Spelt Crackers (Whole Grain! All Natural!)

Spelt Crackers

I used to be addicted to Wheat Thins. I snacked on them pretty much morning day and night. That was back when I was more naive and took “0g Trans Fat” literally as no trans fat, and actually believed they were a healthy snack. When I saw “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” on the ingredients list, I stopped eating them completely. And a whole lot of other crackery things. I used to love Breton crackers too. It’s not just the hydrogenated vegetable oil, it’s a whole slew of other chemicals I didn’t want to be stocking up on.

Take this ingredients list of vegetable Breton crackers, for example. It is made from 14 ingredients, which include nasties such as: vegetable shortening, high fructose corn syrup, and preservatives. As well as autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed soy protein, protease, all of which are just another way to say MSG, without actually saying MSG.

Wheat Flour, Coconut Oil, Vegetable Shortening (Palm oil and Canola Oil), Dehydrated Vegetable Blend of Carrot, Onion, Celery, Tomato, Red Pepper and Green Pepper, Sugar, Seasoning (Contains Dextrose, Salt, Cornstarch, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Onion Powder, Autolyzed Yeast, Spices, Natural Flavor, Citric Acid), Salt, Wheat Germ, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein (Caramel Color, Natural Flavor), Leavening (Ammonium and Sodium Bicarbonate), Protease, Sodium Metabisulphite (as a Preservative), Skim Milk Powder.

Then take a look at some of your gourmet crackers, or certain allergen-free crackers, and you will realize that a cracker can exist without 14 ingredients. Maybe you add your favorite spice or some seeds. Perhaps a bit of vegetable oil. But really, all you need is 3 things: flour, water and salt. (Hence “water crackers”.)

So I set out to make my first ever batch of crackers. I made them with Spelt flour, since I figured for simple crackers Spelt might have a nicer flavor than just wheat. It was really fun and took very little time to make. I made well over 100 crackers and they were totally gone the next day! The crackers were thin (but probably could be a tad thinner) and very crunchy. Since they were very lightly salted, they were pretty good to snack on as is. And the Spelt does give them a nuttier, sweeter flavor. They were great dip vehicles (I had some roasted red pepper dip that went very well with them). Definitely worth making again with some minor tweaking, experimenting with different flours and spices.

Recipe follows…

Spelt Crackers (makes over 100 small crackers)

Materials:

1.5c Organic Whole Grain Spelt Flour (Bob’s Red Mill)

0.5c Water (more if needed)

1t Salt

Protocol:

1. Mix flour and salt, add water slowly – just enough to form a dough, no more!

2. This will be a very hard dough to knead, but do so for a few minutes. Then wrap the dough in plastic and let it rest 30 minutes.

3. Divide dough in half (or you don’t have to if you, your table, baking sheet and oven can handle the whole thing, but I found it easier to do it in two batches). Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out on a floured surface to as thin as you possibly can. Mine was about 1/8 of an inch (3-4mm). It doesn’t matter if the shape is irregular. After I have rolled the dough out to quite thin, I placed it on parchment paper and rolled it some more. It is easier to go through the rest of the steps with the dough on the parchment rather than having to transfer everything afterwards.

4. I made square crackers by cutting the dough with a pastry wheel cutter. But you can basically make whatever shape/sizes you want using whatever cutters you have on hand.

5. If desired, sprinkle with coarse salt, or spices (I tried some with curry, that worked nicely), and gently roll over with a rolling pin to make sure they stick.

6. Pierce the dough with a fork to make the “docking” holes. This helps prevent air pockets from forming, but my formed some anyway. Here is what it looks like before heading into the oven:

Dough, rolled out

7. Bake for about 18 minutes at 375F or until the crackers have turned golden brown and crisp. (Watch them carefully as I had some that were done earlier and browned a little too much so they tasted a bit burnt!) Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack, then break into pieces. Snack as is or is great with dip.

After baking

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3 Responses

  1. […] Thins My Way Posted on Thursday, November 22, 2007 by Cooking Nerd Although my first attempt at crackers yielded quite perfectly edible ones, I was of course not satisfied with my results (as usual). I […]

  2. In the US, “0 transfat fat” means the transfat is under .5g per serving. It does not literally mean “zero”.

  3. yes, it is the same in Canada

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