I’m pretty sure that if it wasn’t for this blog and the whole healthy family snack thing that I’m supposed to be investigating, I wouldn’t be making crackers at all. But this is definitely one of those times that the genius of blogging shines through. I love these crackers.
Despite what you may think, these are pretty darn easy to make. The food processor makes blending all the ingredients a snap. The only tricky part is rolling out the dough after it’s had some time to relax in the refrigerator. But if you’re willing to take on that little challenge, you could have a batch of warm cheesy crackers fresh out of the oven. So completely worth it in my book.
I’ve gradually made a some relatively significant changes to the original recipe I posted a year ago. Things have changed enough that I’m thinking it’s about time I shared how I’m baking up cheese crackers these days.
Cheese Crackers Recipe
I highly recommend using a silicone baking mat for cracker-making. From what I gather, parchment paper will work. But the silicone baking mat is sturdier and is a lot less inclined to slide all over the counter while you’re rolling out the dough.
This recipe is easily doubled. My standard-size Cuisinart food processor seems a little cramped, but turns out a perfectly good dough with a double recipe. But unless you have a double oven, remember you’re looking at two rounds of cracker babysitting by the oven window.
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash ground pepper
3 ounces coarsely grated orange sharp cheddar cheese (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 ounce finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)
4 tablespoons cold butter, sliced into chunks
3 – 4 tablespoons water
Place the flours, cornmeal, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds. Add the cheeses and pulse for 10-15 seconds.
Distribute the butter over the top of the flour mixture. Run the processor for 10 seconds or until the butter is mostly incorporated and the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Occasional larger chunks of butter are more than okay.
With the processor running, add the water one tablespoon at a time through the feed tube. Continue to run the processor until the dough starts to lightly clump up or form into a ball (about 30 – 60 seconds).
If you take a bit of the dough out of the processor and give it a squeeze, if it looks like this, you’re all set:
If it doesn’t add a little more water and pulse until it does.
Remove the dough from the processor. Divide it in two and form into flattened rectangles and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place the rectangles in the refrigerator for at least one hour or overnight. If you leave them in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight, let the dough sit out on the counter for 10 minutes or so to soften.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove plastic wrap and place rectangle in the middle of a non-stick baking mat. Roll the dough out evenly with a wooden rolling pin until it covers almost the entire (11 x 16-inch) mat. This takes a little muscle, but gets easier as the dough warms up. I find it impossible to roll the dough out completely evenly. But the closer you get it, the easier they will be to bake.
Cut the dough into 1″ squares with a straight edge, lattice cutter, or pizza wheel. Move the baking mat onto a baking sheet. (The squares do not need to be spread apart as they shrink and puff up during baking and are easily broken apart afterwards if they do not separate on their own.)
Bake for approximately 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the dough, or until the bottoms of crackers are puffy and golden. Start checking on them often after 15 minutes. The crackers on the outer edge may brown more quickly. I’ve been known to remove some of the crackers from the baking sheet in order to save them from burning and put the rest back in the oven for a few more minutes. Check the bottom of the crackers to gauge how close they are to being done. They should be golden crispy perfection. They will crisp up a bit when they cool, but not much.
Transfer the crackers to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or freeze.
Yield: 100 crackers
Prep-time: 30 minutes
Inactive prep-time: 1 hour to overnight
Bake-time: 20 minutes