Several weeks ago, Mr. Crumbs came home late from a surfing session with two of his friends. He would have been home in time for dinner, but unfortunately, someone broke into his friend’s truck and stole wallets, credit cards, cell phones and even clothes! The three of them were at the beach for well over three hours PAST the time they planned to come home, staying at the scene to call the police and file a report.
Since our house is the closest to the beach they were at, they came here first. As the boys unloaded their gear from the truck and those who needed dry clothes changed, everyone gradually made their way to our dining room table. A handful of minutes turned into a half hour, and when the commotion and re-telling the burglary event was over, the realization of hunger set in.
Mr. Crumbs asked if we had any cheese and crackers. Yes, we have cheese. No, we don’t have crackers. A slightly bummed look came across his face, and I knew that the simplicity of cheese and crackers could have turned around this not-so-good-day and allow it at least end on a tasty note.
Instead, I made a tray of cut vegetables and homemade ranch dressing. Although it satisfied everyone’s hunger for the moment, the crunch of celery is just not the same as the crunch of a cracker.
Ah, the forbidden cracker. A snack item that rarely sees the inside of our kitchen pantry thanks to the incredibly long list of ingredients on the box, or the incredibly large price tag on the organic box with a slightly shorter list. A lose/lose situation in either case that has left us alone in the dark when it comes to a starchy, solid crunch of a cracker to accompany our cheeses.
Did you know that you can make a batch of homemade crackers in under 20 minutes? I didn’t. Not until I tried to find a homemade cracker recipe so that I could at least see if making a batch on a whim was feasible. Not that I want a reply of that event on the beach, but last-minute situations like this come up in life often.
When unexpected company stops by… when dinner is taking much longer than usual to cook… when you’re looking for something crunchy at snack time… when you’re packing up for a day at the beach and want to bring food that won’t spoil in the hot sun…
These are the times it would help to have a simple homemade cracker recipe on hand.
Allow me to share my discovery.
The simple combination of flour, salt and water is all it takes to make a delicious, crunchy cracker. A few minutes worth of kneading plus another 12-15 to bake and you have a whole grain, healthy snack – that’s a cracker no less – ready in just 20 minutes.
- 1 cup whole grain, plus more for flouring surface
- ⅓ cup + 2-4 Tbsp water
- ¼ tsp salt
- sea salt for topping (optional)
- Using your hands, combine flour and ⅓ cup of water in a medium bowl. Mix well until all the flour has been incorporated. The dough will be stiff, but add additional water 1 Tbsp at a time if the dough is too stiff or if more water is needed to incorporate the flour.
- Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out onto the back of a lightly floured 10x15 metal cookie sheet. Roll the dough to each edge and corner of the cookie sheet, rotating and flipping as needed to prevent sticking. Roll the dough as thin as possible for a crunchy cracker, or leave it slightly thicker for a chewier cracker.
- Score the dough into desired sized using a pizza cutter or a knife. Prick holes onto each cracker using a fork.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350 F for 10-15 minutes, or until the crackers are medium brown and begin to pull up at the edges.
- Remove from the oven. Eat immediately, or the next day. Store in a sealed container.
I make this recipe with freshly ground flour. Your measurements on flour and water might need to be adjusted slightly, either up or down by a teaspoon at a time. You want to use just as much water needed to create the dough, so that all the flour is wet but the dough is stiff. This will allow you to roll it out easily, instead of pouring the dough onto the back. When in doubt, use less water. Remember that you can always add more, and if you do, add just a teaspoon at a time.
These homemade crackers are best enjoyed straight out of the oven, or the next day. There’s a lag time that starts a couple hours after the crackers are done until the following morning when they lost their crunch. If this happens, just let the crackers sit for a while longer. I don’t know why this happens for sure, but I think it’s the excess moisture coming to the surface of the cracker. Once it’s done, the crunch returns. No matter when you eat them though, the flavor is still delicious.