i love the feeling of being truly captivated by a book. devouring its contents, you can’t put it down. when you’re not reading it, you’re thinking about reading it, and your sleep suffers because you can’t seem to tear your eyes from its pages at night.i loathe the inevitable moment, however, when that book comes to an end. there’s a sense of loss…and for a few minutes after the book closes, you’re not quite sure what to do next. one minute you are so completely enveloped in someone else’s thoughts and moments; the next you are deserted, left on your own once again. the shift can be radical, depending on how good the book is.i just had that feeling with ruth reichl’s garlic and sapphires. her sensory descriptions completely transported me to new york city in the 90’s… and as she described the mouthwatering flavors and textures and sights of the meals she’d reviewed, i felt as if i’d enjoyed them in some weird way as well. when the book ended, i was at a momentary loss, attempting to pull myself back into my own reality. i gravitated towards the kitchen and started pulling out ingredients. i’d been wanting to try making my own crackers for a while now; now seemed like a good opportunity. with this guide and my whole grains cookbook as inspiration, i quickly whipped up a batch of these simple hearty crackers. they couldn’t be easier to make – and certainly rival store-bought – which makes me wonder why we don’t all do this more often.
- 1.5 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup water, plus 2-3 tbsp
- 2-3 tbsp seeds of choice (e.g. poppy, pumpkin, sesame) – i added some fennel seeds which provided a nice anise hint.
- 1/2 tsp agave nectar or honey, mixed with 2 tbsp hot water
- preheat oven to 450 and place rack at the bottom third of the oven.
- mix flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl, creating a well in the center.
- add olive oil and water, starting with 1/2 cup. using a wooden spatula, stir to combine. the dough should be somewhat sticky and should start to come together nicely. add 1 tbsp more water until desired consistency is reached. (for me that was 3 tbsp, but it depends on your flour.)
- transfer dough to a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, and use a rolling pin to roll it out to be 1/8″ thick. if it starts to bounce back as you roll it out, let it sit for 5 minutes before continuing to roll.
- lightly coat the top of the dough with the honey/water mixture, then sprinkle seeds and sea salt evenly on top. use the rolling pin once more to press the seeds into the dough.
- using a pizza slicer or knife, make cuts in the dough to form 1-2″ squares.
- lightly flour a baking pan, or line it with parchment paper. transfer squares of dough to the pan, and poke holes in them with the prongs of a fork so that they don’t bubble up in the oven.
- bake for 8-10 minutes. you’ll know the crackers are done when the edges start to turn a golden brown and a slightly burnt smell emits. remove and transfer to a plate to cool.
- serve with hummus or cheese, whatever you please (rhymez haha).