Friday, May 11, 2007

home-rolled crackers

D and I have decided that we want to reform our snacking behavior--not by stopping, for heaven's sake, but by buying or making healthier choices. Popcorn popped in olive oil: we've been doing that for a while (tastes fine). Ice cream: only the best, and only once in a while (sometimes a while is shorter than other times). Nuts: good fats!
But we both love crackers, and the crackers we love are transfatty. It's true that Ritz has come out with healthier crackers, but they're not the same, and if the crackers we eat aren't going to be the same, we decided they should be extremely not-the-same.
"We should make our own crackers," we said to each other all winter long, but like many self-improvement projects, it didn't happen. But the last time one of us said it--D--I had just read Heidi's post on crackers, which sounded good, and very doable.
D made the 1st batch, using Heidi's recipe for Spicy Polenta Cheese Crackers (which she got from Patricia Wells's book, Vegetable Harvest), changing the fat, and substituting brown rice flour for polenta, because of a dearth of the latter and just having bought the former (and using less, because we hadn't used brown rice flour before).
Spicy Brown Rice Cheese Crackers
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 1/2 tbs olive oil (substituted for butter)
Preheat oven to 375. Combine 1st six ingredients (Heidi used a food processor, D used a wooden spoon and one of those piecrust making things that have wire loops). Add the oil and mix further, much like you do for piecrust. Knead for a few seconds on a floured surface and let it rest for 15 minutes (although D forget this last part).
Roll it out as thin as you can--Heidi says to 1/16th of an inch--ours weren't that thin. Cut into rounds or strips or squares, put on ungreased baking sheet, bake for 12-15 minutes (our oven is hot, so we baked them for just over 10 minutes).
They just spicy enough, faintly cheesy, good with wine and cheese. They weren't crisp, except at the edges where they were thinner, so we're thinking next time we'll have to roll them out as thin as Heidi recommends. But they were very good, and they kept well for 4 days (which is as long as they lasted). Most important they were easy enough to adopt as a regular snack habit.
I made a 2nd batch substituting a different kind of cheese and teff flour which were not as successful--tasted great but were more like thin biscuits. But we're looking forward to more experiments.


Kristin Ohlson said...

I'm so impressed! I'd like a plate of them right now, thanks.

Abby said...

I eat Wasa ... I really like them! I'd love to try making my own, too. I've seen a couple of blog posts about it so maybe I'll give it a try!

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