I was first introduced to homemade crackers while dining at The Regional, Chef Lindsay Autry’s new restaurant in downtown West Palm Beach, Florida. Chef Autry was a finalist on Bravo’s Top Chef and fuses her Greek and Southern roots to present bold, fresh, and refined southern flavors. The Regional is one of my all-time favorite restaurants, even though I’ve only been once. Pimento cheese made table-side…ya feel?
At The Regional, each table is greeted with a cup of their crackers du jour instead of bread. My trip was blessed with a lemon zest oyster cracker dusted in Old Bay. Classic, rustic, buttery, and devoured in two minutes. I was inspired to make my own crackers and you should be too.
1. Gain a marketable skill
Who makes their own crackers?! Oh that’s right, you do. Impressively spruce up any appetizer or snack with an easy personal touch.
2. Try aromatherapy
It’s hard to describe the smell of baking bread and pastries, but once you know the smell, it’s addicting. It’s intoxicating and enticing enough that you may have limited leftovers.
3. Experiment with dustingsEverything bagel cracker? Try poppy seeds, sesame seeds, fennel seeds, and salt. Craving something sweet? Try cinnamon sugar or cocoa powder.
4. Work with endless flavor possibilities
5. Make them festive
Cookie cutters in the shape of leaves and pumpkins are perfect for fall, and these owl-shaped crackers are perfect for any occasion. Or get creative with a fluted pasty roller to give crackers a curvy edge. Ingredients like fresh herbs and pumpkin will give crackers bold colors.
6. Make the dough in bulk
Freeze extra batches of dough, and when you need them, put them in the oven as the recipe directs. Trust me, it’s just as easy as those slice-and-bake cookies you have in the back of your freezer.
7. Know your ingredients
Most store-bought crackers contain high-fructose corn syrup and countless preservatives. When making your own, you have control of what goes in, eliminating unnecessary sugars and sodium. You can also go gluten-free and vegan and avoid ingredients you're allergic to.
8. Control the thickness
Use a rolling pin and some elbow grease to differentiate between a thick cracker and a flatbread cracker.
9. Play with textureSpeckling crackers with a fork prior to putting them in the oven let's the steam escape while the crackers bake. More holes make for thinner, crunchier crackers.
10. Use for almost any occassion
Serve on a cheese plate and with specialty dips, or keep a stash for snacking. Try recreating some of your favorite childhood (or current) crackers, like Goldfish, Cheez-Its, Wheat Thins, Animal Crackers, and even Teddy Grahams.
How do you make them yourself? Click here. Now try your crack on a homemade cracker.