I’ve been wanting to do some baking all week, but since I’ve been using naptime to reorganize my messy kitchen, baking has taken a backseat, until today.
Of course now that I had a mostly clean cooking area, I was ready to mess it up by actually cooking in it, and after this cracker baking experience, there are sesame seeds EVERYWHERE! The process was pretty fun. I got to use my newly-discovered pasta maker that was waaaay in the back of my cabinet to flatten the bread dough, and I was able to use a fork to replicate the dimples of a Saltine cracker. Simple pleasures are the best.
These crackers have whole wheat flour, which I like, and of course no high fructose corn syrup or any other fake stuff. Just wholesome ingredients that I was in control of. I love that. If I make these again, I will cut down on the salt. I double checked, and the recipe does call for a whole tablespoon of it.
For dinner I made a Nicoise Salad, something I’ve never tried before. My mother-in-law has been telling me about how she makes them, and it sounded excellent. I used this recipe from Simply Recipes, but used my dilly beans instead of regular green beans. It was an excellent accompaniment to the crackers, or is it the other way around?
Adapted from Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads. pg. 643-644.
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon salt (I would use less)
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Oriental or “dark” sesame oil (I didn’t have this, so I used more melted butter)
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Into a mixer bowl measure 1 cup each white and whole wheat flours and add the yeast and salt. In a separate bowl, stir the liquid ingredients. Pour the liquid slowly into the flour, beating with strong strokes for three minutes with a wooden spoon or at medium speed with a mixer flat beater. Add white flour, 1/4 cup at a time, to make a soft dough that can be lifted to the work space, or left in the mixer bowl under the dough hook.
3. Knead by hand or with mixer’s dough hook for four minutes.
4. Butter a bowl, drop in the dough, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Set aside to rise for 1 hour.
5. Preheat oven to 375 before shaping.
6. Divide the dough into two pieces. Cover one piece with plastic while pressing the other by hand into a rough rectangle. In a pasta machine or with a rolling pin, roll the dough into a thin rectangle the length of the baking sheet and about 6″ to 8″ wide, as thin as it can be rolled.
Place the length of dough on the baking sheet and with a rolling pizza blade cut into strips about 1 1/2 inches wide. Prick each cracker with the tines of a fork. Brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Repeat for the second piece. If the dough is to be held for a second baking, cover with plastic wrap and leave on work surface.
7. Place it in the oven and bake until golden brown and dry. The baking time will depend on the thickness of the crackers, and may range from 10 to 20 minutes.
8. Remove from oven. With a spatula, lift the sheet of crackers from the pan and place on a rack to cool. Break off the long strips into the desired length.
These crackers will keep for 2 or 3 weeks in a tightly covered container.