Contributed by Tara Jensen, Smoke Signals Baking
I love snow days. Everything is quiet, pristine and sheltered. Out in the country the plows rarely come by before noon, which means we get to pretend we are "snowed in." So, when I woke up to a pasture full of white fluff yesterday I put on the tea kettle and pulled down the cookbooks. I had my heart settled on making crackers after browsing the kitchen and finding a hidden bottle of wine and a few chunks of aged cheddar. That, and I was excited to experiment with some freshly milled Appalachian White flour. Low in protein and light in color, this flour was the perfect cracker candidate.
Crackers are an amazing vehicle for almost any type of cheese, jam, spread or oil. Surprisingly easy and fun to make, these crispy treats take little time to prepare and are instantly gratifying. In the end I got some great help from Hedi Swanson's online journal of 101 Cookbooks, using her olive oil cracker recipe, modifying it slightly for our flour choice.
Appalachian White Crackers:
3 cups appalachian white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon fine sea salt + some for topping
1 cup warm water + a bit to add in if neccessary
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Whisk together flour & salt. Add water and oil to the dry mix. The dough should be slightly tacky. Not too dry or too sticky. Slowly add flour or warm water accordingly. Once the dough has been mixed, divide it in half, cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment. (If you turn your baking sheet upside down and lightly flour the parchment you may roll your dough directly on the sheet pan. I did this for my second attempt.) Roll out your dough paper thin. This is important: the thinner the dough, the crisper the cracker. Transfer to sheet pan and top with ingredients of your choice. I brushed my first batch with olive oil, salt & poppy seeds and loaded the second try with crushed sage, cheddar and black pepper. The herbs were a great addition I would highly recommend. Bake until golden brown. Let your crackers fully cool before you eat them to get a real snap. Enjoy & share!