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Crazy for Crackers: How to Make Your Own at Home

Artisan breads get all the glory with their yeasty smelling, soft yet crusty, golden selves. Homemade with hearty ingredients, fresh from the oven they are a little bit of heaven on earth. Lurking in the shadows of all that exaltation though is an often-overlooked counterpart, the toasty, fiber-filled, whole-grain cracker.
A homemade cracker can be magnificent in its own right. They can be flaky and buttery or crisp and flavorful with a plethora of toppings. A far cry easier than bread baking, crackers require no yeast and are practically foolproof.
Bake yourself up a batch of these versatile snack crackers today!

How to Make Your Own Homemade Crackers: Crispy Seed Crackers Recipe

Recipe courtesy of Peter Reinhart
Start with ¼ cup of both sunflower and pumpkin seeds, and grind into a fine powder. You can use your blender or a spice grinder (I used my coffee grinder)—just use short bursts so that you don’t end up with seed butter.  Place in mixing bowl.

ground-seeds

This is how your ground seeds will look.


Separately grind, 3 tablespoons of flax seeds—or cheat and use ground flax meal like I did and add to your bowl.
cracker-ingredients
Add 6 tablespoons sesame seeds, 1¾ cups of whole-wheat flour, ¼ teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons canola oil, 1 tablespoon honey or agave nectar and ¾ cup water at room temperature.
honey-crackers
Mix on low speed using your paddle attachment for 1 to 2 minutes until mixture forms a firm ball. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 30 seconds.
cracker-dough
Divide the dough into four equal pieces. Working with one section at a time, roll out the dough on a floured surface to a thickness of 1/16 inch.
Work those triceps!

Work those arm muscles!


Brush the surface of the dough with egg wash or sweet wash (see below), then sprinkle the surface with whatever garnish you like. Cut into desired shapes with floured biscuit cutters. Or, use a pizza cutter to cut the rolled dough into rectangles or diamond shapes.
cracker-wash cutting-crackers
Place on an un-greased baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, until your homemade crackers are a rich golden brown and fairly dry and crisp. Remove from the oven and let cool on their pans to crisp even more.
Once cooled, they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for about eight days, or in a Ziplock freezer bag indefinitely.
plate-crackers

A Few Notes on Homemade Crackers

  • Egg wash is just an egg or egg white beaten with 2 tablespoons of water.
  • Sweet wash is 1 tablespoon of honey or agave nectar whisked with 3 tablespoons water.
  • Sesame seeds, poppy seeds and chia seeds work well as a seed topping.
  • Try coarse ground sea salt, lemon pepper, garlic salt or your favorite rub for variety.
  • Substitute rye flour or white whole-wheat for the flour.
  • You can tightly wrap any unused dough and store in the refrigerator for one week or in the freezer for three months.
  • Your crackers do not need to all be the same size to bake together—have fun with different shapes.
  • You can bake more than one pan of crackers at a time—just rotate the pans every 10 minutes.

Let us know how these homemade crackers turned out in your kitchen. Happy munching! —Karen

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