How to destroy a fairly clean kitchen in under 60 seconds

You would think after the seeded bread I made last week that I would be done with seeds. But… nooooooo! I have a problem with a short memory span. You see, I felt annoyed that I spilled seeds all over the kitchen when I was baking the bread. I then became more annoyed when seeds spilled all over my oven and I burned them. Seeds spilled everywhere when I cut into the loaf and each time I cut into it thereafter. Maximum annoyance. I cleaned up all of these seeds, but somehow, they kept reappearing. They found nooks and crannies to inhabit. Some of them thought the microwave was a nice spot to sit under. Some of them got on the floor and became world travelers showing up in bathrooms and bedrooms. My counters looked clean to me but I kept finding seeds in the grout of the tiles.

I wanted to make the seeded bread again this week and just skip making something new for YeastSpotting. (It was so good that I didn’t care what price I’d pay for another loaf). The problem is that we never finished the first loaf and I kept waiting for it to be eaten before committing a full day to a loaf of bread. Thursday showed up, no bread. I was looking in a cabinet and spied a box of our favorite crackers. These are really special crackers. Made of Spelt and covered in seeds, they are delicious! I came to the realization that they are an extravagance. We have been paying $6.89 for an 8 oz container of these crackers which we can easily polish off in a week. After figuring this out, it has been on my to do list to bake crackers. Today was the day.

The first thing I did was decide on the seeds. I thought an exotic mixture would be nice. I would mix sesame, poppy, fennel and for a little kick, brown mustard seeds. The brown mustard seeds come in a small Ziploc plastic bag. I opened the bag to measure out the seeds, something slipped and about a tablespoon of mustard seeds went flying, over the counters, onto the floor, into crevices, into my clothes (so that I could easily help them become world travelers). I took a deep breath. Gave up on immediate containment and proceeded with the recipe. My next error was to believe I could get the seeds to stick to the crackers without anything to bind them to the surface of the cracker. I somehow thought I could sprinkle the seed mixture on and then push the seeds into the surface of the cracker. Since I have the muscle tone of Napolean Dynamite’s brother Kip, that did not work out well. If I kept the fully baked crackers horizontal, the seeds stayed put, as soon as I moved them or tilted them in any way: disaster! So when I transcribe the recipe for you, I am going to tell you to make an egg wash to stick the seeds on. I have not tested it, but it worked for the bread last week so I’m hoping it will be fine.

I enjoyed these crackers as a light lunch today, (held horizontally to keep the seeds on), topped with a fine quality aged cheddar and Fuji apple slices. The crackers taste like flaky whole grain pie crust with the savory bite of the seed blend. They went so well with the cheese and fruit!

I am submitting these sourdough crackers to this week’s YeastSpotting event. Click on the link to see what everyone baked this week!

Seeded Sourdough Crackers

Crackers:

1 ½ cups stone ground whole wheat flour

½ cup rye flour

1 tsp salt

4 tbsp flax seeds

¼ cup cold butter

2 tbsp olive oil

1 cup active sourdough starter

Topping:

4 tsp sesame seeds

2 tsp fennel seeds

2 tsp brown mustard seeds

2 tsp poppy seeds

*Egg wash made with an egg yolk beaten with 2 tbsp water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, F.

In a large bowl, stir together whole wheat flour, rye flour, salt and flax seeds. Using a pastry cutter, cut cold butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse corn meal. Make a well in the flour mixture. Pour in the oil and sourdough starter. Mix with a silicone spatula until well combined. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and lightly knead to make sure all the flour and liquid is mixed well. Do not over knead, you just want to make sure everything is combined. Form dough into a ball, flatten and roll out to 1/8” thick. Using a 2” round cookie cutter, cut dough into circles. Transfer crackers to two parchment lined cookie sheets as you cut crackers. Using a fork, pierce the crackers three times. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with seeds. You will have lots of scraps. When you are done cutting the first round of crackers, gather the scraps and carefully press them back into a ball (do not over work the dough), flatten dough and roll out to 1/8”, proceed with cutting more crackers and topping them with seeds. You can do this with the scraps a couple of times until most of the dough is used up. Once all of the crackers have been cut and seeded, transfer the cookie sheets to the hot oven. Bake for 13 – 15 minutes until browned, rotating the sheets from the upper to the lower racks of your oven halfway during baking for even browning. Remove crackers from the oven and transfer to racks to cool completely before enjoying.

*I did not brush an egg wash onto the crackers. The pictures are a sham! The seeds did not stick to the crackers. I have not tested an egg wash on this recipe, but this method worked for the bread I baked last week. It should work fine.

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21 Comments

  1. Michael said,

    November 19, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    they look great!
    check out my food blog and tell me what you think:
    http://thegodscake.wordpress.com

    Michael

  2. November 20, 2009 at 8:03 am

    [...] Seeded Sourdough Crackers [...]

