I really enjoy the Herbed Flatbread Crackers made by the Keebler Elves. They are crispy and herby and wonderful, but every time I buy them, I think I really should try making these myself. So I started down the road to discovery to try and make some homemade herb crackers that I like as much as the flatbread crackers. I don’t think the Elves need to worry about competition just yet, but I am beginning to build my cracker repertoire with these Einkorn Soda Crackers.
I started with the recipe for the basic soda crackers, but instead of using all-purpose flour, I used a 50/50 blend of whole grain Einkorn flour and all-purpose flour. I eventually plan to make an all Einkorn version, but I only wanted to change one variable at-a-time. I have a tendency to try to change too many things at once which is not always the best way to do things (in project management or baking) so I’m learning to work with the data to find out how each change affects the way the dough performs and tastes.
If I’m sounding more like a project manager right now rather than a baker, it’s because I had an ‘aha’ moment last weekend that I should be combining my project management expertise and baking to develop the best result rather than trying to separate the two disciplines. I mean ‘duh’, right?
Einkorn Soda Crackers
Inspired by: The Keebler Elves and King Arthur Flour’s Soda Bread Recipe
Makes: About 45 crackers, depending on how small you cut the crackers
If you prefer, you can use regular whole wheat or white whole wheat or another flour and mix it with the all-purpose rather than using Einkorn. The total flour should be 1 1/2 cups or 163 g.
- 83 g (~ 3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
- 80 g (scant 3/4 cup) Einkorn flour
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tsps. instant yeast
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1 Tbsp. dough enhancer (optional)
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- Kosher salt, Italian seasoning (for the tops of the crackers)
1) Mix the Dough and let it rest in refrigerator overnight
All you do is whisk together the dry ingredients; mix the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients using a stand mixer (or by hand), then form the dough into a ball, place it in a clean bowl and put it in the refrigerator overnight (or for up to 18 hours). The dough probably won’t rise very much so you can use a small bowl.
2) Remove dough from refrigerator
The next day, take the dough out of the refrigerator about 15 minutes before you plan to make the crackers. Let it rest on the counter before beginning to roll it out. I loved this dough. It’s buttery smooth due to the Einkorn, butter and olive oil.
3) Shape the dough into a rough block
Sprinkle your work surface with flour. You can use a silicon baking mat or your counter. I used a bread board.
Before rolling out the dough, shape it into a rough rectangle, about 3x5 inches. Let it rest for a couple of minutes. This helps with the rolling process.
4) Roll the dough into a rectangle
Roll it out into a rectangle, about 13 x 15 inches. I rolled out the dough onto greased parchment paper. Unless you use Italian-type flour, the rolling process will take a little while. You’ll just need to be patient. Since I used Einkorn/all-purpose flour blend, I had to let the dough rest every so often, then I kept rolling it until it reached the appropriate rectangle shape. I also sprinkled the board with flour several times to keep the dough from sticking.
5) Fold the dough like a letter
Start with the shorter side and fold the dough like a letter-shape. I was focusing too much on taking photos and not paying attention to the instructions so I folded mine from the long end. I had to fold it again to make it easier to roll out. I did this the last time I made the crackers as well. I guess I keep thinking I’m rolling the dough into a log. It’s a forgiving dough so it doesn’t mind which end you start on.
6) Roll and cut the dough into squares
Roll the dough out again into a rectangle, about 11 x 19 inches. It will snap back so you should end up with a 10 x 18-inch rectangle.
Before I sprinkled the seasonings over the dough, I drizzled olive oil over it and spread it with my fingers. I tried using a pastry brush but fingers work much better on this dough.
Sprinkle the dough with the salt or flavoring of your choice, then cut it into 2-inch squares. I used Italian seasoning, kosher salt and a little bit of garlic powder.
I used a pizza wheel to cut the crackers. It made things really easy. I rolled out the dough on a wooden bread board so it didn’t matter what tool I used to cut the squares, but if you decide to use a silicon baking mat, you’ll need to be very careful when you cut the squares.
7) Place the crackers onto baking sheets
Place the crackers onto greased, parchment-lined baking sheets. You can place the crackers close together because they won’t spread. Prick each cracker one or two times with the tines of a fork. This will keep them from puffing up in the oven.
A dough scraper works really well for this part. It acts like a mini pizza peel and keep the crackers from getting squished while you’re moving them onto the parchment and it allows you to move several at-a-time.
8) Bake the Crackers
Bake the crackers for 10 minutes (at 425 degrees F.), then turn off the oven and let the crackers cool down while they are still in the oven. They should be golden brown in color and crispy. Letting them cool in the oven will preserve their crispness. If you’re oven doesn’t cool down quickly enough and the crackers continue to bake, you can pull the oven racks out a bit to keep them from getting too done.
9) Cool the crackers
Cool the crackers completely and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or put them in an airtight container to keep them crisp.
I went a bit crazy with the herbs so when I tasted the crackers after they first came out of the oven, I thought “these taste nasty.” The next day, I thought I would need to brush off some of the extra herbs but after resting on the counter (wrapped in plastic) the herbs had blended well with the rest of the cracker. I enjoyed the flavor and the texture of the crackers.
These crackers seemed to rise a bit more than the all-white version, but I liked the texture. Since I had spread the olive oil over them and then sprinkled the herbs, they had a nice crunch to them.
Serving suggestion. The combination of herbs in these crackers and the crunchiness makes them a great accompaniment to tomato soup. I enjoyed this for lunch the other day.