Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday night

I think (hope? pray?) that we may have turned a cosmic corner this week. After the last few weeks of bureaucratic, meteorological, and sinus purgatory, the last few days have been a noticeable improvement. The sun has been out for five days running, I’ve blown my nose fewer than six times today, and yesterday four, count ‘em, four pieces of paperwork that I’ve been waiting on tenterhooks for arrived in the mail.

And it’s Friday. And even better, this time next Friday I should be done with this bout of solo parenting.

All of which has made me feel much more cheerful, and inclined to try a little something extra in the kitchen: homemade crackers, the perfect accompaniment to tonight’s dinner of hearty soup and lots of cheese.

DIY crackers
Julie says, “Everyone makes cookies at home, so why not crackers?” After trying out this recipe, I’m inclined to agree. You can’t buy anything in a store that tastes like this, and making your own crackers gives you a sense of accomplishment out of all proportion to the effort involved. I adapted this recipe for my currently food-processor-free kitchen, and it was still a snap.

2 cups/240 g all-purpose/plain flour
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp/50 g butter, frozen*
3 oz/75 g Greek yogurt
3 oz/75 ml whole milk
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.

Grate butter into dry ingredients and mix with a large fork or pastry cutter to combine.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix yogurt and milk together to form a thick liquid. Pour this into the flour-butter mixture and stir, then knead lightly, into a soft dough.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 1/8 inch (1/4 cm). Cut into preferred shape and place on a baking sheet. (Any scraps can be re-rolled once for maximum number of crackers.)

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.** Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through, or until golden.***

Cool completely on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.

Makes 3-4 dozen crackers, depending on shape.

* When I don’t have a food processor available, I find freezing the butter and grating it into the flour is the next-best method.
** This is a basic recipe; you can top with any number of seeds, grated cheese, etc., as well as add cheeses, herbs, or whatever you fancy to the dough.
*** Mine took longer than this—closer to 25 minutes ($%#!?@& electric oven).


Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial said... Best Blogger Tips

So happy to hear you're on the mend and it's all starting to come together! The crackers sound delicious - could you just rub the butter in though, instead of grating? These days I make most of my pastry by hand, because it's easier than washing up the FP, and that's how I work the butter in...

Roving Lemon said... Best Blogger Tips

Yes, I think you could absolutely rub the butter in by hand and get good results; I think I have "hot hands", so have found the frozen/grating method works better for me to keep everything at the best temperature.

Cookie baker Lynn said... Best Blogger Tips

I'm motivated to make my own crackers when I look at the ingredients list on a box of crackers. Why the heck do crackers need to have High fructose corn syrup??? I'll have to give this recipe a try.

Roving Lemon said... Best Blogger Tips

Lynn, I have to agree that seeing HFCS on every cracker box I pick up has definitely made me less inclined to buy or eat them. And having made these is only going to accelerate the trend!

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