bread #15 &#16 hardtack and wheat crackers

Delving into the world of flatbread this week I experimented with two different crackers.  The first thing I realized is while the ingredients are sparse this does not mean it is easy.  And you must be in concentration mode.

Both Recipes are from Baking with Julia

Swedish Oatmeal Hardtack- (easy one and somehow I forgot to take a picture!)

1/4 cup shortening

2 tbs. butter

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 cup flour

1 cup oats

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 cup buttermilk

cream shortening, butter and sugar until smooth and creamy with a rubber spatula.  Sift together the dry ingredients (onto a piece of parchment is fine).  Add buttermilk and dry to the butter mix all at once then chill for 30 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 325 F.

Divide the dough into thirds and place one chunk onto a greased sheet pan.  roll it out with a well floured rolling-pin into a large rectangle as thing as possible.  Prick the dough with a fork all over and slice into rectangles.  Don’t worry about separating them it will occur naturally in the oven.

Bake for 12 minutes or so until just brown.  Let them cool and they will snap into shape just fine.  They should keep for at least a week.

Savory Wheat Crackers (these are the ones you are going to want to take your time on… but its worth it!)

Topping suggestions (salt, cheese, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, anise seeds, or whatever you can think of)

Mix 3 cups whole wheat flour with a teaspoon of salt in the food processor.  Slowly add 1.5 cups of water in a steady stream until your dough just comes together.  Please watch your machinery carefully on this step.  I burned my motor out doing this!  So devastating.  I wrote kitchen aid a letter to let them know of my woes.  Let’s see how good their customer service is…  Anyways, once you have  a nice consistency knead it for 30 seconds, cover it and let it rest at room temperature for thirty minutes.  Preheat the oven to a scorching 500 degrees with two racks in the middle.  Cut your dough into 8 even chunks and cover 7 of them up while you work with the first.  Get your surface good and floury as well as your rolling-pin.  Roll your dough as thin as humanly possible.  Trust me, your product will be quite under par unless you roll thin thin thin.  Use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife and cut the dough into rectangles.  Sprinkle with your topping of choice (my favorites were grated pecorino and a salt/poppy-seed mix) then spray with a spray bottle of water.  Bake for about 3 minutes and repeat the process.

I debated on if this was indeed a bread when I realized Julia has it listed under the flat bread section.  And if Julia says it must be true right?  Besides who would argue.  I also must admit, while now I am finally caught up on my bread to weeks of the year ratio, it is becoming slightly challenging to stay motivated!  Sigh.  Of course I still love the results (eating).  I love the process and I love watching my family eat something so fresh and delicious.  But oh I long to find some time to knit or sew or bake a pie or well… do anything!  But alas, this is my resolution and I am determined.  I am sure I will not regret it either.  I mean come on.  It’s bread!



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