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These started out as the "Little
Salted Biscuits" from Bernard Clayton's Breads of France. But
then I messed with them a bit, starting with using a mix of whole grain
flours, increasing the milk, and using malt in place of part of the
sugar to give a more nuanced sweetness.
You can see my illustrated primer on making crackers here.
Oven 400 degrees F Time 10
Mill together (coarsely):
200 grams soft wheat berries
75 grams brown rice*
75 grams whole corn (field
corn OR popcorn will work here)
1 1/4 cup whole wheat
pastry flour PLUS 1/2 cup rice flour
PLUS 1/2 cup freshest whole cornmeal (total about 2 1/4 cups flours)
2 tablespoons malt powder
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup water
Whisk or sift together the dry ingredients. Stir in the
the mixture is uniformly crumbly. This is where I let my
kitchenaid go to town, with the paddle attachment, until the mixture
really is a smooth, crumbly dough.
Starting with about 1/4 C, stir in water until the mixture just holds
together enough for rolling out. You may need another couple of
tablespoons of water to reach rolling consistency. On
a silicone baking sheet liner, or a floured board if you're not going
to roll directly onto the baking sheet, roll 1/3 of the dough about
Prick the dough with a fork all
over, or use a rolling docker if you have it. Use a pastry roller
or sharp knife to cut the dough into
about 2" squares.
Slide the prepared baking liner onto your baking pan, or place the
squares (and the funny edge pieces, too) on ungreased baking
sheets, and bake until the edges are golden (about 10' in preheated
oven). Especially if they're separated, you'll most likely have a
few that will bake faster; don't
be afraid to pull the sheet out of the oven, scoop the done ones off,
and quickly return the rest to the heat. If you're baking the
unseparated crackers rolled directly onto the baking liner, the center
ones will not get very crisp, but don't worry about that yet.
The secret to maximum, uniform crispness is to bake them twice, like
biscotti. Bake them until they turn golden brown, but
remove them from the over before they get darker brown. You can
leave them on the baking tray, or transfer them to cooling racks; for
this purpose it doesn't matter. Bake the entire batch this
way. When they're all finished, turn the oven temp down to
150-175 degrees, and when it has cooled down to this point (check
first!), return all the crackers to the oven. You can scatter
them over a single backing sheet, and don't worry if they overlap a
bit. You're going to leave them in long enough that it won't
matter. Check them after an hour or so, and if even the
thicker ones seem nicely crisp,, then turn the heat off and leave them
in there until they're completely cool. Store them carefully to
maintain that wonderful crispness; I find I eat them up so quickly that
they don't have a chance to get soft or stale.
*The rice or rice flour adds crispness, but you can get a nice cracker
using all a mix of wheat plus corn flours.
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