  3. drfugawe said,

    November 20, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    They’re gorgeous! Is this a “borrowed” recipe, or a work in progress?

    How about putting some seeds into the dough? Maybe toasting first. Somewhere in my brain is the thought that egg white is stickier than the yoke – ???

    Don’t worry about the spilled seeds – the mice will find them!

    • Mimi said,

      November 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm

      This is a work in progress. I put the flaxseeds in the dough, but wanted the other seeds on top for both flavor and prettiness. :grin:

      Mice? Never seen one. There are tree rats outside, but I hope to God they never get in. They are the size of a chinchilla and not nearly as cute.

  4. Jeremy said,

    November 20, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Is that why Shakespeare called one of the fairies in Midsummer Night’s dream Mustardseed, because it could fly everywhere?

    The crackers look delicious. I find egg white, mixed with just a touch of water, is the stickiest, but egg yolk is the shiniest.

    • Mimi said,

      November 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm

      That’s a good one!

  5. Mimi said,

    November 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm

    Thanks Guys for the egg white advice, I’m going to try that next time. The crackers were good otherwise but they’d be even better with the seeds.

  6. Debby said,

    November 20, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    High on my list of things I want to make are homemade crackers. I’ve never done so, and you’ve reminded me to do that. These look lovely, and I think the egg wash– or even spraying with a little water might work. Last week, I spilled kosher salt all over my cupboard. It’s so frustrating, isn’t it? It still looks like you did a great job!

    • Mimi said,

      November 20, 2009 at 10:20 pm

      Thanks Debby! Don’t you hate kitchen accidents. I bet the salt was as hard to pick up as the seeds, but I guess that’s what vacuum cleaners are for!

  7. MC said,

    November 21, 2009 at 3:35 am

    These have got to be the handsomest crackers I have ever seen! Just beautiful… Unfortunately we have to be minimize butter consumption in our house. Do you think all olive oil would do the trick?

    • Mimi said,

      November 21, 2009 at 4:03 pm

      Most of the recipes I consulted before experimenting with these called for twice as much butter. I chose to use half the butter and then reconsidered and swapped out a couple of tablespoons for oil. (I didn’t want to eat so much butter either).

      I think you can do olive oil, but since it is not a saturated fat, the crackers may come out a little more crumbly in texture. I want to try crackers again soon, but I may try to go towards crackers with less or no fat. I looked at the ingredients on the Doctor Krackers again and although they are yeasted, they have no added fat. I have seen some yeasted flatbread recipes with no or little added fat as well.

      These crackers were definately on the more cookie-like end of the spectrum and it would be nice to make some that are more crispy. The other problem I found out is that the crackers got soft after I stored them in an airtight container. Not the quality I like in a cracker.

  8. stacy said,

    November 21, 2009 at 4:10 am

    Mmm crackers. The hubby has been taking crackers to work in his lunch, and I have been considering making crackers again. I made this recipe with regular flour before, and I have some spelt unopened in the cupboard just waiting to make them. You may have convinced me!

    • Mimi said,

      November 21, 2009 at 4:04 pm

      Stacy, those look good. Definately try them with Spelt, I bet the flavor will be wonderful!

  9. Noel said,

    November 21, 2009 at 4:20 am

    Mmm, those look like tasty little tidbits. They remind me of something I got in Mexico City, sort of in between a cracker and cookie. They weren’t really sweet, but had a little bit of sugar glaze on top with seeds in it.

    • Mimi said,

      November 21, 2009 at 4:04 pm

      These definately had that texture and a really good grainy flavor.

  10. Andreas said,

    November 21, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    I know that problem. In a bakery close to my office, they sell soft pretzels (so lye might be another adhesive candidate) covered in sesame or pumpkin seeds. I quickly learned to buy only pumpkin seed pretzels for lunch as the sesame flies everywhere and tends to disappear into the laptop keyboard. Pumpkin seeds are too big for that. ;)

  11. Stefanie said,

    November 22, 2009 at 9:37 am

    Now I am drooling over this picture of cracker, cheese and apple. What a delicious idea!

  12. Natashya said,

    November 23, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    They look really good! I have trouble keeping seeds on bread too, sigh. Sometimes I just knead them right in. :)

  13. Beth said,

    November 23, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    These look gorgeous. I’m definitely going to try them soon!

  14. rb said,

    November 26, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    i am going to commit a sinful act- i am going to attempt to make your relatively innocent crackers and then top them with tripe cream brie and curried cranberry chutney for a thanksgiving appetizer…
    such goodness turned to such dark ends- will the pilgrims ever forgive me?

    yours looks so fabulous, i hope mine turn out even half as good!

  15. rb said,

    November 26, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    yikes! not tripe- triple!
    tripe would be horrifying….


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