Our July 2012 Daring Bakers’ Host was Dana McFarland and she challenged us to make homemade crackers! Dana showed us some techniques for making crackers and encouraged to use our creativity to make each cracker our own by using ingredients we love.
This was quite an nice challenge ... easy to veganize and easy to make ... and something hearty for once!
AND: I finally used my pasta maker, which has been standing around unused in my kitchen for years (it was a real bargain but I never then went though the fuss of making homemade pasta.
The challenge involved using two different techniques of making crackers with two different recipes.
I chose to make
a) the hand rolled health crackers using no egg egg replacer instead of egg white for the wash on top of the crackers
b) the seedy crisps, using the pasta maker (and hand rolling ...)
As I said, the recipes were easy to make ... and a great success. My Mother said she really liked the "Knäckebrot" I had made :D
I especially enjoyed the healthy crackers, they were quite tasty.
Here my comments on this recipe:
I used unprocessed canola oil, which usually you shouldn't use for baking, but they turned out fine. The recipe called for 25 Minutes in the oven, which I didn't quite dare, since they began to brown quickly (our oven is quite quickbaking generally). And some of the crackers hence weren't quite as crispy, as they should be, but still quite nice.
I used Fleur de Sel for on top which I strongly recommend. Maybe Himalayan pink salt would be nice too.
For Variation on some of the crackers I used a mix of flax seed, Fleur de Sel and Pink Pepper.
Notes: if using pepper - take it reeeally easy. I didn't ...
The recipe made quite a batch and had a relatively long baking time so I spent quite some time in the kitchen rolling, cutting and changing baking sheets ... so I guess I wouldn't make these all the time, but if you really want to impress guests with a simple yet elegant homemade snack - this is the right recipe! And they keep for up to two weeks ... if you can resist ...
I was stuck in a train for 6 hours the day after baking so they didn't last long ;-)
Recipe Nr. 2: the Seedy Crisps
(on the picture these are the grey small crackers in the mid/upper right corner)
Using the pasta maker was ... interesting. My pasta maker can be used for different thicknesses ...
I ended up using the thickest thickness, because that was the only one that seemed to work.
Umfortunately the dough didn't come out in one peace but in strands that were streaked with thin little rips (I should have made a picture, hard to describe ...)
I then first rolled the dough and then rolled it though the pasta maker for extra thinness.
Then I found that was too much fuss and only hand-rolled.
The difference wasn't really noticeable.
These crackers came out really hard but tasted good, with little salt.
Instead of cutting them, you lay the sheet of dough in the oven and bake in from both sides and then break it into pieces before continuing cooking.
Unfortunately one sheet came out too dark and wasn't really edible. So really watch your crackers folks!