Sunday, September 29, 2013

BBB - Crunchy Crackers


My Kitchen in Half Cups chose a crunchy, seeded whole grain cracker for this month's BBB challenge. I am a bad buddy and a bit late, but the kids are snack hounds so I am making them anyway. I agree with Tanna, I usually have great luck with King Arthur recipes and I do love their flour. This time though, I went with light spelt and sprouted spelt for my flours and I observed something new. Usually with spelt, if you mix your dough and keep on kneading, the gluten will break down and you will get dough soup. So I just mixed the dough in my kitchen-aid with the paddle until the dough cleaned the sides and then stopped. It was kind of like a firm cookie dough at that point. Then I walked away for just a couple minutes to measure out the seeds to add to the dough. When I went to mix them in, the dough had firmed up significantly and was behaving like a bread dough. I had no trouble kneading in the seeds and I wasn't really afraid of over kneading the spelt gluten either. I will have to experiment with rest periods when using my spelt to see if that enhances the results and protects the gluten. Giving it the chance to hydrate and strengthen without breaking down will be cool if the theory holds true! I rolled these crackers as thin as the seeds would permit. They do puff a bit with the yeast so they won't be super thin, but still super crunchy! I didn't weigh out my topping seeds, just sprinkled them how I liked. I also took a cue from another baker and tried eating them with Boursin... AWESOME!!

Crunchy Crackers
makes 2 cookie sheets worth

198 to 227g lukewarm water (I used about 200g)
170 g whole wheat flour (I used sprouted spelt)
120 g whole spelt flour (I used light spelt)
2 tablespoons sugar (coconut sugar)
1 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp salt
30 g whole ground flax
14 g sesame seeds (half sesame, half golden flax)
Topping
71 g sunflower seeds, midget preferred
28 g sesame seeds
28 g whole flax seeds, golden preferred
sea salt or your favorite flavored salt, if desired
(plus some poppy seeds for color) 

1) To make the dough: Mix and knead together all of the cracker ingredients (except the topping seeds) to a smooth, fairly stiff dough. Add 1-2 more tablespoons of water if the dough is dry.

2) Knead in the seeds.

3) Let the dough rise, covered, for 60 to 90 minutes, until it's expanded a bit.
(Mine doubled in around 90 minutes.)


4) Divide the dough in half. Working with one piece at a time, roll it into a rectangle approximately 30 x 23 cm, a generous 3 mm thick. This will probably require you to roll the dough until it fights back; give it a 10-minute rest, then come back and roll some more. It may need two rest periods to allow you to roll it thin enough. (Mine rolled out quite easily.)

5) For easiest handling, turn the dough onto a piece of parchment paper. Spritz the dough with water. Sprinkle with 1/4 of the topping seeds, lay a piece of parchment on top, and press the seeds in with a rolling pin. Turn the dough over, peel off the parchment, and repeat. Set the seeded crackers on a baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining piece of dough.

6) If you don't have parchment, roll on a rolling mat or on a very lightly floured or lightly greased work surface; and transfer the seeded crackers to a lightly greased baking sheet. Sprinkle each sheet of crackers with some sea salt or flavored salt, if desired. Crush the sea salt between your fingers or grind it in a salt mill if it's very coarse.

7) Prick the dough over with a fork, and cut it into rectangles, whatever size you like. Pull the crackers apart just a bit; you don't need to separate them completely. Let the crackers rise for 30 to 45 minutes. while you preheat your oven to 350°F/180ºC; they'll get just a bit puffy.

8) Bake for 20 minutes, until the crackers are a medium brown. Turn off the heat, wait 15 minutes, then open the oven door a couple of inches and let the crackers cool completely in the turned-off oven. When they're completely cool, break apart, if necessary, and store airtight.


(Recipe by: KAF)

4 comments:

Elle said...

Love the abundance of seeds and they look nicely crunchy too.

Renee Goerger said...

Your crackers look wonderful! Wish I had added sunflower seeds to mine. Next time :)
Renee - Kudos Kitchen

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Very interesting comments on spelt. Ilva's spelt bread we did a little while ago really surprised me with incredible gluten development and virtually no kneading. It was really lovely ... I should do that again.
Yes, I really must bake these again ... what that will be six times then ... because I must have some with boursin. I will tell you the ones I did with lemon goat cheese last night were gone in a flash.
Thanks for baking again with us Kelly.

Elizabeth said...

There are no bad buddies! Your crackers look wonderful. I really like the way the seeds are nicely embedded into them.

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