Looking for a homemade Christmas gift? I always bake a variety of cookies at this time of the year, but then again so does everyone else. I decided that instead it might be nice to make something savory to give to friends.
I know it looks like there’s a lot of steps involved with this recipe, but it’s not at all difficult. Mixing the dough can be done with a wooden spoon and there’s really no kneading involved. If you’ve ever made pasta with a pasta machine the rolling of the dough is exactly the same.
Go to your favorite cheese shop, pick up a wedge of your favorite cheese or perhaps a nice creamy triple creme and paired with these crackers you’ve got a tasty treat to share with your friends or neighbors. If you happen to shop at Trader Joes they have the most delectable French cheese called Fromage Pavé. They only carry it during the month of December, so don’t waste any time!
Seedy Crackers (recipe from Chocolate & Zucchini)
150 grams (5 1/3 ounces) all-purpose flour
150 grams (5 1/3 ounces) fine semolina flour (if you can’t find semolina flour, just use all regular flour)
20 grams (3 tablespoons) toasted sesame seeds
15 grams (2 tablespoons) poppy seeds
7 grams (1 1/2 teaspoons) fine sea salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
120 ml (1/2 cup) water
Place the flours, seeds and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil and stir it in with a fork. Add the water and mix it in.
When the water is absorbed, turn the mixture out on a clean work surface and knead the dough gently to gather into a smooth ball. Add a touch more water if the dough feels too dry to come together, but the consistency you’re shooting for is smooth, not at all sticky or tacky.
Divide the dough into 8 pieces of (roughly) equal size, and cover with a kitchen towel.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and prepare two baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicon baking mats — this is so you can bake two batches of crackers at a time, but if you only have one baking sheet, that’s fine, too. If you have a rectangular or square bread stone, place it in the oven as it preheats; you’ll need only one baking sheet in addition to the stone then.
Take one piece of dough (keep the others covered to prevent them from drying out) and flatten it into an oval disk between the palms of your hands. Set a pasta roller on the widest setting, and slip the disk of dough in the roller to thin it out. Fold the strip of dough in half so the two short sides meet, and slip the dough into the roller again, fold in first. Repeat 3 or 4 times until the dough feels supple; you are essentially kneading the dough in the process. If it gets sticky at any point, dust it with a little flour.
Switch the pasta roller to the next (= narrower) setting and slip the dough in (just once this time) to thin it out. Repeat with the subsequent settings until you get a thin, long rectangularish sheet of dough. (On my pasta roller, it’s setting 5, out of 9 total.) Place it on one of the prepared baking sheets, or a flour-dusted peel if you’re using a bread stone.
(If you don’t have a pasta roller, perhaps you can borrow one from a friend? Otherwise, roll up your sleeves, whip out your rolling pin, and roll the dough out as thinly as you can.)
Repeat with more pieces of dough until there is no room left on your baking sheets. Using a dough cutter, a pastry wheel or just a knife, score the sheets of dough into square or triangular pieces.
Insert the baking sheets into the oven (or, if you’re using a pizza stone, slide the dough in using the pizza peel) and bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until golden to golden brown. It’s nice to bake each batch of crackers to a slightly different shade of golden because that will result in slightly different flavors.
Transfer to a cooling rack, and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
Panini Girl In Lucca May 2019 (1 spot left) firstname.lastname@example.org
What a great gift for the Italophile in your life!