I needed to make crackers. Yes, I know, companies spend millions and consumers spend even more millions perfecting and buying crackers. But that’s not what I do. I MAKE my stuff. That’s my challenge, my therapy and my reward. So, I did what many cooks do… I turned to google to find a recipe that would yield the taste I was going after.

I’m going to a dinner party with a new group of “foodies.” My task is to make the starter. Since the theme is “Summer” I decided to make my “Tomato and Orange Summer-Winter Soup.” It’s served cool in cocktail glasses or warm in bowls, so it fit perfectly with the hosts’ challenge.

Trisha Yearwood’s recipe was the first I tried. While good, it didn’t satisfy the savory taste I was looking for. Mark Bittman’s was next, and after reading the recipe I realized that adding a few other ingredients just might yield crackers that made the cut!

In my tiny front yard there grows my husband’s herb garden, just bursting forth in this Florida heat. Bittman’s crackers cried out for basil and chives, as did my tomato soup, so off I went, scissors in hand. The mixture didn’t need much… just two teaspoons of finely chopped basil and chives and I was cookin’!

This is my first go-around with the recipe. I’ve already indicated changes that will come into being when I make the crackers again at the end of the week. But the end result is an easy, fulfilling, awesome, and creatively never-ending base for home-made crackers!


Mis en Place:
What You Need:

1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for bench
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup whipping cream or half-and-half, plus more as needed
2 teaspoons fresh herbs
Optional: seeds, herbs, coarse salt, pepper, garlic or whatever ingredient complements your taste

Utensils and Tools:
Baking tray
Parchment paper
Food processor
Measuring spoons and cups
Rolling pin
Pizza wheel or knife
Cooling rack

Heat oven to 400F.

Remove butter from refrigerator and let it soften.

Line the baking tray with parchment and set aside.

Flour. Salt. Cheese. Butter.
Add all to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until flour and butter are blended. Add cream or half-and-half and mix until it forms a ball that holds together and is not sticky, about thirty seconds. You may need to add more cream, bit by bit, to achieve this.

Flour. Dough.
Lightly flour your bench and roll out the dough until it is about 1/8-inch thick. Turn the dough as you roll so it doesn’t stick to the bench. Add more flour if necessary. When rolled, transfer to the parchment on the baking tray.

Pizza Wheel or Knife.
Trim the edges so they are even, or score the tops with a knife for decoration.

Sprinkle with an optional topping. I used Halon Mon sea salt.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden.

Cool on a rack and store until ready to serve.

Thank you, Mark Bittman for the inspiration and Hubby’s Herbs for the savory additions! 


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