Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Seeded Crackers : Bake-Along #45

It's crunch time at Bake-Along this week. My baking buddy, Lena from Frozen Wings has chosen Seeded Crackers for this week's Bake-Along#45. It has been a long while since I've bake any "crunch" in my kitchen.

There's an option to mix the dough either by hand or the food processor. Of course, I have chosen the easy and faster way, the food processor. The dough comes together in the food processor in less than 2 minutes! There's a few variation to the seeds and herbs that you can use, by changing the flavours, you can make these Seeded Crackers to your own liking. Here I have used only black sesame seeds and Herbes de Provence. 


The crispy Seeded Crackers


While mixing the dough, I find that I needed to add another tablespoon of butter, as the mixture is still very floury without any visible pea-sized crumbs. This recipe uses 1 tablespoon of solid vegetable shortening, which contributes to a crispier cracker. I noticed that the amount of flour for 2 cups is stated as 315gm in the recipe, I chose to use the measurement in cups instead of the weight measurement, because as far as I know, 2 cups equals to 250gm of all-purpose flour, and not 315gm. 

Once the dough comes together, it is left to rest for at least 20 minutes at room temperature. Roll out the dough to a sheet as thin as possible, it may be baked as a big cracker that fits the baking sheet, or cut to shapes. I have chosen to cut the rolled dough to squares as I love to have crispy edges all around. The recipe uses 2 teaspoons of salt which is way too high in my opinion, I have reduced it to 1-1/3 teaspoon and still find the crackers a little salty.


Baked for about 15 minutes until they are crisp and brown. Cool on wire rack until crisp.


These crackers are really crispy and very tasty.


The texture is light and crispy, buttery and a little too salty. The next time when I make this, I would reduce the salt further to maybe a scant teaspoon. Other than these, I have no complaints. I really like these crispy crackers and are very nice eaten with a cup of warm tea as an afternoon nibble. 


I would definitely make this again, with other seeds and different herbs, and with addition of cheese too!


Please visit my baking buddies, Lena from Frozen Wings and Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids, and all our friends who has baked along with us in the linky below :

For our next Bake-Along, we will be baking based on a theme, "Theme : Cotton Soft Cheesecake". You may bake any recipe of Cotton Soft Cheesecake and link your post to the linky  provided which will start on  24th June right up to 3rd July. Everyone is welcome! 


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Seeded Crackers
(adapted from Williams-Sonoma : Essential of Baking)
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for the work surface
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon solid vegetable shortening (vegetable lard) at room temperature
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy (double) cream, plus extra if needed

By food processor :
Combine the flour, sugar, salt, pepper, and poppy, sesame and mustard seeds and pulse 1 or 2 times to mix. Add the shortening and butter and pulse 7-10 times until the mixture forms large, coarse crumbs the size of peas. Pour in the cream and pulse a few times until the dough comes together in a rough mass.

Using a plastic scraper, scrape the dough out onto a clean work surface and gently squeeze it together. Add a few more drops of cream if the dough will not hold a soft shape. Gently press the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and let rest at room temperature for at least 20 minutes or for up to 1 hour.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 350F (180C). Line 2 half-sheet pans or rimless baking sheets with parchment (baking) paper.

Unwrap the dough disk and place on a lightly floured work surface. Cut the dough in half with a sharp knife or a bench scraper. Roll out one-half of the dough into a rectangular sheet as thin as possible without tearing, dusting it with flour as needed to prevent sticking to either the work surface or the rolling pin. Trim the edges of the dough to fit the prepared pan, then carefully transfer the sheet to the pan. Repeat with the second half of the dough. Alternatively, using a pizza wheel or a sharp knife, cut the dough sheets into shapes and place on the pans.

