How to Make Crackers (It’s so Freaking Easy!)

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It started with a picture I saw in the local paper about making crackers from scratch. I saved it, but then never found it again. But I kept thinking…how do you make crackers? And how would they taste different? So I decided to experiment. It was right before we were having lentil soup for dinner, and I was out of bread, and I had nothing to lose, so I thought “Oh, what the heck.” I did a quick search online and was disturbed by the complexity of the recipes I found there. One said don’t mix too hard. Another said mix for 7 minutes. Some used milk and eggs, and others said let it sit for hours before you bake. Some said cook on low heat for a long time, and others said cook for a short time on high heat. Well, you know me…I wanted the quickest, easiest, no-fuss option, so I pulled the essence out of the recipes I saw and came up with this simple recipe.

How good were they? Well, after a few Uncle Cracker jokes, there were shocked, respectful, and delighted comments, filled with awe. Lucia asked for them repeatedly for snacks. Eve asked me to make them all the time. Maya came home the next day from New York and, as my pickiest eater, reluctantly and suspiciously tried one. First she asked for the recipe to make for her smug married dinner parties in the city. Then, she found the last cracker, which Lucia had left sitting out after taking a few bites (and which was probably licked by the cat a few times)…and she ate that! The whole batch lasted exactly 24 hours.

Maria’s Crackers

Ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (organic from the Rodale Institute!)
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup warm water
1/3 cup olive oil (plus more for the pan)

Directions:

 

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees (because that’s where mine automatically goes to when you turn it on).

2. Put the flour, salt, warm water, and olive oil in a bowl, and stir until all the flour is absorbed (less than a minute). It kind of feels more like dough than batter.

3. Take a baking tray (I used a heavy one with edges, rather than a light one with no edges), and slather it with more olive oil.

4. Put the dough on the tray and smooth it out to cover the whole bottom. I used a rolling pin doused with oil. And my hands, too. No need to be fussy here! In fact, the thin rustic-edged ones tasted the best, I thought.

5. Take a knife and cut the dough into squares, rectangles…whatever!

6. Sprinkle the top with a bit more salt

7. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden. The crackers will harden up more after they cool.

The potential variations for this recipe are endless: cheese, herbs, nuts and seeds, spices. I can see a lot of cracker experimentation in my future. And what I loved about them was that they were so easy and quick, and required no plastic packaging to bring into the house or to throw out afterwards. I stored them in a glass container, but as I said, they didn’t last long!

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59 Responses to How to Make Crackers (It’s so Freaking Easy!)

  1. Mary-Jeanine November 4, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

    For those watching carbs/gluten, this recipe works great for us: http://www.ibreatheimhungry.com/2012/01/low-carb-rosemary-sea-salt-flax.html

  2. Trudi January 1, 2014 at 6:29 pm #

    I’m hoping to make these for my son. Do you need all that olive oil on the pan and rolling pin? I’d like these to be a healthier snack for him

  3. Katinka February 7, 2014 at 11:52 pm #

    Dear Recipe: WHERE Have you been all my life?! I’m seriously. Dear Author: You are a true genius in the way you organized this recipe. Thank you, you saved me two or more hours of unnessecary kneading and waiting. Thanks! Can’t wait to try more of your recipes and tips

  4. Janne February 17, 2014 at 11:19 am #

    I made these gluten free using brown rice flour; they were delicious! I also cut the dough in half and rolled it super thin between sheets of parchment. I then slid the parchment onto my baking sheet. I found this easier than pressing it out by hand.

  5. The Mane Curl March 2, 2014 at 11:18 am #

    I made these yesterday to go with some hot spinach dip and they were perfect. I used half wheat flour and half 10 grain flour and I added 1/4-1/3 cup of flax seed. When these run out I’m definitely going to make more. I chose to roll out the dough, cut it, and then place it on the tray. Perhaps, next I’ll split the dough and roll out separately making them a little thinner. All around a great and simple recipe. Thanks.

  6. me March 2, 2014 at 7:03 pm #

    i can’t seem to find whole wheat pastry flour where i live, how would i make it?

  7. Kylee March 26, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

    If you like really crispy cracker thin crust for pizza, this is also my new favorite crust recipe, let alone crackers! :) Thank you for this!

  8. robert thomas April 17, 2014 at 10:52 am #

    For whole wheat pastry flour I use Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, excellent product.

  9. Donna September 2, 2014 at 11:53 am #

    sounds great I can’t wait to try it thank you so much

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