I finally got to bake something again! I feel like it’s been ages since I’ve baked anything for you guys, so it makes me feel so good to share with you a recipe from a gal named Ree Drummond. She’s the Pioneer Woman on Food Network and I love her cheese cracker recipe. https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/homemade-cheddar-crackers-3141125 I also love her pie shell recipe, but that’s for another post.
These cheese crackers are pretty simple to make. Basically, you throw everything into a food processor and pulse until it’s combined. Form a ball with the dough, let it chill for an hour, roll it out, and bake it. I got to use one of my favorite, but under used, kitchen gadgets – my scale. Almost all of my recipes call for things I can easily measure with either dry measuring cups, spoons, or a glass Pyrex cup for liquid. When the recipe calls for 8 oz (225 grams) of shredded cheese, I get to use my scale. First, though, I had to zero it with a bowl so I could measure the cheese once it was shredded.
Yum! Cheese! Now, the recipe called for 8 oz of sharp cheddar, but all I had on hand was mild cheddar/mozzarella mix. The next step was to put everything into the mixer. That was the 8 oz of cheese, 1 cup of flower, 1/4 cup butter (half a stick), 1 tsp salt, and a pinch of paprika. I pulsed that until it looked a bit like sand.
Next, I added 3-4 tablespoons of ice water and pulsed that until combined. I had taken a small bowl of water and put it in the freezer to make sure it would be cold enough, and by the time I was ready for it, it had iced over!
The recipe said to add water until everything came together. I had a little trouble telling when that actually happened, so I added 4 tbsp of water instead of her recommended 3.
Next, I formed the dough into a ball, wrapped it in plastic wrap, and let it chill in the fridge for an hour.
Once the dough had chilled, I rolled it out to about 1/4 inch thick and used a ruler to cut it into squares. Because my hands were a bit covered with flour, I asked my husband to take some pictures for me.
I used markings in the middle of the ruler to make sure I spaced everything evenly. Once the were all cut, I used the flat end of a skewer to poke holes in them. This allowed for the steam created by the water to escape and is called docking the dough. If you google search “pizza docker”, you’ll see something that looks like a medieval torture device, but it’s for docking your pizza dough. If you add more holes, more steam will escape and you’ll have crunchier crackers. Mine came out quite thick, as you’ll see. (Shout out to Alton Brown, another Food Network chef, and his book “I’m Just Here For More Food” for explaining the role of water in baked goods.)
Once docked, I transferred them to pans with silicon pads on them, but you could also just use parchment paper.
Some of the crackers looked a little funky before going in the oven (and after coming out), but I was trying to use edge scraps to make extra crackers.
And there we have it! Oh man, these things taste so good. I strongly recommend giving them a try. As long as you’ve got a food processor, half the work is done already. Honestly, I don’t know what to do if you don’t, perhaps using a pastry cutter? That would take a lot of elbow grease, but it could be doable. Bon appetit!