Thursday, September 6, 2012

+5 Food of Eating Recipe Test #2: Olive Oil Crackers

Hot on the heels of the last +5 Food of Eating test for Peanut Butter and Jalapeno Hummus we have the an accompanying dish, the olive oil cracker.

I’ve baked many things, but I’ve never baked a cracker before, so this was a nice learning experience. While I can not say all cracker recipes are easy (as this has been the first time I’ve tried one) this particular recipe is in the straightforward category.

As for the result? It is very crisp and not too light nor heavy. I can see this working well with light cured meats and spreadable cheeses as well!

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So what will you need for olive oil crackers? Well, olive oil of course. White Whole Wheat flour, a new ingredient for me, is key as well. Note that it is not the usual all purpose or bread flour, nor is it simply whole wheat, as it is milled from a different variety of wheat with a lighter hull than traditional wheat.

Also needed are kosher salt and corn meal.

Optionally you can include toppings! For this try I harvested some fresh thyme from the garden. To prep it, I washed and then stripped the leaves from the stems.

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In a mixing bowl combine salt and flour.

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And then combine the water and oil.

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You can fruitlessly try to combine them but it probably does not matter that much.

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Add the oil water combination to the mixing bowl, then turn it on to a medium low speed and get rocking! Scrape down the sides as necessary until the stuff forms into a ball.

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A slightly tacky ball.

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Divide into 12 roughly equal pieces. Not too big a deal to be exact, but try your best.

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Then “wet” your hands with a bit of oil and roll the pieces into balls, recharging the oil as necessary.

Then cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 45 minutes to an hour. At least a half hour before you want to start baking the crackers, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F and place either a baking/pizza stone in it or a cookie sheet inside to preheat as well. Or you can do it right after wrapping these in plastic if you’re forgetful.

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Special Cast Iron Therapy tip! Place the herbs or whatever topping you’re using onto another plate. Perhaps just a smattering.

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That way you can immediately place the doughpieces onto the plate and roll some of the toppings on. After this treatment…

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You can begin to roll them out on a floured surface. The toppings should spread out as you flatten them with a rolling pin, as thin as you can get them while still being able to handle the thin pieces.

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Place the rolled dough onto a pizza peel or piece of parchment paper coated with a generous amount of cornmeal.

Then slide the dough piece directly onto the cookie sheet or baking stone, or place the entire piece of parchment and dough onto it. Carefully monitor and check after two minutes and every minute after until you’ve worked out how much you want to cook each cracker.

In my case, I found that four minutes was just about perfect.

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And they turned out quite nice indeed. It’s a shame, but break them up into small pieces for easier serving.

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These crackers go great with hummus and I’m sure they’ll go great with other things too!

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Olive Oil Crackers (Recipe to be featured in +5 Food of Eating)

  • 3 cups of white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • Cornmeal
  • Toppings, including fresh or dry herbs, or seeds such as poppy, sunflower, or other edible ones
  1. Stir together the olive oil and water.
  2. Combine flour and salt into a stand mixer bowl, then add liquid ingredients.
  3. Using the dough hook attachment, knead the mixture together at a low speed setting (I used level 2) until it comes together, stopping the machine and scraping down the sides as necessary.
  4. Add water or flour as necessary so that the mixture comes together into a ball that is slightly tacky to the touch.
  5. Make a ball out of the dough and divide into twelve equal pieces.
  6. Pour a thin film of oil onto a plate or into a small bowl to wet your palm on, and roll each dough piece into a ball with your oil coated hands.
  7. Place the dough balls onto a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for at least 45 minutes or up to an hour.
  8. Set a sheet pan or baking stone in oven and preheat oven to 450 degrees F during this period, at least half an hour.
  9. If using toppings, mix them up and sprinkle onto a tray a little bit at a time. Then roll each piece of dough lightly onto the toppings before proceeding to the next step. Replenish toppings as necessary.
  10. On a floured work surface, lay flat a piece of dough, and roll with a well floured rolling pin until you make a thin and even piece of dough. Poke all over with a fork.
  11. With either parchment paper or a pizza peel (both which are well dusted with cornmeal) slide a flattened piece of dough onto the heated cookie sheet or baking stone. 
  12. Check every minute for the first few batches to learn the correct amount of time for the preferred thickness of your crackers, anywhere from one minute to six. The crackers are ready when they are perfectly crisp and lightly browned or golden.
  13. Break the crackers into smaller pieces and use immediately, or store in airtight containers for up to four days.


  1. Yummy!! Glad you posted this, was totally looking for a savory snack recipe.

  2. Seems definetly yummi! However, I don't have a stand mixer bowl :( Any suggestions to do without it?

    1. Rusty makes a good point below! I'll be making another batch tomorrow, and I'm going to try to go in hands deep rather than using a stand mixer, and I'll report the results to you!

    2. Well, I just put my dough balls (10, I doubt the number Really matters, and too lazy to make it a perfect 12) in the fridge after spending a good while mixing it together. It definitely took Longer than it would with a mixer, but it was still possible, though you might want to add a little more water after mixing it up a bit to make it easier to work with, then throw on some more flour after that to make it the right consistency.

      Just, yeah, make sure to add more water if necessary if it seems too hard to work with. You shouldn't feel like you're gonna break your arm when mixing it.

      Now to find something to use as a rolling pin in 30 minutes, hehe.

    3. Note to self: Read all instructions thoroughly. Missed the poke with fork instruction so I got a bubbly cracker of awesomeness :P

      I also got lazy as I couldn't find a "pizza peel" or whatever in my house and just chucked cornmeal on the sheet in the oven and tossed the cracker on that. Bad idea. It still worked, but was Quite smoky from the smell of burning corn meal. That and it seemed to darken the cracker far too quickly.

      Gonna actually just use a second cookie sheet that's a little smaller this time for getting the corn meal on it instead.

    4. Oooh... yeah "chucking" isn't quite the operative word for the amount of corn meal to use. No parchment paper either I take it?

  3. Klaus, mix it by hand (well, with a wooden spatula or a plastic one if ya don't like Olde School).

    I honestly don't have a mixer bowl Or a rolling pin, but I still plan to do this. It will just take me a tad longer than it would others. Cooks got by without electric aids for eons before, so why can't I?

    Now, if there weren't laws against it I'd even throw up a furnace outside and cook it in there just to go entirely olde school, but the laws and the fact that I don't want to get kicked out of my apartment stop me.

    1. Man, I wish I could go super old school on more recipes without having to make a special camping trip out of it.

  4. Good eats! I made this using romano cheese and they turned out well. I didn't see any instructions to prick with a fork but I rolled them really thin and it wasn't a problem. Got some bubbles, but it adds to the personality of the food :) Now I get to try my hand at the hummus recipe...
    Thanks for the walkthrough!