Sunday, October 10, 2010

Homemade Crackers and Play-Dough

I love crackers, but they are quite expensive around here, especially if you're looking at price per pound. A while back I found a recipe for crackers, but they tasted so terrible that I gave up making them until I found a new recipe and tweaked it till I could find my own, cheap, and relatively healthy cracker.
The best part about this cracker dough is that, in addition to being very simple to make and calling for very few ingredients, the texture is just about that of play-dough. Because of this, I set aside some of the dough for my son to play with, roll out, cut, and use as he would play dough (with clean hands and utensils, of course), and then bake the crackers that he made after. It's loads of fun and entertainment for him, is cheap and easy to make, and none gets wasted. Not to mention, entirely chemical free.

Homemade Cracker Recipe

2 cups flour (I prefer half whole wheat, half white flour, but you can use any combination)
2 heaping tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 tablespoon salt
Up to 3/4 cup water


1. Mix the flour and coconut oil together very well. Use your hands to rub them together, as seen in the video below.  The resulting mixture should be powdery uniform, with only the tiniest of clumps.

2. Add salt and seasonings, if desired. Mix well.

3. Add water, a little bit at a time, until you have a mass that sticks together easily, is easy to work with, and is not too sticky. I usually really heap my coconut oil and therefore use less water, less than 1/2 a cup.

4. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

5. Grab a chunk of the dough and roll it out pretty thinly. The thinner you roll it, the crispier it will get, but also more likely to overcook and burn.

6. Set aside some to be designated as play dough and let your kids have fun.

7. Lay out your rolled out dough on an ungreased cookie tray. (I use baking paper on mine, but I'm sure aluminum foil or wax paper would work fine as well.

8. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into whatever shapes you want. I usually make them a diamond shape, because I think they're pretty.

9. Bake your crackers for approximately 10 minutes. Keep a close eye on them, as they will be undercooked one second and burnt the next. Take them out when they just start to get slightly golden.

10. Let your crackers cool down. Once they're no longer hot, they will be much crispier than when they came out of the oven.

11. Eat your crackers plain or with dips. Enjoy!

You can season these crackers however you like. I'm still experimenting, but my favorite version so far was with 2 tablespoons of garlic powder mixed in. I also liked sesame seeds and coarse salt. If you use toppings like sesame seeds, roll out the dough, put it on the tray, then roll them lightly into the dough before cutting the dough with the pizza cutter.You can also use butter in place of the coconut oil.

Have you ever made crackers before? What is in your recipe? If you haven't made crackers before, do you think, after this recipe, you might try it out?

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