Saturday, January 29, 2011

Recipe: Homemade Crackers

It's funny how life comes full circle.  Take today for instance.  I decided to make a batch of homemade crackers. I have never made them before, always happily using Triscuits or Ritz or Wheat Thins.  But I happened to catch a tv segment with Ina Garten preparing homemade crackers. She made them look easy and delicious, so I decided to try it myself.
I told Ashley that I was making crackers and she asked, "you can make crackers?"

I immediately remembered when I had the same conversation with my own father.  One time in preparing for a dinner party, he asked me if we should make crackers.  I responded with disbelief (just as Ashley did) "you can make crackers?"

My father responded with "Of course we can!  We can make anything."
I remember being skeptical, not sure how we could get the crispness that store bought crackers offer.
We didn't make the crackers that day.  And I was never sure how they would come out.  
Now I know.
They are delicious.

Of course, I modified the original recipe which called for Parmesan and thyme.  I used rosemary.  Next time, I will use some whole wheat flour (maybe a 50/50 mixture with white flour). 
Basically, you mix the ingredients, form into a roll and chill in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Cut and slice.
Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake.
Let cool and then enjoy.

1 stick butter, room temperature
1 cup grated Parmesan (measure after it is grated)
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp crushed rosemary
1 tsp freshly ground pepper

Beat butter with a mixer.  Add the spices and beat again.  Add the Parmesan and flour.  Combine.
Dump onto a sheet of wax paper.  Form mixture into a log.  Wrap tightly with wax paper, twist the edges and freeze for 30 minutes.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350.
Cut the log into slices just shy of 1/2" thick.
Place on pan (they can be close together as they don't spread when baking).  Bake for 20 minutes until lightly browned.
Cool in sheet for 3 minutes then on wire rack until cool.

Store in an airtight tin.

Variations - vary the cheese or herb combination.  A dry cheese like Parmesan or Romano work well.

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