Get ready to have your face rocked off (inside-joke-from-a-long-time-ago alert…): Friends, we have been hoodwinked. Crackers don’t have to come in a box. They can be made at home. And you know what? They’re pretty easy. Certainly much easier than most of us have been led to believe. And super delicious.
I adapted this recipe from Alton Brown’s I’m Just Here for More Food. If I was only going to have three cookbooks, this would be one of them. It’s seriously great. He’s the science teacher in our house (cooking is really about chemical reactions between different ingredients and managing when and how they occur). If you’re an Alton Brown nerd like me it will interest you to know that these crackers fell under the ‘Muffin Method” category, which is not where you’d expect them to be. If not, forget I mentioned it.
2 c Spelt (or other) flour, plus more for dusting, and possibly for the right dough texture
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cups seeds (Mr. Brown suggests sesame and poppy seeds; delicious and very flavorful) or more flour.
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
3 tbsp olive or other vegetable oil
1 c water
Preheat the oven to 450. A flat, seasoned baking stone (like a well-oiled pizza stone) works the best for these, but a cookie sheet or something would probably be fine too. If you’re into parchment paper that would probably make the whole thing easy.
Whisk together dry ingredients thoroughly.
Mix in olive oil until thoroughly combined (the oil coats the dry ingredients and leads to more tender crackers).
Add about 3/4 c of the water and mix with a spatula, adding more water and flour until you have a workable dough. I tend to leave the dough a little sticky and just use lots of flour for dusting the rolling pin and surface.
Roll it out a bit until it’s about a half-inch thick.
Take the hot pizza stone out of the oven. Put the dough directly on the stone and roll it out as thin as possible (don’t burn yourself!), usually about 1/8-1/4 inch thickness. Use a pizza cutter to score it into fancy little squares, if you want. You could also just break it in pieces after baking, if you don’t care about appearances.
Put it back in the oven for a couple of minutes, until the pieces start to shrink away from each other, then flip them over and stick them back in until they reach your desired crunchiness. I tend to like them a little softer, but for my crunchy-loving friends they can easily be toasted a bit after the fact.
That’s it. There are endless possible variations on these.
Honey, maple syrup, molasses, etc. in place of a little bit of the water. Milk in place of some or all of the water. Cumin, caraway, or other seeds. Curry seasoning. Any other seasoning you like the taste of. Sprinkling some kosher salt on top before the bake. Grated cheese on top. Grated cheese in the crackers. Use your imagination, and let me know if you come up with something delicious so I can make it too!