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Saturday, May 31, 2014

My Cooking Adventures

So today I really wanted to have Tuna and Crackers for lunch. The only problem was...I forgot to buy the crackers! Now, if you've read My Car-Less Adventure blog you will know that I do not own a vehicle, so just running to the store is NOT an option...plus, it's been raining off and on all day and a 35-minute walk or 15-minute bike ride to the bus stop just wasn't appealing (just to get crackers at the store!).

Admittedly, I could just eat something else for lunch. However, I got up this morning excited about being home again and just being domestic...so the thought came, "I've been wanting to try making crackers, so today's the day!"

Here are some pics after processing, dough formation and rolling:

Using a wooden skewer, I made straight lines and cut with a pastry wheel before placing on the baking sheet.


crackers1
Square Cheese Cracker Dough
I was so excited to get them into the oven, I forgot to fork-prick before baking. Some of the square crackers actually formed like little pockets...my son was delighted!
crackers2
Round Cheese Cracker Dough


I divided the cracker dough into two balls. For the second batch, I decided to make round crackers...similar to ones I would likely have bought at the store. 

My canning funnel seemed to be the perfect size for cutting -- An empty, 6oz tomato paste can works very well also.


Here are the baked results, after being properly pricked:
Square Cheese Crackers

Round Cheese Crackers



round crackers
Round Cheese Crackers in glass jar









Gather your supplies!

Preheat oven to 450F
Food Processor     Rubber Scraper     Mixing Bowl 
1 cup measure   1 teaspoon   1 Tablespoon 
Rolling Pin     Cutters     Fork     Baking Sheet

3 cups white wheat flour
2 teaspoons organic cane sugar
2 teaspoons pink sea salt
1-1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

4 tablespoons oil
1 cup filtered water (approximately)

Pulse first 4 ingredients in Food Processor until evenly mixed. While processing on low speed, add oil, turn off, scrape down sides and pulse again until oil is evenly distributed. 

Turn off processor and place ingredients into Mixing Bowl. Using Rubber Scraper gently mix in water, as needed, until moist, forming a soft dough. Divide into two or three dough balls, depending on your counter space available. 

Flour counter surface and Rolling Pin and begin rolling dough; turn rolled dough a few times, adding a little flour as necessary to keep dough from sticking to counter. Cut crackers as desired, place on lightly floured Baking Sheet, and prick cracker surface with Fork to prevent bubbles.

If desired, sprinkle a tiny bit of pink sea salt on each cracker. Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly browned.
Recipe adapted from: http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-crackers-at-home-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-186144#recipe
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EDITED 5-31-14
My newest batch of cracker are the best yet! Here are the variations I made:

8 oz sharp cheddar    1 small jalapeno chopped   1/8 cup sunflower seeds

I put a full 8 ounces of block cheese, cubed, into the food processor, then added the flour, salt, sugar, the sunflower seeds, and jalapeno. I blended this very well before adding the oil. Proceed with the water, adding slowly as needed.

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These really come together quickly and are a delicious alternative to store-bought crackers! 

For the past few years I have slowly been removing pre-processed foods out of our diet and replacing them with home-made versions...with fantastic results. Some have been for money-savings, but mostly so that I can be more sure of what ingredients are actually in the foods we eat. 

As a single mom of two teens, I want to be sure we are getting the most nutrients from our grocery dollars! I hope you've enjoyed reading my blog and making these crackers for your family too.