These light, crispy crackers are a welcome addition to any cheese plate or just as good munched up on their own!
Whenever someone asks me what drew me into cooking, I have to take a beat. Of course it’s not just one thing…it’s my creative outlet, it’s often therapeutic and a stress reliever, and probably my most honest form of expression. But perhaps the greatest reason I’m a little food obsessed really boils down to one simple thing…sharing food with others. As much as I’m inspired by the season, it’s the people that I’m cooking for that inspire me most.
Case in point, if it’s just me for a meal you’ll find me scrounging around the frig looking for leftovers or satisfied with a big bowl of popcorn. I rarely get fancier than a scrambled egg or a salad and if I can get away without washing a dish, I’m all in. Cooking for my kids means trying to make something equal parts nutrition and yum. I try to embrace their tastes without dumbing their food down and occasionally sprinkle in something new and see where it takes us.
My creative juices really kick into gear when I’m cooking for someone else. It can be dinner for two, a casual dinner party, or a plan-for-weeks, all encompassing, kick ass blow-out. No matter the gathering in size or season, I try to be sure that there is at least one or two dishes that every guest can enjoy. I love the planning and the prepping almost as much as the actual eating. So for someone that loves to cook for others, it’s kind of ironic that most of my days are spent alone in the kitchen coming up with dishes often for people (that’s you!) that I’ve never even met.
It’s easy to get caught up in perfecting a recipe, but I’ve come to realize that no recipe can be perfected in a vacuum. You can trust your own palate, but the result is always better when you have someone to try, test and taste. There’s only so much food my family can eat, so a lot of my friends are gifted pies and cakes (often missing a slice or two), stacks of cookies, and the occasional quart of soup. I want honest criticism (or at least I think I do) and I want to share my food with others the way it’s meant to be enjoyed.
I spent a great afternoon recently with two like-minded women, who in addition to having discerning palates, are very talented stylists and photographers. At their company, Robin & Sue, they work with chefs, restaurants, specialty food companies, you name it, to bring food to life on the screen and page. We rolled and cut out some crackers, took loads of photos, shared some lunch, and exchanged stories. It was a welcome departure from my typical day and I picked up some great tips, had a turn in front of the camera (Robin shot all of the action shots), but most importantly enjoyed sharing food and trading ideas instead of letting them rattle around in my brain.
I made these buttermilk crackers for our afternoon together and we tried a variety of toppings before settling on a favorite. We agreed that this lightly salty, very seedy topping was just right for these light, crispy crackers and I happily sent Robin and Sue home with a stack of crackers to enjoy at home. In exchange, I have these lovely photos to share, but more importantly I got a little reminder of why I do what I do. You can learn more about Robin & Sue here and oh by the way, go make these crackers. They’re perfect for sharing.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, + more for rolling
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour,
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup olive oil, + more for brushing
- 1 cup buttermilk
- caraway seeds
- cumin seeds
- sesame seeds
- black sesame seeds
- poppy seeds
- sea salt, i like Maldon sea salt flakes - season with salt separately so you can control the amount
Add the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar to a mixing bowl and give it a whisk to blend.
Add the olive oil and buttermilk all at once and blend with a paddle attachment (preferred) or wooden spoon until the dough comes to together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough a few times until it is smooth and well combined.
Flatten into a disc and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Chill at least three hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
After the dough is chilled, divide it into six equal pieces. Working with one piece of dough at a time (keeping the rest refrigerated) roll out the dough on a very well-floured surface until paper thin (about 18 x 10) and oval/rectangle - ish shaped, at least 1/16 inch, turning the dough as you roll to prevent sticking.
Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter and cut the dough into crackers (they don't need to be perfectly even). I usually get about 24 - 2 inch crackers per sheet.
Divide the crackers between the prepared sheets and brush with olive oil using a pastry brush. Combine the seeds for the topping, sprinkle generously and season with salt.
Prick each cracker 2-3 times with a fork and bake for 8 mins or until golden brown, rotating the pans midway through baking.
Cool on a wire rack and repeat with remaining dough.
- My everything bagel seasoning makes a delicious topping as well.
- Yields 12 dozen 2-inch crackers.