fine flour; too long in the blender and they will become seed butter, which, although delicious, is not the desired outcome here.
Grind the flax seeds separately in the blender, observing the same precautions as above.
Combine the powdered seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, and flax) with the whole sesame seeds, rye flour, salt, vegetable oil, honey, and water in a large mixing bowl.
Use a large, sturdy spoon to stir well for 1 or 2 minutes; the dough should form quickly into a firm, un-sticky ball. Add more flour or water if the dough seems to need it.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for about 30 seconds to be sure that all of the ingredients are evenly distributed and that the dough holds together. It should be slightly tacky but not sticky.
Preheat the oven to 300° F and prepare one baking sheet for each quarter of the dough you intend to bake. You can bake the crackers on an oiled sheet, or use parchment paper, which does not need to be oiled.
Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. (For any that you will not be baking right away, store it well wrapped in the fridge for up to a week, or freeze for up to 3 months; the flavor actually improves if left in the fridge for a day or two.
Use a rolling pin to roll out one portion of the dough on the floured work surface. Roll it as thin and as evenly as you can; about 1/16” is ideal.
Brush the dough with a wash of olive oil. Sprinkle salt and seasoning onto the dough to taste. Here, we used sesame and poppy seeds and salt. Rosemary and sea salt is another favorite combination, as is Herbes De Ben Lomond. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into crackers the size of your choosing. We like to leave the ragged edge for a rustic flourish, but you can also trim the edges away and roll the dough out again if desired.
Transfer the crackers to the prepared baking sheet.
Bake at 300° F until the crackers are done, usually 25-30 minutes, though it may take longer if the dough was rolled more thickly. The crackers are done when they have a rich golden brown color and are fairly dry and crisp.
Leave them on their baking pans to cool and they will crisp up even more.
If they don’t snap sufficiently after cooling, return them to a hot oven for a few more minutes.
Cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Once thoroughly cooled, the crackers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for about 8 days, or in a ziplock bag in the freezer indefinitely.
Crunch, crunch, yum.
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