Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Homemade Wheat Thin Crackers

These don't take long to make and they taste remarkably similar to the commercial Wheat Thin crackers.  The bonus is that they're preservative free.

Today, I used 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour and 1 cup of unbleached all purpose flour.  I grind my own wheat berries in my Vitamix for whole wheat flour.  Adding the home ground flour added just a little extra texture to the crackers.  The crackers are not as sweet as the commercially made ones, so if you really like that taste, I'd add just a little more sugar.

If you are lucky enough to have King Arthur flour available in your area, give their white whole wheat flour a try.  It's got all the good nutrients of traditional whole wheat flour but it's made from white wheat and doesn't have the a strong taste of traditional whole wheat flour.  I also think bread made with it turns out less dense and heavy.

You definitely want to roll the dough out extremely thin.  The thinner the dough, the crisper the crackers will be.

Homemade Wheat Thins
from King Arthur Whole Grain Baking Cookbook

1 1/4 cups (5 oz) whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus extra for topping
1/4 teaspoon paprika
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Add the flour, sugar, salt and paprika to a medium bowl and whisk to combine.  Cut the butter into small pieces and add it to the bowl.  Then, using a pastry blender, mix the butter into the dry ingredients thoroughly.  Combine the water and vanilla in a small measuring cup.  Add to the butter/flour mixture and mix until a smooth dough forms.  (My dough was still pretty dry so I added slightly more water before it came together.)

Divide the dough into 4 pieces.  Work with one piece at a time, keeping the others covered with a towel so they don't dry out.  Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin and roll the dough into a large rectangle.  Lift the dough and turn it as you roll to ensure it's not sticking.  You want to roll the dough as thin as possible, try to make sure it's 1/16-inch thick at most.  If you want all of your crackers to be perfect, trim the edges of the dough so you have a rectangle with even sides.  Use a pizza cutter to cut the rectangle into squares about 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide.

Transfer the dough squares to the prepared baking sheets.  You don't need to leave much space in between the crackers - they don't spread at all in the oven.  Sprinkle the squares lightly with salt.  Repeat the rolling and cutting process with the remaining 3 pieces of dough.  Save all of your scraps under the towel; reroll them all at once to create a final batch of crackers.  (I covered the baking sheets with towels while I rolled the rest of the dough so the cut crackers wouldn't dry out.)

Bake the crackers, one sheet at a time, until crisp and browned, about 5-10 minutes.  Check the crackers at 5 minutes, and if some of the thinner ones are browning too quickly, remove them to a plate and return the remaining crackers to the oven to finish baking.  The crackers can burn quickly so you want to keep a close eye on them.  Once brown and crisp, transfer to a plate to cool.  Store the crackers in an airtight container.

1 comment:

Vanessa said...

Those sound delicious! Thanks for the recipe!