The next time you’re out with me and we decide to make a trip to, say, the grocery store (I’m a cheap date), and I want to take a stroll through the snack aisle, wherein I discover shelves upon shelves of boxes of yummy crackers, and I tell you that WE NEED TO BUY SOME because these cheese ones look like straws! and these have little animal faces on them! and the lady on the front of this box looks really happy munching on that cracker and I want to be just like her! please kindly direct me out of the store. Then remind me that I wrote this blog post about that one time I made crackers, and how I vowed never again in all the years of my life to buy another box of crackers because they are too darned easy to make at home and taste a million bazillion times better anyway and I can just look at myself in the mirror while blissfully munching on homemade crackers instead of staring at some stranger lady doing it, thankyouverymuch.
Ahem. (I’ve had some coffee.)
Just remember that for me, OK? And politely show me how I even went so far as to show step-by-step (I originally wrote, “step-by-steph,” which almost sounds like the name of an imaginary sitcom about my life, which no one would watch because I’d spend the whole time staring at myself in the mirror while talking about homemade crackers) photos of the incredibly easy process, just to remind myself of how easy and worth the measly effort it is.
Like how you whir together the flours, the sugar, the salt and the pepper…
And then you throw in a few tablespoons of chilled butter.
Then you add a sprinkling of shredded Parmesan cheese…
And pour in a good glug of milk (I’m holding the camera in one hand while pouring the milk in that tiiiiiny spout with the other. SKILLZ.).
And how you then have a decent ball o’ dough…
That you will knead the daylights out of for a few minutes until it’s all compact and fully combined and all that good stuff.
And then how you roll it all out into two veeeeerry thin rectangles, sprinkle it with sea salt and pepper and lightly roll a rolling pin over it like a gentle bulldozer (oxymoron. My literary side is geeking out right now) to seal in the sprinkled salt.
Or how you score it into cracker-sized squares and use fork tines to poke holes in it (Reasons why I used a plastic fork: 1) Because all my real forks were dirty. 2) That is all.)…
And then bake it all up to crispy perfection, let it cool and break it up into crackers.
Irresistible sea salt, pepper and cheese studded wheat crackers. Baked, homemade, delicious crackers. Crackers that need no preamble other than they must be made immediately, and often.
Yep. Try to remember that, next time we’re out.
Parmesan, Sea Salt & Black Pepper Crackers
Adapted from Lemons and Anchovies
Yields: Several dozen crackers
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup milk
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Set aside two baking sheets and two silicone mats or sheets of parchment paper measured and cut to fit the inside of the baking sheets.
Place flours, sugar, salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor and process until combined.
Add butter and process just until the butter turns to small crumbles in the mixture, about 10 seconds. Add the Parmesan cheese.
With the food processor on, pour in milk through top spout and process until dough comes together.
Remove dough from processor and knead on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes. Shape dough into a ball and divide in half.
Using a rolling pin, roll out one half of dough on one silicone mat or prepared sheet of parchment paper. Roll out dough until it reaches the edges of the mat/paper. Place dough and mat/paper inside a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining piece of dough.
Sprinkle dough with sea salt and more ground pepper. Lightly roll rolling pin across the top to seal in the sprinkles.
Using a sharp knife, score the dough into cracker-size squares. Poke each square a couple times with fork tines.
Bake dough until set and edges are a light golden brown, about 10-12 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through baking.
Remove crackers from oven and let cool on baking sheets for a few minutes, then remove from baking sheets and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Break up crackers at the score marks and serve. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.