The Foodie Blogroll

Polly want a cracker?

Olive Oil and Rosemary Wheat Thins

Recipe taken from here

It has been a year and a half since I have had crackers. No, my friends that does not include Graham crackers, it does however exclude Triscuits, Wheat Thins, Crispers and all other deliciousness found in cracker boxes. The reason for this is that at the time I wasn't sure what was affecting me (with my pain) and it seemed every time I stopped eating these products the pain wasn't there. Needless to say I have been missing those little things. It's not difficult to avoid those foods because I was never really a huge cracker fan, however, when it comes to hummus, or other dips I do enjoy dunking with a good cracker.

I've been seeing variations of Wheat Thins popping up all over the blogosphere lately though. I had saved a couple but never got around to making them. However, next Monday I start work! Woohoo! I just found out over the weekend, but I will be working for a timepiece for Warner Brothers! Yes, I am incredibly excited. With this though, I want to continue my health regimen and don't want to succumb into the catering world of food. After working on the last show, I quickly realized that cream, fat, and deep fried oils were a trend, as well as delicious cakes and pastries also liked to somehow end up on my plate. If I make my lunch at home, I will not fall into that trap.

I decided that this week I'm going to prep a few things and freeze them for when I start work. This includes some soups, crackers, loaves of bread, truffles, and bars. With this it should be easy to avoid the caterers because I'll have snacks, lunches and even healthy desserts.

So one of the first things I made were Wheat Thins. I had found a gorgeous recipe last week but it included butter, and lately I'm getting really urked out with butter... I can eat salmon still but butter is creeping me out (... why I don't know). So when I found this recipe today I knew I had to make it. This recipe did not include butter it did however include heart-healthy EVOO.

These were super simple to make, your hands get a nice touch of softness from kneading the oily dough, it's easy to roll out and they taste absolutely divine. I loved this recipe. It took no time at all to make, and to sub-out the ingredients for other ones is going to be divine, especially some smoked paprika, yum! These were incredibly delicious, and the aroma while they were baking holy moly. You would thing with the amount of EVOO that it would be overwhelming in the cracker but it's not, not at all. The EVOO gives the crackers a subtle hint of flavour with a nice fresh-piney flavour from the rosemary. This was a perfect combination, I was considering adding in some processed pine nuts but decided to keep it simpler for the first time to see how they resulted. I will surely be making these again, especially so I can have some nice snacking treats at my desk that aren't filled with preservatives, sugars, and ingredients that I just don't like.

Equivalent to one box.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp fine ground kosher salt, plus more to sprinkle
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup warm water
Directions:

Preheat your oven to 375ºF with your racks set in the center.

Stir together the all purpose and whole wheat flour, salt and rosemary in a medium to large mixing bowl.

Make a small well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the oil and warm water.

Working outwards, mix the wet ingredients into the dry until everything is combined. At first the dough will seem rather sticky but it should come together quickly. If all of the flour is incorporated and the dough seems ‘wet’, add another tablespoon or two of flour until it holds into a supple ball. Knead the dough in the bowl for 2-3 minutes and then set it aside to rest for 5 minutes.

Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Cut a piece of parchment paper as big as a standard baking sheet. Sprinkle a bit of water on your work surface and press the parchment down flat on top (the water will help the parchment to stay put better. Less sliding = easier rolling). Roll the dough out on the parchment paper into a rectangle of even thickness which is as large as your baking sheet. If you develop any holes as you’re rolling, just patch them up with some scrap from a side or corner which looks fat.

This dough rolls out really easily and smoothly, so don’t take a shortcut on this step. Roll it out as thinly as you can and the dough should be less than 1/16″. The dough will shrink in size as it bakes, but the crackers will puff slightly and get thicker. You really want it to be thin or you’ll end up with biscuits instead of crackers (tragedies!) but at least this goes pretty quickly because the dough is so easy to work with.

Slide the dough covered parchment paper onto your baking sheet and cut it into squares or rectangles using a pizza cutter or sharp knife. Sprinkle the crackers with a little bit of kosher salt.

Repeat the rolling, cutting and salt sprinkling process with the remaining dough.

Tuck the crackers into the center of your preheated oven for 14-16 minutes, or until they are golden and slightly browned around the edges. After 12 minutes, check on the crackers. If your oven is anything like mine, the crackers around the edges will be fully cooked while the ones in the center of the pan need the full time to finish cooking. Take the baked crackers off and return the pans to the oven until all of the crackers are baked. Do keep an eye on them, because thin baked goods like crackers can go from a tawny golden to overcooked (completely brown) in a heartbeat. Not that it will be hard to stay close by, considering that the smell as these cook is utterly intoxicating.

Transfer the crackers to a wire rack to cool, but feel free to sneak a sample while they’re still warm.

Do you make homemade crackers? If so, what kind are your favourites?


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