These little crunchy squares are my triumph for this month’s theme.

I have wanted to create a homemade cracker for some time, but have been quite particular about the type.

I know hardtack crackers (made from a simple combination of flour, water and salt) are quite popular and easy to make, but I wanted to mimic the depth of flavour and crunchy texture of a soda cracker.

So enter here some leavening agents, a hint of shortening, and a few rounds of experimentation, et voilà!

{ Homemade olive oil wholemeal crackers } Original recipe by Julia @ Mélanger

I experimented with 1) the yeast and leavening agents, 2) dough fermentation times, 3) the shortening, and 4) the temperate and bake times.  The following recipe reflects the result I preferred.

Feel free to top your cracker with any flavouring you like.  Throughout my experiments, I tried sea salt, mixed sesame seeds, as well as dried herbs (all a hit).  This particular version included dried oregano, and combined with the olive oil in the dough, there was a slight scent of pizza in the air!

Note – you will need to start this recipe a day ahead.

* Ingredients *
80g (½ cup) wholemeal plain flour
150g (1 cup) white plain flour
7g (2 teaspoons) instant yeast
¼ teaspoon each of salt, baking soda and cream of tartar
1 teaspoon sugar
90g (6 x 15ml tablespoons) warm water (45C/ 110F)
60g (4 x 15ml tablespoons) olive oil

* Directions *
In a bowl, mix together the flour, yeast, salt, baking soda, cream of tartar and sugar until well combined.  Pour in the water and mix with a wooden spoon for a few minutes to work the dough.  Finally, add the olive oil and combine well.  The dough will be a little crumbly at this stage.  Transfer the dough to the bench and knead for a few minutes until the dough comes together nicely and starts to look silky – will only take a few minutes.  Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and pop in the fridge overnight.  Next day, preheat the oven to 160C/320F.   Take out the dough and divide into two.  Roll the dough out as thinly as possible (e.g. around  ¼ – 1/3 cm thick or 1/8 inch thick).  You should get around a 20cm / 8 inch square per half.  Place the rolled out dough onto parchment paper and then cut into your desired squares/shapes.  Place the parchment onto a baking sheet.  With a fork, prick each shape a few times, and then spray the dough lightly with water and top with your choice of flavourings (e.g. sea salt, herbs, seeds etc.).  Bake for around 12-13 minutes depending on size, remove from the oven and allow to cool.  Store in an airtight container.  Crackers should remain crisp for 1-2 weeks.

Makes about 300g / 10oz of crackers

A bit of a disclaimer — these are the results from my experiment only. Costs will obviously differ depending on your local grocery prices and the brands you select.  Time will depend on how quickly you work in the kitchen!


:: Yeastspotting ::

I am submitting these homemade olive oil wholemeal crackers to Yeastspotting.