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
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
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.