Crackers are Easy

I have long loved to bake and play around with recipes. Lately, however, I have become more preoccupied with this. Not long ago I decided to eliminate all store bought snacks and treats from our cupboard and instead bake it all from scratch. Since I find it far more satisfying to create and continually tweak my own recipes than to bake from someone else's, I also proposed to myself to work only from recipes that I am in the process of creating or have made up in the past.

 

Recipe for Rosemary Wheat Flax Crackers by Mama is Inspired.
Rosemary Wheat Flax Crackers

 

 

So far, since taking on this challenge, I have been keeping our shelves filled with kale chips, muffins, cookies, and crackers. Soon I would like to add pretzels into the mix. Until about two months ago, I had never attempted crackers.  Home made crackers intimidated me. I imagined that something so thin and so perfectly crisp had to lie far beyond my abilities. The thought of making crackers scared me so much because I sensed that I could only fail.

 

Make Believe Mixing
Make Believe Mixing

 

I rarely eat potato or corn chips. Even if they are sitting right in front of me I will often pass them over. However, I have another weakness. I believe that I enjoy crackers in the same way that most people love chips. Just as many people can eat a whole bag of chips in one sitting, I eat a lot of crackers. When I decided to stop purchasing snacks I had no choice but to face my fear of  making something that could turn out to be inedible.

Not only do I like to make up my own recipes but I also want to know that if I sit down to a plate of food and then proceed to fill it again and again, that afterward I will not feel sad or guilty about having eaten a load of junk. If I am going to overeat, I at least want to make it count for something! More importantly to me, my son is young and developing and I want to ensure that everything he puts into his mouth contains the sort of nutrition that will help his body do its important work. My son is only at the beginning of building a body and is laying down the forms and structures that will serve him for a lifetime. I want his foundation to be strong. Therefore, when I look to alter a recipe, I search for ways to boost the whole-food content, add in some more protein and perhaps some ‘super foods’, and then decrease sugars and fat. At the same time I am not at all interested in losing taste and texture. When unsuspecting eaters (in order to be unsuspecting, they have to have met me only recently) find out that that what they ate was healthy I want them to exclaim that they can’t believe it, that “it doesn’t taste healthy!” Personally, I love the taste of healthy but I know that many people associate “healthy” with bland flavors and unfavorably dry textures. No baker wants to pull something out of the oven that can be described like this.

I did a search online and came up with a very basic cracker recipe that I thought I could work with. I looked it over and moved some ingredients around. First I created a cracker that my family loved the taste of, but that was still not as nutritious as what I would like to have on hand daily. I think this is a cracker is a great success and  I was thrilled at Easter when my step-brother declared that if I drew his name at Christmas, all he wanted was a very large box of these crackers. It was a wonderful day spent with my family and it was my son’s first Easter hunt, so I can’t say this comment made my day, but it certainly went a long way in making a special day even nicer for me. Not long after Easter I developed a second cracker recipe. This cracker is even more delicious than the first crackers. Better yet, I deem them healthy enough to be given a regular place in our pantry.

At our family get-together, I informed my step-brother that these crackers are simple to make. I don’t think he or his wife believed me. Crackers are easy. Truly, my cracker recipes are the easiest thing I have ever baked. (You don’t even have to grease the pan!)

 

Rolling out crackers together. Recipe for Whole Wheat Almond Flax Crackers by Mama is Inspired.
Rolling Out Crackers Together

 

Being so simple, crackers are also an ideal baking project to share with a toddler. My two-year-old son helps me add in the ingredients and stir the dry mix. A slightly older child could certainly mix it all up by her or himself. I flour a cutting board each for my son and myself. I also continue to throw extra flour onto my son’s rolling surface as we go along as this pleases him very much. I work away at rolling my ball of dough with an old, corked, water-filled wine bottle (like everything else of importance, my real rolling pin is in storage in another city) while my son stands on a stool beside me, flattening his own lump of cracker dough with an old, cylinder-shaped, herbal tea can. My little boy is thrilled to make crackers and it is a fantastic way to spend the last of our evening together before he goes to bed.

 

Rosemary Wheat Flax Crackers by Mama is Inspired

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup flax meal
  • 1 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 ½ tsp dried, crushed rosemary

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • sea salt for sprinkling

 

Whole Wheat, Almond and Flax Crackers by Mama is Inspired

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (you can use whole wheat flour for the whole amount, if you don't have any pastry flour on hand)
  • ¼ cup flax meal
  • ¼ cup almond meal
  • 1 ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp dried, crushed rosemary
  • ½ tsp dried thyme

Wet Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water
  • sea salt for sprinkling

Both recipes use the same directions. They are as follows:

Directions

First add and stir dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and then stir in the oil and water. Form a ball of dough with your hands. You might require a little extra water to keep the ball together, but do not add any more water than is required. You want the ball only to be wet enough that pieces of dough are not falling off the ball. If you do add a bit too much water, however, I wouldn’t be too concerned. This recipe is quite forgiving.

I separate the dough into five smaller balls. Each smaller ball will become a cookie sheet full of crackers. If you don't use all the dough at once (I never do), you can store the unused dough in a closed container in the fridge for several days.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface. You will need flour on your rolling pin, as well. Add more flour to your rolling pin if the dough begins to stick to the rolling pin. Roll the dough quite thin. 1/8 inches is as thick as it should be. I roll it out to the point just before holes begin to develop. If you roll the dough too thin, you can collect all of it or just a portion and re-roll.

I suggest that when you are close to rolling out the dough as thin as you intend, that you no longer roll the edges but instead focus the rest of your energy on the center. This will keep the edges from being thinner than the rest and will allow the dough to bake very evenly. This is especially helpful if you have an oven that heats unevenly. Again, though, don't worry too much about this step. Your crackers will still be great even if they are unevenly cooked.

 

Rolled out cracker dough by Mama is Inspired.
Rolled Out Cracker Dough

 

Transfer to a cookie sheet that is NOT greased. Use a paring knife to cut a grid into the dough. The lines are where the crackers will break apart after baking. Prick each square once or twice with a fork. Sprinkle sea salt on top. The extra salt really helps bring out the flavor.

 

Crackers ready for the oven. Mama is Inspired.
Crackers are Ready for the Oven

 

Bake for 12-25 minutes or until golden and dry. The baking time difference depends on thickness of the crackers and on individual ovens.

Cool on the cookie sheets and then break apart the crackers. Store in an air tight container.

Bon Appetit!

 

Rosemary Wheat Flax Crackers with Pesto and Red Pepper Dip. Recipe for Rosemary Wheat Flax Crackers by Mama is Inspired.
Recipe for Rosemary Wheat Flax Crackers.
Served with Kale Pesto and Red Pepper Pomegranate Dip

 

You can subscribe to this blog by entering your email address into the subscription box at the lower right hand of each page at Mama is Inspired. When you subscribe, be sure to open your email message with the subject "Follow Mama in Inspired" and confirm your subscription. Thanks!

 

 

 

ADD A COMMENT

In order to comment on BlogHer.com, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.

Recent Posts by mama is inspired

Menu