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Crackers

Crackers

We won’t be watching the Super Bowl, today. Why bother when you want both teams to lose? My Northern California DNA just won’t allow for rooting for the Rams, and New England?!? I’m over them.

Once upon a time, one could just tune out the game for the commercials, but even the commercials suck, nowadays. I don’t think there’s been a commercial really worth watching in 20 years – not that any commercial is actually worth watching.

Back when Pop was alive, we’d fly home because his birthday always coincided with Superbowl Weekend. We’d have a Superbowl/Birthday party with all the family and it pretty much didn’t matter who was playing – we’d have a raucous good time, regardless.

But that was then and this is now.

I made a big batch of chili – it’s simmering away, right now – because it’s been a while since I made chili. It’s still chili-weather, even though it has warmed up to a whopping 50°F and the snow will probably all be gone before the day is over. Actually, any weather is chili-weather. I just tend to make it more in the winter.

I decided we needed some crackers to go along with our chili – so I made some.

I’ve missed baking, and after watching so much of the Great British Bake Off, the urge is strong. I decided crackers was a lot better than a 6-layer sponge cake with frangipane and a fondant icing.

I went for a recipe from the BBC website because I’m still stalking those Brits. It’s giving me something to do in my spare time…

Homemade Crackers

Adapted from the Hairy Bikers

  • 8oz bread flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp instant dried yeast
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 3½fl oz warm water
  • 2oz melted butter
  • dash olive oil
  • nigella seeds, for sprinkling
  • dried thyme leaves, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Mix the flour, baking powder, yeast and salt together, making sure you crumble up the salt well.

In a separate bowl or jug, mix the honey, water and butter together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until it comes together as a dough. Turn out onto a work surface and knead for a couple of minutes until smooth. Cover with cling film or a damp cloth and leave to stand for half an hour.

Roll the dough out as thinly as you can and use a cookie cutter to make small rounds, or cut into wide strips – it depends how rustic you want these to look. Arrange over a couple of baking trays and prick thoroughly all over with a fork. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle over the onion seeds and thyme leaves.

Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until crisp and burnished. Transfer to a cooling rack. They will continue to crisp once out of the oven.

 

Crackers

I topped some with the aforementioned nigella seeds and thyme, a batch with sea salt, and another batch with sesame seeds. I figured what the hell – have some fun with them!

The nigella and thyme were the best, I think, but all of them were good. The last batch was a hair thicker, so they took a minute longer to bake – and that lone minute definitely browned them more.

I would have failed the Technical Challenge for uniformity, but scored high on flavor.

I’ll take flavor, any day.

 

 

 

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