Monday, July 28, 2014

A Need for... CRUNCHINESS!

I was looking in my pantry last night for something, anything, crunchy and salty. There's not a thing. Nothing. Nada. It was really sad. I didn't crave anything when I was pregnant, but since then, all I want is salty and crunchy. Okay, so occasionally I need something sweet (aka, graham crackers earlier this week). Of course, 10 pm is WAY too late to begin an experiment, at least in my house, so I had to wait until today.

I've been experimenting with crackers lately. I usually buy a box a week, but, as you know, being broke has made it necessary to find something else. Pinterest has become my cooking/baking/gardening/ Guru is a good word. Anyway, I found a recipe for homemade Ritz a while back, but never gave them the chance because crackers are "cheap". At least they are cheap until you make them yourself. Yeah, I will probably only buy them again if we are all too sick to cook. These are crunchy enough to be a crunchy snack, and are nice and flaky like a good cracker should be. They aren't quite the same texture as Ritz, but they are good enough to replace them in my house.

I got the original recipe from Stef of Cupcake Project, so thank you.

A few notes from my experiment:

1) 2 cups of flour made for a VERY wet dough. I added another half cup to make it enough dough-like to be able to roll and cut the crackers.

2) Empty baby bottles are the exact perfect right size for a cracker.

3) Roll out the dough on the counter, and then transfer it to the parchment paper before you cut them. This way they stay round, and don't turn in to ovals. If you like ovals, that's okay. Me, I don't mind either way, but I like to have my food look pretty.

4) I baked in two batches. Batch one I followed the directions to the letter with the exception of after buttering and salting, I stuck them back in the oven for another two minutes because they didn't brown the way I thought they would. They are a bit softer than Ritz, but I like the flavor a whole lot better. Batch two I decided should be butter and salted before they went in to the oven. I thought it would get them to brown better. It didn't work in 10 minutes. They took 16, and got a bit hard, but hey, it's just an experiment.

5) I can't stop eating them.... Nom nom nom!

  • Homemade Ritz Crackers
  • -Stef's recipe with the changes that made them work for me.

  • 2-2.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp + another 1/2 tsp salt for topping
  • 6 tbsp cold unsalted butter + 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup water

  1. 1) Preheat oven to 400 F.

  2. 2) Put the flour, baking powder, sugar, and 1/2 tsp of salt in the food processor. Pulse to combine.

  3. 3) Add cold butter a few small pats at a time, and pulse to combine.

  4. 4) Add vegetable oil.  Pulse to combine.

  5. 5) Add water a little bit at a time.  Pulse to combine after each addition.  The dough should start to form a ball.

  6. 6) Roll dough out as thin as you can. Use cookie cutters to cut the dough out.  You can make them Ritz-shaped or any shape that you like.

  7. 7) Bake the crackers on a parchment- or Silpat-lined baking sheet for ten minutes or until the crackers just begin to brown.

  8. 8) While the crackers are baking, melt the remaining butter and mix in the remaining salt to taste.

9) As soon as you remove the crackers from the oven, brush them with the salty butter.

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