These were the easiest crackers to make. Mix the dough, roll it out very thinly, score it according to the shapes you want, bake it for ten minutes and then snap them into their individual pieces. These were very tasty and quite savoury so can be easily enjoyed on their own, some of them also curled up a bit in the oven which makes them fantastic for dipping. They are super low fat too, there’s no oil added except what naturally occurs in the flour and flax meal. I had no idea how good home made crackers could be! I have found my new obsession..
A note about Atta flour: Atta is the Indian word for flour, although in Australia it seems to commonly refer to Indian whole wheat flour, which is ground very finely so you can barely see the bran. It’s creamy light brown in colour and is commonly used in India to make everyday unleavened flat breads such as chapattis and rotis. I have been making a lot of rotis lately with this flour, and they are just beautiful. I am starting to wonder now what other applications there can be for Indian whole wheat Atta, since it’s so finely ground and so healthy! The owner of our local Indian grocer suggested I buy a 10kg bag of Atta instead of the 1kg bag I bought last time – this could turn out to be a very good suggestion! I wonder what Atta sourdough would be like…
Anyway, back to the crackers. Here’s close to exactly what I used, with a bit more detail about the method:
- 1/2 cup plain, all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat Atta flour (you could use whole wheat flour or just more plain flour – or try another kind of flour!)
- 1/2 cup ground flax seeds/flax meal (You can go without this, add some other small seeds if you like. This recipe is really forgiving! Just adjust the water to suit)
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste, I like my crackers quite salty – goes great with a cold beer!)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, or fresh garlic grated and chopped very finely, mixed in with the water
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (try other herbs to your taste if you prefer)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 scant teaspoon baking powder (next time I’m going to try them without this, and see if it makes any difference since they are rolled so thinly)
- 1/3 cup water, adjusting as needed (start with a little and add as you mix)
- Preheat your oven to 180°C. I preheated my large pizza stone on one baking rack (to bake the crackers in batches), but you could also prepare a number of racks with baking sheets on each one, if you want to do them all at once.
- Mix dry ingredients very well in a large mixing bowl, add about 1/4 cup of the water and start to knead it together. Keep adding water until you have a fairly firm but pliable dough. Knead it for a minute or two, it should be smooth and without cracks, but not too soft and squishy.
- Divide the dough into four or so large golf ball size pieces and cover them with a tea towel on your bench/table so they don’t dry out.
- Take one of the pieces of dough, and place it on a large piece of non-stick baking paper. Roll it out as thinly as you can. Then get a blunt knife or cookie cutters and score/cut the sheet of dough into whatever sizes or shapes you like. Just be careful not to cut the paper. You don’t need to shape them individually and separate them, they will snap apart once they’re baked.
- Alternative: I used my pasta roller and rolled the pieces of dough to number 4 thinness (quite thin), just as you would do for home made lasagne sheets. Then I laid them out on the baking paper and cut them into rectangles with a crimped pastry roller. I just cross-hatched the entire sheet of dough, not bothering to separate them at all.
- Another alternative: for the rustic look, you could go without the scoring/shaping and just bake the large thin sheets of dough in the oven, then once they are cooled and very crispy, snap them into random sized pieces yourself. Or just have one giant crispy cracker – yum! Although you would have to have a giant glass of beer to go with that 🙂
- Finally, once you’ve played around with cutting and shapes and what-have-you, get a large baking peel/cutting board/baking tray, slide the baking paper with dough onto it, then use this to slide the dough and paper onto the hot surface you have prepared in your oven.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, until the edges are just showing a bit of colour.
- Cool for about 10 minutes on a rack, snap them into shapes and store in an airtight container.
- Think for a while about what you are going to eat them with, or just tuck in.