crackersI have recently discovered the joy of making crackers at home.  Worried that I was eating too much processed food and too many salty snacks, I set out to find a recipe for homemade crackers.  I found one that tasted good, but was missing that crunch of a store bought cracker.  Then I found these on a blog – I could not believe how easy they were, and how crispy they turn out – just like a real cracker!  I’ve made some slight adjustments, and have tried several versions with different things added.  For the ones I made last night, I added some grated parmigiano reggiano, chopped fresh rosemary, and cracked black pepper to the dry ingredients.  For a Spanish themed dinner, I made some sprinkled with Spanish Pimenton before baking.  They are sooooo yummy!  Here’s the basic recipe – I usually cut it in half because it really makes a lot.

1 1/2 cups semolina flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup warm water
1/3 cup olive oil

Whisk together the flour and salt (and any other dry ingredients you want to add for flavoring) in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Add the water and olive oil.  Mix at medium speed for about 7 minutes (or knead by hand if you don’t have a stand mixer).  Dough should not be sticky, but not too dry either.  It will feel a bit like a pizza dough.  Divide the dough into 8 balls, coat each ball lightly with olive oil, cover, and let rest for about an hour.

Heat oven to 450.  Flour a cutting board or other surface (I simply use my granite counter top).  Take one of the dough balls and flatten out into a disc.  Run through a pasta machine on setting number 1 (if you don’t have a pasta machine, you can just roll out the dough, but try to get it as thin as you can – about 1/16 of an inch).  Continue to pass through the pasta machine until you get to number 3 or 4.  I have a great pasta attachment for my stand mixer – makes the rolling much easier than a manual machine because it leaves both hands free to handle the dough.  Once you have a very thin sheet, add any additional toppings you wish to add (I usually use a flaked sea salt), prick all over with a fork to prevent puffing up of the dough, cut into squares, rectangles, or whatever shapes you want.  I use a ravioli cutter to give them a fun edge, but you can just use a knife, a pizza cutter, whatever.  Carefully transfer to a floured baking sheet, or a baking sheet lined with a Silpat liner.  Bake for about 8-10 minutes.  Watch them carefully, as they can go from golden to burnt very quickly.  When they are a beautiful golden brown, remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.  They will cool down very quickly – usually by the time your next batch is done baking.

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