Stuck at home wisely avoiding COVID-19? Us, too. It sucks, but make some crackers! You probably have everything you need right in your cupboards. Out partying and gathering in large groups? I guess that’s just Darwinism at it’s best.
For the rest of us smart and reasonable people staying indoors, life can get a little tedious not really being able to leave except for walks and maybe a drive or bike ride, depending on where you live. Wherever you are, the Feral Cooks hope you’re safe and healthy during this dangerous time.
Maybe cooking some snacks will divert your attention from the pandemic for awhile. I went looking online and found two recipes for crackers that I thought I’d try. The first one is Lavosh Crackers from the Chef Not Required blog, and Dill Crackers from Pastry and Beyond. They’re both good for snacking, but I found the Dill Crackers a little more satisfying. Probably because I made them a little thicker, and because they have fresh herbs in them. In my case, sage, because we didn’t have any dill in the house.
Note that neither of these were made in their intended shape. I just went with whatever I felt would work at the time.
Stay healthy and don’t get too bored.
What you’ll need:
- 1 cup (150g) all-purpose flour
- 0.25t fine salt, plus extra for sprinkling
- 3T olive oil, divided
- 0.25 cups water, plus more if needed
- *1t za’atar spice blend—I didn’t have any of this, so I just used the cumin, some curry powder and dried chili flakes
- 0.25t ground cumin
What to do:
Heat your oven to 375 degrees F and set aside 1 or 2 sheet pans.
Combine the za’atar (1 tsp) and ground cumin in a small bowl and set aside. I you don’t have any za’ater, just mix together whatever spices you feel like.
In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and salt, making a well in the center of the pile.
Add 2T olive oil and the water to the flour well, and mix gradually until you have a shaggy dough. If it’s too dry, add only 1t of water at a time until it’s the right consistency. While the dough is still in the bowl, roll it into a rough ball and knead it 10-15 times. You may want to do this on a lightly-floured surface.
Divide the ball of dough into three equal portions.
Here’s what I did, based on these crackers not expanding at all when cooking. Just roll out all or portions of the dough on a piece of parchment paper and use a cookie cutter to cut out the crackers. Make them thin—less than 2 mm, or 1/8-inch thick. Pull up the scraps and move the crackers to one section of the paper. They can almost be touching. Re-roll the scraps and cut crackers until you’re out of dough. When done rolling and cutting, just pull opposite edges of the parchment paper tight and move everything to the sheet pan for baking.
Brush the remaining olive oil evenly over the surface of the crackers with a pastry brush, then sprinkle the tops evenly whatever spice mixture you’ve made. Add a little salt at this point, if you want.
Bake for 6-10 minutes, depending on how thick they are. Keep an eye on them though, because they’ll burn quickly once they’re done. Let them cool in the sheet pan before serving.
Store in an airtight container once cooled.
*Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend made with cumin, thyme, roasted sesame, sumac, salt, caraway, fennel, coriander and sometimes chili flakes. It may be available at your favorite grocery store.
What you’ll need:
- 2 cups + 1T (290g) all-purpose flour
- 1.5t (9g) salt
- 2t (9g) granulated sugar
- 0.33 cups + 1T olive oil
- 0.5 cups + 1T water
- About 2.5T fresh dill, roughly chopped, or whatever other fresh herbs you may have
What to do:
Heat your oven to 375 degrees F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Add the olive oil and water, then mix. Now add in the dill or whatever herbs and mix with a spoon or spatula until you have a soft and somewhat sticky dough. The dough should be sticky, so don’t add any extra flour.
Divide the dough in half. Like with the other cracker recipe, roll out the dough on a piece of parchment paper to about 1/8-inch or so thick. I actually made mine a little thicker, which worked out well. Take a pizza cutter and roll it across the dough to make whatever size and shape crackers you want. When you’re done rolling and cutting, just pull opposite edges of the parchment paper tight and move everything to the sheet pan for baking. Poke holes in the crackers right before going into the oven so they don’t puff up.
Bake for about 12 minutes or until the edges become golden brown. If the dough puffs up when they’re baking, just poke the puffy part with a fork to deflate it.
When done, remove the crackers from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet. They won’t be very crunchy until they fully cool. Then they’ll be great!