The perfect complement to the soups and stews of the season is a well-made cracker. Up until a few years ago, it never occurred to my family to make our own crackers. Crackers come from the store, right? Before “the store” was a reality, there was the kitchen; and in our kitchens, we can make all manner of delicious products, including crackers. It turns out that crackers are no harder to make than homemade cookies, and there are so many flavors and grains to choose from. Children have a blast rolling out crackers and using their favorite cookie cutters to create fun shapes for lunch, dinner and on-the-farm snacks.
- 8 T. butter (one stick)
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. each black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. turmeric
- 16 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (roughly 2 cups)
- 2 cups flour (We use half Bob’s Red Mill baking flour and half home-ground white wheat.)
- 2 T. ice cold water
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter, spices and cheese, and beat together using the paddle attachment until a soft ball is formed. Turn the mixer on low, and slowly add flour. The mixture will become dry and crumbly. Add cold water, one tablespoon at a time, so the dough is moist but not sticky. Beat until mixture just comes together into a ball.
Wrap ball of dough in parchment paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. You can also freeze it for later use.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled dough to about 1/8 inch thick. Lightly punch the dough all over with a fork. Cut out crackers with your favorite bite-sized cookie cutter.
Place crackers close together without touching on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until you can smell them throughout the house and they’re golden brown and crisp. Allow crackers to cool before serving.
Store the crackers in an airtight container for two or three days if they last that long.
Once you get into the habit of making crackers two or three times a month, the kids will get used to helping and will eventually be able to do it on their own.