There is a constant battle against store bought foods in my house. Really, I’m the only warrior in this quest, and I have to admit, my family is probably the losers in the siege. I make them eat the spoils. Or rather, whatever I concoct, they do their best to consume. They are noble. It’s not easy living with someone that is obsessed with making everything from absolute scratch.
However, homemade crackers are something that I have never attempted, so I thought I would give them a try. How hard could they be? The recipes I researched seemed simple enough: flour, salt, water, yeast. I make bread quite often. Homemade crackers seemed like a snap.
Homemade Crackers Require a Little Practice
Well, they weren’t. The first batch that I made were so hard, we had trouble eating them. Even though I rolled the dough as thinly as possible, the dough seemed to shrink a bit, and became thicker when baked. In our thriftiness, we we rarely throw away any of my experiments. So, we ate them, but they brought to mind the description I have read about army rationed hardtack. (I would like to say that we looked like a bunch of mutts sitting around a table, gnawing on Milk Bones, but 1) that’s rude and 2) I would be scrambling my similes. But that’s the true visual…)
It wasn’t so much the recipe that was the critical part of making home made crackers, but the cracker forming technique.
The Secret to Light Crispy Crackers is Stretching the Dough
The next round of homemade crackers, which is pictured here, turned out beautifully. The trick is to hand stretch the dough after your roll it. Piercing the dough helps keep the crackers crisp and light, but the stretching was the best idea.
Pizza makers have a long history of using hand tossing to make pizza crust light and thin. Cracker stretching is similar, but less dramatic. Simply pull the edges of the dough by picking up the rolled out piece, and allowing gravity to stretch the dough downwards. Also, when you rub in the truffle oil onto the surface of the dough, you can also stretch the dough by gently pulling it outwards. Don’t worry if the dough tears a bit – the tears will not show once you bake the crackers, and snap them apart into individual pieces. I will try to make a video of the stretching technique soon.
Most of my family is out and about this week as we are winding up our summer laziness, and getting back to school, but I’m excited to share these crackers with them. This batch is terrific. They will be great for the holidays, and I may even make some as gifts.Print
Rosemary Sea Salt Crackers with Truffle Oil
An easy recipe for homeade made crackers!
- Prep Time: 80 minutes
- Cook Time: 12 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 32 minutes
- Yield: 12 dozen crackers 1x
- Category: Baking
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Continental
2.5 cups all purpose flour (300 gr)
1 cup warm water, 105°F – 110°F (240 ml, 40°C- 43°C)
1 packet yeast (7 gr)
1/2 tsp baking soda (2 gr)
Approximately 4 tsp. truffle oil (20ml)
Approximately 4 tsp. sea salt (16 gr)
Approximately 4 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary (8 gr)
In a small bowl, stir together the yeast and water, and allow to sit for 5 minutes, until the yeast starts to bubble.
Sift together the flour, and baking soda into a separate large bowl. Slowly stir in the yeast mixture. (I prefer to knead the mixture together by hand, but you can also assemble this in an electric mixer bowl) Knead the dough for 5 minutes by hand (or 2 minutes at medium speed if using a mixer.) You may have to knead in a bit of flour into the dough so that it is less sticky, but no more than a couple of spoonfuls.
Place the dough in a clean bowl that has been well greased with olive oil. Cover with a clean towel, and allow to rise in a warm, draft free area for 1 hour.
After the dough has doubled in bulk, punch it down and divide into 4 portions. Place one portion on a piece of parchment paper (large enough to cover a baking sheet) and sprinkle over a small amount of flour. Roll the dough out over the parchment as thinly as possible, coating the rolling pin with flour as needed so the dough does not stick.
Heat your oven to 350°F (176°C).
Once the dough is rolled out as thinly as possible, prick throughout with a fork, and then stretch the dough so that it is as thin as possible. Avoid tearing the dough, but a few tears will not harm the results.
Arrange the the thin dough on the parchment, and pour about 1 tsp. of truffle oil (5ml) on the dough. Rub or brush the truffle oil over the surface of the dough (which may stretch more as you are applying the oil. This is great!) Sprinkle over evenly 1 tsp of salt (4 gr) and 1 tbsp of rosemary (2 gr) onto the dough.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the heated oven. Meanwhile, form the rest of the dough portions, stretch and season in the same way.