Sophisticated Crackers

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I like to say ridiculous things and then follow them up with, "I can do that, because I'm a grown up." Being an adult has all sorts of privileges. If you want to eat your dessert first, you can, because you're a grown up. Pancakes for dinner? Sure thing, you mature person, you!

Sometimes, though, we adults have certain expectations thrust upon us. For instance, when company's coming, they might hope for a small plate of snacks. If it's fancy company, they might expect a plate of sumptuous delights. I believe that these crackers strike the right balance--they can please the casual and the ostentatious. Because they are crackers for grown-ups. That is, they are crackers for those of us who come home from work, immediately hop into our PJs (we can do that, because we're adults), and want to grab a snack and a beer....and for those of us who put on fancy shindigs and need to please other sophisticated palates. They are perfect.

Sophisticated Crackers (aka "Biscuits Pour Des Sophisticates" or "Peppered Rosemary & Garlic Crackers") - recipe modified a titch from sharemykitchen.com
-150g all-purpose flour
-80g cornmeal
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon black pepper
-1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
-1 1/4 teaspoons dried rosemary
-60g cold butter, grated
-3 tablespoons cold milk

Please note: I found it easiest to use a kitchen scale for precise measurements. I *also* think your work is made much easier with a pizza cutter and a pastry scoop.

1. Sift flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add spices and mix.

2. Grate the cold butter into a bowl. Stir it into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon, until the mixture resembles crumbs.

3. Add one tablespoon of milk and mix until absorbed. Add the next one and mix again. If the dough still looks like mostly crumbs, add the last tablespoon of milk. At this point, the dough must be hard--don't worry if it's not completely held together.

4. Knead the dough briefly (**you may need to do this in the bowl to get all the crumbs**). Wrap it in tin foil and let rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

5. Divide the dough into 4 balls. On a lightly floured surface, press the first ball into a rectangle, and roll to about 1/8" thick. Your rectangle will be very ragged around the edges. If you care about your crackers looking nice, just trim off the edges so you have a smoother rectangle. Cut the dough into squares of your desired size and prick every half inch with a fork. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the finished crackers on top. Repeat with all remaining dough.

6. Bake in the middle of a preheated oven at 430 degrees for 8 minutes. You may want to rotate halfway through to evenly bake. Thinner crackers may brown faster. Be sure your oven bakes on fan mode or bakes from above and below, or else crackers may twist during baking.

Enjoy thoroughly with sharp cheddar--it is an AMAZING combination.

-Makes approximately 40-50 crackers, depending on the size you cut them to.

Verdict: These uber-fancy-schmancy crackers mark the start of my 2011 Baking Challenge! I could not be more pleased with how well they turned out. They were MUCH more easy to make than I ever anticipated. Greg and I are currently enjoying the benefits of crackers that aren't laden with preservatives and scary sounding chemicals. Crunchy, salty, and packed with flavor. Could you want anything more from your crackers?

15 comments:

Evan Thomas said...

These sound great! Rosemary definitely elevates the flavor in anything.

Kelly R said...

These sound amazing, and I will be trying them soon!

Swathi said...

crackers looks delicious. I love the rosemary in it.

Hester aka The Chefdoc said...

I've never made my own crackers. These look sooo fabulous to nosh on! Like, a whole box of them and some beer :-) Oh, cheese and crackers... I'm excited!

sarahsplate.com said...

i would love to eat a dozen of these in my pjs...beer in hand. nice work.

Dimah said...

These sound fantastic!

Peggy said...

Definitely need to start making my own crackers! Definitely going to make these first too!

Susan said...

There's a Patriot's game this afternoon on the TV ... I am making these crackers to have with Swiss cheese and beers! Hurray!

Anonymous said...

Oooohhh.. I want to make these. I don't have a kitchen scale, do you have estimates on conversion to "cups" for the flour and cornmeal?

Emily

Mother Rimmy said...

I could so easily sit in my pajamas with a plate of these crackers, a few slices of really great cheese, and my favorite wine. Even better, unlike store purchased crackers, I know what's in these. No preservatives. :)

Kristi

briarrose said...

Beautiful. What a wonderful snack. Great spice mix.

Susan said...

Back again...
http://thespicegarden.blogspot.com/2011/01/crackers-dedication-to-heather-pretty.html

Just so you know how awesome these are!

Tiffany said...

I vote yes on pancakes for dinner! :D And I love these playful and sophisticated crackers.

Rich said...

Those seem perfect for chili! And I like the tagline - they certainly look a whole lot better. In fact, I'm not sure it's even a fair comparison at all - cheese its don't stand a chance!

Heather said...

Evan - Thanks!

Kelly - You definitely need to. You will love them!

Swathi - Thanks!

Hester - Making crackers is (apparently) the easiest thing ever--you should try it out! And yes--they are DEFINITELY worth a good beer and sharply flavored cheese on the side. :)

Sarahsplate - Agreed (and have already done..haha).

Dimah - Thanks!

Peggy - I guarantee they will make you a home cracker convert. :)

Susan - I was so happy to get this comment, and even happier that it turned out that you loved them! :)

Emily - Unfortunately, the grams-to-ounces conversions are very dicey--I mean, stuff like .3225 ounces. :p I found out the conversions by typing "60g in ounces" into Google, where there's an automatic calculator. There's been a big trend in recipe magazines toward giving baking measurements in grams and ounces, because it's more precise. I would definitely recommend getting a food scale for just that purpose. :)

Mother Rimmey - Definitely! That is, in fact, the best way to enjoy these crackers.

Briarrose - Thank you!

Tiffany - Thanks! Pancakes for dinner all around, then. :)

Rich - They were the ultimate cracker for chili, really. :)

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