These are the experimental byproduct of my attempt to make from scratch all the things that we typically buy pre-made in a box or bag. I like the idea of knowing all the ingredients and the process. I also find that, more often than not, homemade results rival their store bought counterparts. This is definitely an example that qualifies. Earlier today my landlord stopped by and ate cracker after cracker, until he finally pushed the bowl away and said “Those things – they’re crack!”
My son really enjoys helping make these. I bought animal cracker cookie cutters for the purpose. However, it takes FOR. EVER. for a 6 year old to press animals out of all the dough. By the end we wind up cutting them into squares. He prefers the animal shaped ones. Apparently they taste better.
Full disclosure – this recipe is written for a food processor.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
- 4 TBSP cold butter, cut into small pieces
- 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 3-4 TBSP water
Pulse the flour, salt and pepper, then add butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add grated cheese a little at a time until the mixture again resembles coarse meal.
Pulse in 3 to 4 tablespoons of water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough forms into a ball. It will probably take a minute or so.
Remove, wrap in plastic, and chill for 20 minutes or up to 24 hours. I left mine overnight. This way the butter has time to solidify and I think makes for puffier crackers.
Roll the dough out to 1/8th-inch thickness directly onto a baking sheet. You don’t want to roll them paper thin, neither do you want to roll them too thick. If they are too thin, they will not puff up as much. If they are too thick, they will not be as crispy.
Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut 1 inch squares,…I like to use cookie cutters/shapes. I noticed the square crackers don’t keep their square shape as much. Some do and some don’t …Some form into diamond shapes as it bakes. The dough sort of shrinks and puffs up. But that is ok. I liked the triangles better, so I did more of those.
Bake at 350° F for 15-20 minutes or until crackers are golden brown. Watch them after the 10 minute mark.
Combine the flour, salt and pepper in the processor and pulse. Add the butter squares a little at a time while pulsing – the mixture should look like coarse meal. Add the grated cheese gradually while pulsing. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of water, one at a time, while pulsing. Stop adding water when the dough pulls from the side of the processor and forms a ball.
Pull it out, wrap it in parchment paper, and chill it in the fridge for at least an hour. I often leave it for an entire day.
Preheat your oven to 350° F. Roll the dough out. Too thin and they won’t puff. Too thick and they won’t be crunchy. 1/8 inch is about right. Cut squares, or use cookie cutters, or grab and egg cup and press out circles – whatever floats your boat. Put ’em on baking sheets lined with parchment paper and bake them for about 15 minutes. Keep any eye on them after about 10 minutes – pull them when they’re golden brown.
Try variations. Experiment. I’ve used swiss cheese, a variety of sharp cheeses, and have mixed varieties in the same batch. Try adding spices. Throw some garlic powder in, or some chipotle powder – whatever you think might be tasty. You’re probably right!