OYSTER CRACKERS, first inspired by A. Brown, Serious Eats
Watching one of Alton Brown’s shows this recipe caught our attention, not because we don’t like store bought oyster crackers, but because Lenore likes to use them to make a flavored cracker to serve at parties for nibbling and the only recipe she has seen with that uses a package of ranch dressing. Making my own without preservatives and gums and non-food sounding words, is bound to be better for us.
- 1 cup All-Purpose flour, plus a little for the board
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt (more if you are not going to flavor them)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1/3 cup cold water (a few drops at a time if more is needed.
- 1 teaspoon coarse black pepper, optional
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Set oven rack in middle.
In food processor blend 1 cup flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and black pepper, if using, pulsing a few times. Add the butter and pulse to incorporate until resembles corn meal. Pour out of processor onto parchment or into bowl. Sprinkle in the water and work with hands, lightly kneading until dough holds together in a ball. Cover and let rest for 10-15 minutes.
Roll rested dough to 1/8 inch thick on well-floured board using rolling pin. (May also use pasta hand crank machine.) Once dough is 1/8 inch thick, dock it all over using “docker,” if you don’t have one, use a fork to pierce all over dough. Cut into desired shapes, typically small, about 1/2 to 1 inch square, rectangle, triangle, or diamond. Note, circles create waste, but can be re-rolled.
Transfer to a parchment lined bake sheet, being careful to give enough space so they don’t link together during baking. Bake 7-10 minutes; or until some color shows around edges. Turn off oven and crack open door for 30 minutes to help finish crisping. Salt while still warm, if desired.
When cool, you may serve as is.
Variation: If you want to add more flavor, even if it is just more salt, sprinkle it on before crackers are completely cool. You may make a mixture of 1 part dry powder of onion, 1 part garlic and 1/2 part finely grated parmesan cheese; then toss the freshly baked crackers in dry blend to coat them before you leave them in the oven, door open about 8 inches, for last 30 minutes. Cool completely. Store in air tight container. A few grinds of black pepper in the dry mix is a good flavor too.