Bake 1 sheet of crackers at a time until they are crisp and brown, 12-15 minutes. Transfer to wire racks and let cool completely until crisp. If you have baked the dough in sheets, break each sheet into shards. The crackers are best when eaten fresh, but they may be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

kitchen flavours notes :
  • reduced the salt to 1-1/3 teaspoon and still find it salty. Will reduce to scant 1 teaspoon the next time.
  • will reduce the black pepper slightly as it is a little too peppery.
  • added in an additional 1 tbsp cold butter, as it was still very floury and no crumbs visible.
  • for this batch, I have omitted the poppy seeds and mustard seeds, and used 2 teaspoons black sesame seeds and 1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence.
#48/100

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26 comments:

  1. Hi Joyce, I find these crackers way too salty too and I forgot I used salted butter so that made them even worst lol! luckily I only made half the recipe. Overall I like the texture, very crispy and flaky at the same time.

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  2. My fil likes such crackers, may be shd make some for him lol.

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  3. Joyce, I bet these are addictive! Can I ask you, do we keep vegetable shortening in the fridge or can it be kept at room temperature? I see these sold in tubs at the supermarket at the dry section.

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    Replies
    1. Good morning Phong Hong,
      Vegetable shortening should be stored at room temperature. However, some pastry recipes use cold shortening (like cold butter), so just refrigerate the amount required. These crackers are very nice, advise to reduce the salt when making this, as these are quite salty.

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    2. Thanks, Joyce! I am going to get a tub tonight :)

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  4. Interesting theme of Bake Along this time, seeded crackers.

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  5. Hi Joyce,

    I love these crackers. Made two versions and learn a lot from the two versions that I baked. I didn't add any shortening to my crackers and use 35% fat cream instead of 45% ones. For my usual measurements, 2 cups of flour is 300g (close to 315g) of flour for me. These crackers are not too salty for me, maybe this is due to the difference of flour amount that I used. Apart from the difference in flour and shortening contents, glad that our crackers still taste good! I reckon that this must be a fail-proof recipe.

    Zoe

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  6. I've never made my own crackers- these look perfect! :)

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  7. Hi Joyce, lovely crackers, I can't find poppy seeds in SG, so will probably make another version...

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  8. Your crackers looks so crispy, it is good to serve with afternoon tea!

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  9. Don't you just love homemade crackers? You can taste such a difference! These look just delicious too. I love the seeds. Thank you for sharing!

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  10. I love these .... send some over please....

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  11. hi,,i don keep n used shortening often,
    can i used all butter and what brand of cream u used,
    hope you can help,,i am first time baker,,
    hope you can share with me,,thanks,,,
    dan na---sg

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    Replies
    1. Hi dan na,
      Yes, you can use all butter. Shortening makes the crackers more flaky and crispy. You may refer to Zoe's post, where she has used all butter for these. The cream that I used is Anchor, though any brand is OK.
      Thank you for stopping by and hope you enjoy these crackers!

      Delete
  12. Your crackers is perfect, i hope to try some of these too.

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  13. Joyce , I'm really tempted to haul out my food processor for this bake :P :D Your version look as yummy as Lena's ! I'll let you try my crackers , maybe next week , since I need to make something with mushroom first lol

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  14. I have never attempted to bake crackers Joyce but I must say, this post has inspired me to at least consider it. Your crackers do look perfect and I would love to just have one nibble, or two, lol...

    Thank you so much for sharing...

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  15. This looks very crispy, i want to try this soon!

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  16. Those crackers came out extremely prefect.

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  17. hi joyce, i had used 2 tsp sea salt but added more cream to it..another 1/2cup to form the dough and i did not find my crackers too salty too. again, i am a little puzzled as to why the measurement in gms in the book is 315gm...

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  18. Hi Joyce, I used less salt because I'm using table/regular salt, so the crackers didn't turn out very salty. The crackers are actually very addictive ;)

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  19. Hi. What a great bake along. Really enjoyed it. A lot of fun and had really nice crackers in the end.
    Yours look really nice. I reduced also the amount of salt. I added some buckwheat flour for the more special flavor and some linseeds together with sesam seeds.
    Lookikng forward to the next bake along :).

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  20. I did have a recipe for crackers... but totally miss the dateline! Your's look good!

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  21. Hey, nice site you have here! Keep up the excellent work!

    Crackers

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