This is the 3rd installment in my series How to Cook Something, where I prepare a recipe each week from my favorite beginner's cookbook, How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. Today I tackled basic Crackers. I've said before that I love how Bittman's recipes can be customized so easily, and this was no exception. I picked some chives from my little herb garden, grated some parmesan, and threw both in with the dough before I did the final pulse of the food processor. I've noticed myself getting more creative with cooking recently; I think that's a sign that I'm gaining skill and confidence, yay!
Bittman suggests sprinkling the crackers with salt, sesame seeds, or poppy seeds before baking. There are infinite ways to vary these babies to your taste. The cheese was a great addition, I bet a nice sharp cheddar would be fantastic also. I had to bake the crackers more than twice the time that the original recipe states, and they probably could have gone even longer. My changes are reflected below. Snack time!
p.s. I love how he uses the word "ridiculously" in the intro to the recipe. I knew I liked him!
I just posted a recipe for the Grow Your Own blogging event, but it's a new month! These crackers will be my submission for May, and the featured homegrown ingredient is chives from my garden. This month's host is The Daily Tiffin. Check back there on May 30th to see homegrown recipes from participating bloggers!
Parmesan Chive Crackers
Adapted from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
Makes about 4 servings
Crackers are ridiculously easy to make, and once you produce your first batch you'll have little trouble figuring out how to create your favorites. Sprinkle them with salt, sesame seeds, or poppy seeds; work a tiny bit of garlic or herbs into the dough; or substitute whole wheat or rye flour for some or all of the white flour.
1 c. all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. butter
about 1/4 c. water, plus more as needed
1/4 c. freshly grated parmesan
8 chives, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Place the flour, salt, and butter together in a large bowl or in the container of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Blend with a fork or pulse, until the flour and butter are combined. Add about 1/4 cup of water and blend, then continue to add water until the mixture holds together but is not sticky (Amy's note: I used almost another 1/4 cup in this step).
3. Add in parmesan and chives (or any other herbs/cheese/flavorings) at this point and give a final stir or pulse.
4. Roll out on a lightly floured surface until 1/4 in. thick, or even less. Don't worry about overhandling- add flour as needed, and keep rolling. Score lightly with a sharp knife or razor if you want to break these into nice squares or rectangles later on. Bake on a lightly floured baking sheet, or directly on baking stones, until lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Cool on a rack, serve warm or room temperature, or store in an airtight container.