Sunday, June 21, 2009

Cheddar Crackers

Christophe has been eating cheddar crackers lately; like 'goldfish', but duck-shaped, and organic. I thought I'd do a quick search and see if I could find a good recipe for cheese crackers that we could make. A little digging turned up 'Cheddar Goldfishbear Crackers' on 52 Weeks of Baking.

I modified the recipe slightly for my own circumstances. I used 1/3rd whole wheat flour to increase the whole-grain side, and swapped out some of the cheddar for mozarella and asiago, as Christophe doesn't always like cheddar cheese. I also used organic ingredients except for the pepper and salt.

I did briefly try to put these through the pasta machine, but the dough was too moist and sticky, so I rolled it by hand. In so doing, I ended up with some different thicknesses, and discovered that the thinner ones came out a lot like goldfish crackers, where the thicker ones puffed up a little and became like crispy cheese puff crackers, which I also liked.

  • 1 cup flour; I used:

    • 1/3 cup stone ground organic hard wheat wholegrain flour
    • 2/3 cups unbleached organic all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup cold salted organic butter, cubed
  • 8 oz cheese (I used a mix of organic cheeses: asiago, cheddar, mozzarella), grated or cubed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 3-4 tsp water, ideally icy-cold
The dough goes together as pie crust does:
  1. Assemble the flour, butter, salt and cheese and seasoning in a food processor.
  2. Pulse until the dough assembles crumbs, or coarse meal.
  3. Add water one teaspoon at a time, or use an atomizer to distribute well. Pulse between each addition, and stop when the dough can be pressed together in a coherent ball.
  4. Chill for at least twenty minutes (or up to a day), 'til the dough/butter stiffens somewhat. Prevent the dough from drying out by wrapping in plastic or a lightly damp cloth.
  5. Before removing the dough from the refrigerator, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Roll the dough thinly, about 1/8th inch for crackers, or 1/4" for something more like 'cheese puffs'.
  7. Cut. Squares, fish, cookie cutter, pizza cutter, knife -- the possibilities are endless.
  8. Lay cut crackers on a cookie sheet. The dough is fatty, so you shouldn't need to grease it, but feel free to grease it or use parchment paper. They shouldn't be touching, but they don't spread much, so the distance doesn't matter terribly.
  9. Bake 15-20 minutes. Cool. Eat.

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