Going Off Piste: Crackers

One side effect of having made so many biscuits (savory scones), is that I now know the basic recipe off by heart and can adapt it on the fly, toddler on my hip. So I was delighted to find, via making graham crackers from this perfect Smitten Kitchen recipe, that crackers of all sorts can be made from a basic biscuit recipe minus the leavening and rolled very thin. That’s it.

The fact that making your own crackers is so simple astounds me. I mean, surely I’m not the only one who thought that salty, crunchy deliciousness could not be easily made at home? But I was definitely wrong.

Homemade crackers are as easy to make as biscuits and very tasty. These are flaky, just a little salty with hints of poppy, rye & mustard seeds. We enjoyed them unadorned, but they are also lovely with Brie, or many other cheeses I suspect.

Feel free to change around this recipe at will. The rye can be swapped for plain flour or whole wheat, the poppy seeds can be switched to sesame or a herb. Just use what you have on hand.

That said, these are definitely better with the dried minced garlic than without. You don’t really taste a garlic flavor but it gives them much more of a proper cracker taste. The version I made without was lacking that special something.

The only down side to homemade crackers is that they don’t seem to stay crunchy when stored. I can only assume this is because my storage container is not air-tight. I hope to get a new one soon and then will see if that makes a difference. If anyone has any tips on how to keep them crisp, I’d be very grateful if you let me know.

Manifesto Matters
Strictly speaking this recipe does not meet the rules for this blog. It was not inspired by an old recipe. But what is the point of making the rules if you can’t also break them? I’ve been fascinated by the way that subtle changes in a recipe produce different results and thought it was worth sharing here, despite the manifesto.

Rye Crackers
1/4 C rye flour
3/4 C all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 & 1/8 oz. unsalted butter (just over 2 Tbs)
1 tsp poppy seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/8 tsp. dried minced garlic
3 Tbs milk
2 Tbs olive oil


Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F.

Put flours and salt in a large bowl. Add poppy seeds, mustard seeds, and dried garlic. Whisk to combine. Cut in butter with hands or knives.

Pour in milk and olive oil. Mix with wooden spoon and then use your hands to work the dough together into a ball (add more oil if it’s too dry).

Separate the ball into two sections. Roll out one half very thin, less than 1/8 inch. The thinner the better for these. The oil makes the dough easy to roll out without using any extra flour.

Cut into squares or use cookie cutters to cut into shapes, and place on an ungreased baking try.

Re-roll and cut the dough until you’ve used it all.

Bake for about 10 minutes at 180C/350F. The time will vary based on thickness and shape. You want them to be golden brown so they are crispy, but not dark brown because then they’ll taste burnt.

If you want to poke holes please do. I’ve read that this keeps them from rising. But I tired both ways and noticed no difference.


2 thoughts on “Going Off Piste: Crackers

  1. Ok – first I had to look up “Going off piste” – now that I know what that means it all makes sense.
    These look wonderful. I will have to locate rye flour so I can try them. I am always looking for new crackers to serve with cheese at book club.
    I’ve made the bread pudding – very good, and the biscuits but I still have not found time to try the brioche – it is on my list.
    Thanks for so many good recipes.

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