Monday, February 2, 2009

BYOB: Rye Crackers to Restore My Dignity

Zoe and Jeff of Artisan Bread in 5 were kind enough and patient enough to do some research for me, and it appears the reason my ABin5 bread wasn't baking off correctly was the flour. I was using White Lily flour, and the lesson to be learned here is, know your flour. I had no idea it was self rising or had salt and other ingredients in it. I was certain it was unbleached AP, but apparently not! Teaches me for storing it in a big glass canister, with no bag, and assuming I knew what it was.

Jeff suggested I try again with unbleached AP flour, so I'm working on my second tub of Master Dough, with freshly purchased flour that I *know* is unbleached AP, which will be ready tomorrow night for another stab at the ABin5 bread. Pray for me!

In the meantime, I had to restore my dignity and assure myself that I can bake something worthwhile in my oven, and I had a hankering for crackers. I'm still committed to the Bake Your Own Bread movement, and I'm including crackers in that challenge. I buy too many boxes of crackers. I may have three or four kinds at any given time. Time to change that.

I love Rye Crackers so I gave those a whirl for my first attempt at cracker making. These were very simple, very fast, and very tasty -- courtesy of the recipe on the bag of Bob's Red Mill Dark Rye Flour.

The only variation I noticed was that the crackers needed to be baked longer than specified on the bag -- ovens vary and the thickness of your cracker will vary the bake time, so I'd gauge total bake time based on the color of the cracker, and the not the ::ding:: of the timer.

When the cracker is uniformly brown, as shown below, it will be crispy, like a traditional cracker:
Whereas if the cracker is only slightly brown around the edges, as shown below, it will be crisp on the edge, but like a cookie. It was still quite tasty, this Rye Cookie, but do bake accordingly.

Courtesy of Bob's Red Mill
1/2 cup of Bob's Red Mill Unbleached White Flour
1/2 cup of Bob's Red Mill Dark Rye Flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon Turbinado Sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
4 tablespoons margerine (I used Earth Balance)
3 tablespoons milk
Mix together dry ingredients and seeds. Work in margerine until fine crumbs form. Stir in milk and form into a ball. I adjusted with more flour because the dough was too soft. I added a few tablespoons until I could easily roll a very soft ball. Roll out between two sheets of wax paper until 1/8 to 1/15 inch, and cut into desired shapes. I used a pizza wheel. Transfer to an ungreased cookie sheet, and prick all over with a fork. Sprinkle *lightly* with coarse salt (the dough is already salty), and bake 5-6 minutes in a 400 degree hot oven, or, until uniformly brown as shown above. I found I needed 10 minutes to get the deep brown shade I liked best.
Cool and store in an airtight container.
Absolutely delicious.


  1. Oh wow.. bring some of those crackers over here! I never thought of making my own!

    But sheesh, i know what you mean about unmarked flour - that would do it using the wrong kind! But geesh, aren't ya glad it's not YOU heheheheheheheheheh.

    I just joined the BYOB challenge. Can't wait to see how much you like it now that you've got the right flour/dough combo!

  2. I should have thought the flour was your problem because my dad had the same issue! Glad they were able to help you figure it out.