Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Rosemary Parmesan Wheat Crackers with Herbed Ricotta Dip

My family was always a cheese and crackers kind of family.  We would never dream of eating soup or chili for dinner without a stack of crackers on the side to dip or crumble.  Slices of cheese, usually cheddar or pepper jack, and fresh tomato slices were always some of my favorite accompaniments to crackers.  Or even the occasional dollop of jam on a saltine.

I was happy to discover that I could very easily make my own crackers, with only the ingredients I choose.  These crackers contain no butter, and just a little olive oil, and are made from a dough formed primarily from wheat flour and water, with of course some seasoning, cheese and herbs.  I added a little white flour to the wheat flour because I find that the finer texture of white flour helps to bind the dough; in my experience, doughs made from all wheat flour, which is more coarse, don't hold together quite as well.

It's a very versatile recipe, and I've also made it using cheddar cheese and fresh dill.  I would imagine that the amount of cheese could be increased quite a bit for a cracker similar to a Cheese-it, but I haven't tried that yet.  As this recipe is, it reminds me a little bit of a Wheat Thin, although without the buttery flavor.

We ate these with a ricotta herb dip, similar to this one from a blog post last year, along with some fresh veggies for a light, late afternoon lunch one weekend.  I plan to try a lot more variations of these crackers with various herbs, seeds and cheeses.  And a feta or goat cheese dip instead of ricotta would be amazing also.

Rosemary Parmesan Wheat Crackers
printable recipe
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup white all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, fresh Rosemary, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 3/4 - 1 cup water
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Cracked pepper

Preheat the oven to 325, and position two racks in the upper and lower third of the oven.

In a mixing bowl, combine both flours, salt, pepper and rosemary.  Add 3/4 cup water, the Parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons olive oil.  Mix with your hands until well combined, adding the rest of the water if the mixture is too dry.  The dough should be a little sticky.

Divide dough into 3 equal portions, and shape each portion into a ball, then flatten the balls into disks.

Cut 3 pieces of parchment paper to fit inside 3 baking sheets.  Sprinkle the parchment paper lightly with flour.  Lightly flour a portion of dough, and roll it out to the edges of the parchment paper, very thin, about 1/8 - 1/16 of an inch thick.  Repeat with the remainder of the dough on the other pieces of parchment.  Lift the parchment paper, gently shake off the excess flour, and place the paper with the dough on the baking sheets.

Brush the dough with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, then sprinkle lightly with extra salt, rosemary and cracked pepper.  Use a fork to lightly prick the dough all over.  With a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 1 1/2 inch squares.

Working in batches, if needed, bake the crackers for about 30-40 minutes; watch them carefully during the last 20 minutes of baking so that they don’t burn.  They should be golden brown and crisp, but not burnt.  Remove the crackers around the edges as they brown, since they will brown faster than the ones in the middle.

Use a spatula to transfer the crackers to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.  Store leftovers in an airtight container.

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen