We’re always on the lookout for new varieties of snack foods that we can make up right here at scratchin’ central. After a while, you find that most of those snacks in the non-food aisle at the grocery store can be made better, more cheaply, and more healthily right in your own home. And, they really aren’t that difficult, either. A case in point: crackers.
We saw this recipe for Poppy Seed Crackers in Salty Snacks, by Cynthia Nims, and just had to try them out, as we have only a few recipes for crackers that we really like. Partly it was the idea of being able to make a new flavor, but Cynthia also indicated that one could run the dough through a pasta machine to roll it out (we use this technique for Lavash Crackers with great success).
As you’ll see, there isn’t much more to this recipe than mix, roll, cut, and bake, but, as you’ll also see, we had to modify the rolling instructions, as this dough turned out soft. Too soft for use in a pasta machine, so don’t bother breaking it out when making these crackers.
Makes about 6 dozen crackers
Since we’re baking these and olive oil loses its flavor when heated, you probably really don’t need to use olive oil. We did, however, partly because we buy our olive oil by the gallon, partly because the olive oil we buy is local, and partly because olive oil seems to be the most healthy of oils. For poppy seeds, check out either an ethnic market or Penzey’s spices. Both will have better prices than the supermarket.
Procedure in detail:
Please note that we made half a batch of these crackers to try them out. You might notice that in the photos.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment or silicone baking mats.
Whisk dry ingredients. Yep, get a medium-sized bowl, measure in the flour, poppy seeds, salt, and baking powder, and whisk away. Mainly you want to make sure that the baking powder is thoroughly mixed into the flour. After mixing, make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
Add water and olive oil. Pour the olive oil and water into the center of the well and stir until combined. Don’t work the dough too much, but just enough so that everything is well-mixed.
Roll out. Divide the dough into two parts. Working with one, roll it out very thin, approximately 1/8- to 1/16-inch thick. Remember that thinner crackers will bake faster and get crisper, while thicker crackers will be more like a thin biscuit. Dust with flour as needed.
Cut, salt, and dock. Using either a sharp knife, a pizza cutter, or even a fluted pastry wheel, cut crackers into squares about 1 1/2 inches on a side. Sprinkle the tops with about 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt, and then pierce the crackers in several places with the tines of a fork (dock).
Bake. Transfer to the baking sheet, and bake 12-20 minutes depending on the thickness. If you were able to roll out the dough to 1/16th of an inch thick, the time will be closer to 12 minutes; at about 1/8th of an inch thick, ours took closer to 20 minutes. The crackers will be crisp and lightly browned when done.
Cool. Let them cool on the sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Serve. We tried these plain and with a couple of slices of Havarti cheese. They would also be good with soup.
You can’t beat the simplicity of these crackers. It takes just a few minutes to mix up the dough, and, it’s pretty easy to roll out. While the flavor is good, these crackers have a slight baking powder taste when eaten plain; that taste is masked with just a bit of cheese. Overall, these crackers would be really good at a cheese and wine tasting. The flavor is fairly neutral, allowing you to taste the cheese, yet the poppy seeds give just a bit of extra crunch. Four stars.