Friday, March 12, 2010

Reinventing yourself

I've done it all my life-- finding a new Xan every 5 years or so. Maybe it stems from my peripatetic childhood as an academic brat, constantly picking up as my father followed tenure track positions from New York to Connecticut to Michigan to Pennsylvania to Illinois. Perhaps it's because once I begin to master something I feel the itch to move on and try something new.

But I've been an artist and a singer, a stay-at-home mom, a working mom, and a telecommuting mom. A skating coach and a gardener, a not-for-profit executive and an entrepreneur.

So what is this new persona, who makes homemade crackers and jam. It's a stay-at-home mom kind of thing to do, but while I may be staying at home, the kids have long since flown the coop. Just the latent hippie in me coming to the fore, I guess.

Homemade wheat thins

1 cup plain flour
1 cup wheat flour
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons softened butter
approximately 1 cup of milk

Seasonings- oregano, sea salt, cracked pepper, sesame, etc.

Preheat oven to 150'C/ 300'F.

Add the salt to the flour, and in a mixing bowl or food processor, cut the butter in until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.

Slowly mix in enough milk to form a soft, but not sticky, dough.

Divide the dough into four portions and roll out one at a time, until paper thin (Really really thin. I did the first batch too thick- maybe a milimeter, and they came out chewy instead of crisp). You can do this on a lightly floured board, or you can do it straight onto a large ungreased cookie sheet. This recipe made enough for four 10" x 15" trays and a little more, so divide your dough accordingly.

Lightly brush the sheet with a flavorful oil (nut or olive), then season with sea salt, freshly ground pepper and oregano, sesame or other herb. I also made some with ground ginger (no salt on that one).

Using a sharp knife or pizza roller, cut the dough into crackers. Line cookie sheet with parchment, then transfer crackers to the cookie sheet if you rolled it out on a board.

Bake for 20 minutes, until lightly browned and crisp. Allow to cool on the tray and then store in an air tight container for up to a week. This recipe made about 200 1" square crackers.

Based on a recipe at Towards Sustainability


  1. We will have to try these! Crackers have been a long quest for us. The kids love wheat thins, so this should be fun. Now if I could do club crackers they would be happy, and the grocery bill would drop by $20 or $30 a month.

    I've found that a pasta machine is key to getting crackers thin enough to be crisp. I'm not good enough with a rolling pin to get them that thin.

  2. With a little extra salt, these taste exactly like wheat thins.

    My first batch was a little too thick, but I managed to get the next one thin and crispy. I think painting them with oil helped too-- the dry ones were not as crisp. Experiment with the heat and time as well. What I *really* want is a decent cheese cracker, and a butter cracker like Ritz or Toll House!