I was browsing YouTube for anything interesting, and saw a guy making crackers. That was singular enough for me, so I watched and learned. He gave a basic recipe and said to, "Feel free to alter it any way you want," and to, "Experiment to come up with what works best for you." So I did. This is the recipe I put together, with the ingredients I had on hand. I'll tell you the same thing. Experiment! I will...the next time...and the next time...and the next time...ad infinitum...because the first batch (while not perfect) was great enough that I fell in love with the process and the results.
- Mixer with Dough Hook
- Rolling Pin
- At Least 3 Pizza Pans or Cookie Sheets
- Oil Spritzer
- Blender or Coffee Grinder
- Mixing Bowls
- Measuring Cups
- Wooden Spoons
- 2 cups Oatmeal or Cornmeal (any type)
- 4 cups All Purpose Flour (or other flour blend of your choice)
- 2 tbsp Herbs (OPTIONAL) (ground or powdered)
- 4 tsp Salt (+ some to sprinkle on after crackers are half-baked)
- 3 tsp Honey (or sugar)
- 2 tbsp Cooking Oil (+ some to spray on after crackers are half-baked)
- 2 cups Warm or Hot Water
- Preheat Oven to 425 degrees F.
- Grind the oatmeal or cornmeal into flour, using a blender or coffee grinder. NOTE: If you use ready-made flour of either type, use slightly less than the amount shown for either the oatmeal or cornmeal.
- Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl you'd usually use for making bread. If you use sugar, include that here.
- In a smaller bowl, mix the wet ingredients together, using a whisk.
- Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, using a wooden spoon, until all is incorporated.
- In the bowl, pull the dough together, then knead it by hand for a few minutes, OR use your dough hook with your mixer. After a few minutes it should stick together well, be slightly elastic, and just a tad sticky, yet smooth. If it needs a little flour, sprinkle a tiny bit in and knead again. If it needs a little more moisture, sprinkle a tiny bit in and knead again (either by hand or machine).
- When satisfied with a "Play Doh" type of feel to the dough, turn it out onto a floured board and knead by hand for at least another few minutes.
- Divide the dough into quarters or smaller (depending on the size of your baking sheets). Be sure your kneading board is still floured.
- Using a rolling pin, roll out one piece of dough as thin as you can get it. THINK "Wheat Thins." Then transfer the dough to the FIRST baking sheet. One good way to do that is to lightly flour the top of the dough, fold it in half (don't press the crease), then fold it in half again (again, don't press the crease). Lift the dough onto the baking sheet and unfold it twice, and arrange it to your satisfaction. You can stretch it into place with your hands, as necessary, after it's basically placed in the pan.
- BEFORE placing the crackers into the preheated oven, slice the dough into 1" - 1-1/2" strips, then across the strips to create squares. Do it BEFORE baking, because that will be next to impossible to do AFTER baking.
- Go ahead and get the first baking sheet full of cut crackers into the oven, and set a timer for 7 minutes (this can be adjusted with the next pan, after you see how it works out). At 7 minutes, your crackers should be starting to solidify, but not yet turning brown.
- Start rolling out and preparing the next sheet of crackers while the first sheet goes through the first 7 minutes of baking.
- Take out the first sheet, and spray the surface of the half-baked crackers lightly with oil (or brush on some oil), then lightly sprinkle on some salt (any type you generally use).
- Now you begin juggling...
- JUGGLE...TOP RACK IN THE OVEN...Place newly-prepared, raw crackers.BOTTOM RACK IN THE OVEN...Place oiled-and-salted, half-baked crackers.Bake for 7 (or adjusted) minutes, while getting THE NEXT BAKING SHEET OF CRACKERS READY.Just before the timer sounds, remove the pan-cooled crackers onto a flat surface covered with a towel, parchment paper, waxed paper, or foil, so you can re-use the pan for JUGGLING.Remove BOTH pans from the oven.Set the now FULLY-BAKED (oiled-and-salted) crackers aside to cool on the pan for a bit.Oil and salt the HALF-BAKED crackers.
- Keep repeating the JUGGLE instructions for baking, oiling and salting, pan-cooling, and secondary-cooling, until all crackers have been baked, oiled, and salted.NOTE: You'll also want to probably move the prior cooled crackers to a bowl, thus making room for the next sheet pan-cooled crackers.Just think back to the ever-so-famous Chocolate Factory scene from "I Love Lucy." (GRIN)
I wouldn't suggest storing the crackers in a plastic bag until they are THOROUGHLY AIR-COOLED.