I have baked a lot of things over the years, but never tried crackers until last weekend. In late May the Los Angeles Times Food Section had a guest piece by master baker Peter Reinhart (author of the Bread Baker’s Apprentice and other baking tomes) about baking crackers at home. It was just the inspiration I needed.
I tried the Four-seed snapper crackers, which contain ground flax seeds, ground pumpkin seeds, ground sunflower seeds, and whole sesame seeds. The instruction to roll the dough so that it is “nearly paper thin” made me worry about a dough-sticking disaster, but for some reason they didn’t stick at all. Perhaps the ground seeds acted as an anti-stick agent. Or perhaps the high content of bran in the medium-grind whole wheat flour helped. Whatever the case, they were indeed “a snap.”
Next time I bake these crackers, I’ll make two tweaks to the recipe. First, a sprinkling of coarse salt on the egg wash before baking would be a nice addition. Second, I used only about one-tenth of the egg wash on the crackers, thus wasting almost an entire egg (the wash is one egg and 1/2 cup water). To avoid this waste next time, I’ll make them on the same day that using eggs in another preparation, and will make the wash using a small amount of egg from the other preparation.
The L.A. Times has a policy of dropping articles behind a pay wall after a few weeks, so if you think you might want to try making your own crackers, visit the article soon. (Or buy Reinhart’s “Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor,” which also contains the recipe)
Random link from the archive: L.A. Times Food Section