Since we stopped buying food that we didn’t know the source of we’ve had no quick snacks in the cupboard. My two small kids have been pretty good about things but whenever we do venture into the grocers they invariably see bags of chips or boxes of crackers and breakfast cereal. Then the whining begins…
I finally broke down last week and tried my hand at making crackers – and they were awesome! And it was easy! And fun! I made a huge batch and put a bunch in the freezer to take out whenever we need them. The one thing I bought that made these special was palm kernel oil.
Granted, palm kernel oil is not a local ingredient but few oils are both organic, sustainably grown (which is not necessarily the same thing as organic) and local. I can get olive oil from Napa that I feel pretty good about but it does add a green olive flavor to things and it doesn’t make delicate things flaky like lard or palm kernel oil. The palm kernel oil was from my Azure Standard order. It’s naturally high in beta cartene which gives it a very orange color that worked perfectly in the crackers. The color was amazingly vibrant, much like turmeric but it wiped easily off my off white kitchen counter without staining (one bonus about not yet having done the kitchen remodel is that I am more then willing to take chances with my counter tops.)
These crackers are soaked overnight to improve their nutritional content and make them easier to digest. They taste remarkably like Wheat Thins ™. The recipe is based on the coconut cracker recipe from Eat Fat Lose Fat by Mary Enig and Sally Fallon.
You could also add some Mt. Pleasant gouda or farmstead cheddar, onion or garlic powder, and/or a pinch of paprika or chili powder to these crackers.
Thin Wheat Crackers
2 1/2 cups Lentz spelt or Blue Bird Grain wheat pastry flour 1 cup buttermilk, yogurt or milk (can be rice or almond, or just use water) with 1 tablespoon of whey or vinegar added 1 teaspoon sea salt 1 tablespoon sugar 1 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder 1/2 cup palm kernel oil
Mix flour with buttermilk, yogurt or milk and cover the bowl with a dinner plate for 12-24 hours on the counter. Add the soaked flour and all other ingredients and pulse in a food processer until well combined.
Roll out between two pieces of parchment paper or wax paper to Wheat Thin ™ thickness, sprinkling with kosher salt, sea salt, sesame seeds or dried rosemary and rolling that into the dough so it sticks. This step is a fun way to involve kids in the kitchen. They can roll out their own little pats of cracker dough and then cut with a butter knife or ravioli cutter.
Bake on an oiled cookie sheet at 350 degrees farenheit until just beginning to harden. Remove the pan from the oven, cut the crackers to whatever size you want and then spread them around on the cookie sheet so all the edges brown evenly. (This is much easier to do then cutting and transferring the fragile dough before baking.)
Return the cookie sheet to the oven until they are all crisping and the edges are beginning to lightly brown. I can’t honestly remember how long this took, maybe 10 minutes total?
These crackers contain no preservatives and so have a very short “counter” life. They freeze great and thaw quickly without compromising the texture of the cracker. If you really wanted you could put them in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes to get that fresh baked texture again but we didn’t notice a marked change in texture even straight from the freezer.
Now you don’t have to support Nabisco in order to have something crunchy and salty in the house.
**Update** We had friends over this weekend and put the crackers out. They disappeared in short order to comments of “These are addictive!” So tasty to refined adult tastes as well as picky toddlers. I’ll be making these again soon.