Black Pepper and Rosemary Crackers

Black Pepper and Rosemary Crackers
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rosemary and black pepper crackers
Home scratched crackers!

This recipe comes from the same book as those wonderful Pecan Sandy Bars that we made last October. Remember those? Weren’t they just the best Pecan Sandy Bars you’ve ever had? They were for us. For those who didn’t try them, all we can say is: make them. They’ll change your life. Well, maybe. But, of course, the title of this post is Black Pepper and Rosemary Crackers, so let’s talk about them, instead.

This recipe comes from The Flying Brownie, by Shirley Fan, and it’s just one of over a hundred recipes for snacks that can be safely and easily shipped across the country or around the World. With each recipe, she provides tips for packing and estimates of how long they can travel before losing their luster.

Makes a lot of crackers (5-7 dozen).

Black Pepper and Rosemary Crackers

Black Pepper and Rosemary Crackers

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 Tbs water
  • Kosher salt (or other flaky salt), for topping

Abbreviated Instructions

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add oil and water and mix until a dough forms.

Divide dough in half and place on baking parchment. Dust with flour and place a silicone baking mat over the dough. Roll very thin. Remove silicone baking mat.

In a small bowl, whisk together egg white and 2 tablespoons water.

Brush dough sheet with egg wash, sprinkle with salt, and cut into 1-inch squares. Repeat with remaining dough.

Place on baking sheet and bake until golden brown and crispy, about 15 to 20 minutes.

http://scratchinit.halversen.com/2014/01/black-pepper-and-rosemary-crackers/

Ingredient discussion:

We halved the amount of black pepper originally called for because we didn’t want crackers that were overly pepper-flavored; also, when these were done, it was hard to taste the rosemary flavor, so we’ve doubled the amount called for the original recipe. The extra-virgin olive oil might be a bit over the top; we think you could use any neutral-flavored oil. And, if you’re looking for something to do with that free-range egg yolk you’ll have left over, consider making fresh pasta.

Procedure in detail:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

mise en place
Everything out and ready for making a batch of crackers.

Mix dry ingredients. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, black pepper, baking powder, and rosemary. You don’t need to use a whisk; a fork will work fine, but you do want to make sure that the ingredients are evenly distributed through the flour, especially the baking powder, since that will help the crackers puff up a bit.

adding water and olive oil
After mixing the dry ingredients, pour in the liquids and mix until you have a dough.

Add liquid. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the liquid right into it. Use a fork or a spoon to mix everything into a dough. The dough will be surprisingly sticky. At least it was to us.

cracker dough
This cracker dough is very sticky, which makes it difficult to work with.
rolling cracker dough
We found that by placing the dough between a sheet of parchment and a baking mat, we could roll it out without too much fuss.

Roll out. Divide the dough in half and place on a sheet of baking parchment. The original instructions said to roll the dough out between two pieces of parchment, but the dough is too sticky for that without the addition of a generous amount of flour dusted on top. Do that if you have to, but, if you have a silicone baking mat, you can place that over the dough and roll. The baking mat is far less sticky than baking parchment, so you can peel it right off after rolling.

applying egg wash
The egg-white wash will help hold the salt in place, and will give the surface a nice, crisp crunch.

Brush on egg wash. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white with 2 tablespoons of water. Using a pastry brush, coat the top side of the crackers with wash. By looking at the crackers from a low angle, you can tell what parts of the dough were washed, and which parts still need washing.

After sprinkling with salt, cut the dough sheet into 1-inch squares. No need to separate the crackers as they'll break apart easily later.
After sprinkling with salt, cut the dough sheet into 1-inch squares. No need to separate the crackers as they’ll break apart easily later.

Salt and cut. Sprinkle salt over the crackers. It’ll stick well with the wash, so you don’t need to worry about too much salt bouncing off onto the counter. Cut the dough sheet into 1-inch squares — you can use a knife, a pizza cutter, or, like us, a little fluted wheel that makes fancy edges.

Repeat with the remaining dough.

Bake. Place the parchment on baking sheets, and slide into the oven. Bake until the crackers are golden-brown, somewhere between 15 and 20 minutes.

rosemary and black pepper crackers
These crackers crisp up a bit as they cool.

Cool. Let the crackers cool completely on the baking sheets, then transfer to an airtight container.

At first, we weren’t sure about these crackers. The dough was difficult to work, and the crackers seemed to bake unevenly. Our initial tasting didn’t improve the outlook, either, as the crackers, while still warm, had a bland, floury taste and lacked a bit in the crispness factor. That changed as the crackers cooled. They crisped up nicely, and the floury taste disappeared, making for a better cracker. That said, we think we prefer some of the other crackers better, such as the Rosemary Thin Wheat Crackers or the Cracked Peppercorn and Parmesan Soup Crackers, so we’ll give these crackers three stars.

Worth the trouble?

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