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
-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?