Monday, June 2, 2014

cream crackers.

When the warm weather arrives, I find myself eating less meals and more bites of assorted things. A handful of berries, a wedge of cheese, pea pesto, sliced avocado, and of course crackers to round out the whole thing.  (Because what's a meal with out some kind of bread?)

A cracker, a good cracker is a terribly difficult thing to find.  They aren't located in the supermarket (at least I haven't found one in my never ending search) and they aren't found in fancy gourmet markets (I've checked there as well and all they sell is more expensive crappy crackers).  But good crackers can be found! They can be found in your kitchen and made with a handful of pantry staples. These crackers are kind of awesome.  They are tender and flaky and come to together in less time then it takes to go to the store to buy crackers (no really). They are perfect for any variety of toppings including, but not limited too, pesto, pimento cheese, jam, and serrano ham.  They are made for summer meals.  

Cream Crackers
Recipe from Mark Bittman

Depending on what I am serving these with, I sometimes omit the parmesan (they are devine with or without cheese) or if I am feeling particularly crazy I try some other type of cheese (Gruyere!).

1 cup all-purpose flour, more as needed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup cream or half-and-half, more as needed
Coarse salt, pepper, sesame or poppy seeds, minced garlic or whatever you like for sprinkling (optional).

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly dust with flour. Put flour, salt, cheese and butter in bowl of a food processor. Pulse until flour and butter are combined. Add about 1/4 cup cream or half-and-half and let machine run for a bit; continue to add liquid a teaspoon at a time, until mixture holds together but is not sticky.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until 1/2-inch thick or even thinner, adding flour as needed. Transfer sheet of dough to prepared baking sheet (drape it over rolling pin to make it easier). Score lightly with a sharp knife, pizza cutter or a pastry wheel if you want to break crackers into squares or rectangles later on. Sprinkle with salt or other topping if you like.

Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Cool on a rack; serve warm or at room temperature or store in a tin for a few days.

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