Did you know that you can make crackers faster than you can convince a 5-year-old to put on his shoes? And definitely faster than you can get two kids dressed and in the car and out of the car and into the supermarket and back into the car and onto wherever you were headed with your crackers in the first place.
On top of that, homemade crackers give you the piece of mind of knowing precisely what is in your snack. And you can feel like a superhero goddess mom as you avoid all that packaging and show up at play group with your (secretly incredibly easy) homespun goodness.
Now, that speed is also their potential downfall. Crackers cook up quick. You've got to be paying attention. Go change a diaper at the 8 minute mark and those squares will go from a touch too pale to totally burnt before anybody smells fresh.
This is a basic recipe that you can certainly fancy up anyway you see fit - with dried herbs or seeds or some cracked pepper - but I'll be honest - I never do. Sometimes I get as fancy as whipping out the cookie cutters, but most of the time I quickly score them into small misshapen rectangles and throw em' in the oven.
If you ask the kid to get his shoes on when you get out the flour, remind him when you're putting the crackers in the oven, then you should be ready to hit the park (or your Oscar party!) by the time the house is smelling toasty warm 10 minutes later.
makes: a lot
takes: about 20 minutes
- 2 cups flour (I use half all-purpose and half white whole wheat which is a soft whole wheat flour, but I want to call it plain ol' 2 cups so you can memorize this recipe. Make it yours.)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup water
Heat the oven to 450. Whisk together the flours and salt. Drizzle in the oil. Mix. Add the water. Stir. Knead it together with your hands a few times to make a smooth dough. If the dough is too crumbly, add another tablespoon of water. And if it seems too sticky, knead in a little flour. If it's just right, divide the dough in two. Throw a damp towel over the bowl to keep the dough you're not using moist. Roll the other portion out as thinly as possible right onto a rimless cookie sheet. Cut into squares or shapes. If you are using a cookie cutter, cut out the shapes, but don't remove them, just bake the whole sheet - you can pop them out once the dough is baked. You'll be left with cute perfect crackers for your party and some funky cracker shards for immediate consumption. Unless your crackers are bite-size, poke them all over with a fork or a skewer so that your crackers don't puff up. This task is especially popular with kids. Repeat with the other dough ball and bake for 8 - 10 minutes, until the edges are nicely browned. If the crackers in the middle are too pale, remove the browned crackers on the periphery, break up the remaining crackers and throw them back in the oven for 2 - 5 minutes.