UHF: Crackers - they are not controversial.

Since I am now feeling better and back at work, I don't have those boring time periods between naps when I don't feel like getting up but can't possible sleep any more. Which means I no longer have time to write lengthy blog posts and replies alienating friend, family and readers with my conservative views on social issues. So I thought I would posts about something everyone loves - crackers! You can't have an argument about crackers, can you? Well, unless someone asks Cheese-its or Cheese-nips - but let's just not go there.

"But can't you just buy those?" That was Craig's response when I made my first cracker recipe. Make crackers? Who does that?

I do and so do other hippies. I have actually found a couple good recipes from other Nourishing Traditions style foodies. Yes, you can buy them but why not make them? The ones I make are simply, don't use fancy ingredients and quite tasty. Not only are they cheaper but they are fresh and I know exactly what is in them and can make sure it is all good stuff.

Here is what are in commercial wheat thins:


For a processed food, it's really not too bad. But sugar and high fructose corn syrup? No thanks. Enriched flour? That a fancier way of saying white flour. I can do better.

My wheat thin recipe: *This recipe is an altered version of one I saw on Raising Peanuts
  • 3 cups ground oatmeal (Just put it in a food processor or blender for 30-60 seconds)
  • 3 cups wheat flour (I like King Arthur white wheat, if you can't find white wheat, you might just want to use part white, part wheat)
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 3 Tabl. honey
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt (plus more for topping)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup warm water
Mix all ingredients and let sit for 30 minutes. Roll out quite thin. Sprinkle with salt and roll a bit more to embed salt in dough. Cut into squares and bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes until slightly brown around edges (depending on your oven and the thickness it varies quite a bit).

Pita Crackers: *From a recipe on 101 cookbooks
These are quite tasty. We eat them alone but they are a great cracker to serve with cheese or a dip. I think hummus or guacamole would be a nice accompaniment, or this roasted red pepper dip.
  • 3 cups white wheat flour
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Toppings: salt, pepper, parmesan, herbs...basically whatever you want. The cracker is your canvas. I've topped them with salt and parmesan, salt and pepper, and just salt. We liked them all. Check out the original recipe for more ideas.
Mix together in a kitchan-aid with a dough hook then leave on low to knead for about 7 minutes. The dough should be smooth and silky. You could probably knead it by hand but it would take a bit longer. Divide the dough into 8 pieces, roll into a ball, coat with olive oil and let rest for an hour. About 40 minutes into the resting period, start heating your oven to 450. You want it to be nice and hot. (If you have a pizza stone, it would probably be good. I don't have one and cookie sheets work well enough).

When it is done resting, roll out each chunk of dough fairly thin (you can experiment here, the thicker pieces kinda puff up which I like, but thin is better if you want a nice crunchy cracker, or if you want to be able to get the dip to stay on). Add your toppings, roll a bit more to embed, then cut into pieces. Bake 5-7 minutes until golden. Enjoy!

Mac n' cheese crackers: Originally called cheese pennies
These taste just like my homemade mac n'cheese, but in a cracker form. These are obviously not low fat, but that isn't the way we roll here and I consider a good homemade cracker made with real butter and cheese to be healthier than any low fat processed cracker I could buy.
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese (Use block cheese that you grate yourself, I've used frozen pre-grated cheese and the dough just can't stay together. You will end up frustrated.)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup white wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne (you can use more but we are woosey)
Mix together. You might need to use a couple of tablespoons of cold water to get it to stick together (like a pie crust). Divide it into two and roll each section into a thin (1-2 inches in diameter) log. Wrap logs in wax paper and place in freezer for 30 minutes. (If you want to keep in freezer longer, just leave it out for 20-30 minutes before you try to slice it or it will crumble.)

After chilling, slice log into pieces about 1/8-1/4 in thick and place on ungreased cookie sheet. You can sprinkle with paprika if you like (I do, Craig doesn't). Bake at 400 for 12-14 minutes until very slightly brown around edges.

Overall Cracker tips:
  • If the recipe calls for salt sprinkled on top, don't be a miser. The salt adds a lot of flavor and if you don't use enough, you will have boring crackers. I like Kosher but sea salt would also work, I don't think regular would be as good.
  • Experiment with thickness. Thinner is generally better but see what you prefer. I meant to steal my mom's pasta maker when I was home for Christmas (what? She never uses it!) so I could get a nice thin cracker but a rolling pin does work.
  • I keep them in big ziplock bags in the fridge. I think they last longer that way, although we normally eat them up in a few days so I'm not sure why I bother.
  • Try it! Why buy processed crackers when you can easily make a tasty and healthy version at home?


  1. Wait . . . there are people who think Cheese Nips are better?!

  2. this may be a stupid question, but what is kosher salt? Is it just more coarse than regular salt?

  3. Yes, Kosher salt is a coarse salt - like you would find on a pretzel from the mall. I used to see it in recipes a lot but put off buying it but now that I have it, I really do use it all the time, so don't be afraid of the Kosher salt!