I really dont like the crackers that you can get at the stores. They taste like they are full of chemicals. And when the process of making crackers is so very simple, its a wonder that we buy them at all. This past Christmas, I was going to dinner at Jobby’s house. I wanted to bring some lovely but simple things, as I had been immersed in cooking these last few days. I decided on a raspberry-gooseberry fool, which is just whipped cream, scented with vanilla and a touch of icing sugar, folded into cooled stewed raspberries and gooseberries. That sweet tart cool creamy combination is beautiful – and it takes minutes to make.
I knew Jobby would probably make her wonderful hummus. So crackers were a good addition – and they are delicious enough to eat on their own. Unfortunately I did not get a photograph because Nana chowed down more than half before we even left the house! But suffice to say, these crackers are wonderful – such a complex blend of flavour. You could spice them up with anything you like, but I used chili powder, mustard seeds, and English mustard powder. The combination is divine, spicy and cheese-y all at the same time. The crackers are crisp and flaky and can be cut into rounds, squares, or whatever your heart desires. Poke a few holes in them, pop them in a hot oven, and watch them brown up and puff a little. Beautiful.
These crackers will keep, in an air tight box, for about a week, but if you have a Nana around the house they wont last!
Makes about 100 crackers, depending on how you cut them
- 1 cup bread flour (OO flour)
- 1 cup polenta
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 1/2 tsp English mustard powder
- 1 cup cheese – cheddar/parmesan mix
- 3 tbsp cold butter
- 1 cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 190 C (375F).
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, polenta, salt, baking soda, chili powder, mustard seeds and English mustard powder. Toss to combine.
Grate the cheese over the flour mixture, and stir well.
Grate over the cold butter, and stir again, gently.
Pour over the buttermilk, and combine. Turn the dough out onto a working surface and knead, gently until it all comes together.
Form the dough into a ball, and refrigerate, covered for about half an hour.
Once the dough has rested and cooled, divide it into quarters.
You can now roll the dough out very thin, and cut it into shapes, or roll the dough into a log, and slice very thinly.
Arrange on the baking sheet, and using the tines of a fork, poke a few holes in each cracker. This is optional, but it will help keep the crackers flat and less puffy.
Bake for about 8 – 10 minutes, or until the crackers are golden and cheesy.
Let cool for at least 10 minutes before gobbling up!