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Whole Grain Olive Oil Crackers

February 23rd, 2011

As part of our No Buy February Challenge, I’m going to be posting Make Your Own how-to’s on Wednesdays. Learning to make things yourself from scratch is a great way to save money.

I’ve been making my own crackers and flatbreads for quite a while. Healthy crackers can be very expensive, and it’s very difficult to find them without all kinds of hard to pronounce ingredients that you probably don’t want to eat. For our Super Bowl party I made whole grain olive oil crackers, they’re kind of like wheat thins, only much better. I used freshly ground wheat flour and super tasty olive oil from Chaffin Family Orchards.

I used the recipe from Chocolate & Zucchini, making mine with sourdough starter, but you can make them without. I also make mine with freshly ground 100% whole wheat flour.

WHOLE WHEAT OLIVE OIL CRACKERS

2 1/2 cups whole grain flour
(I used 2 cups flour and 100 grams of sourdough, slightly less than 1/2 cup)
5 Tablespoons of coarsely ground wheat or other flour (cornmeal, millet, etc)
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup water

Preheat the oven to 400°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. If you have a baking stone put that in the oven and you can slide the crackers on that to bake them, if you don’t have a stone you can bake them on a cookie sheet.

Place the flours and salt in bowl, add the olive oil and stir it in with a fork until mixture resembles find crumbs (it’s like making pastry). Add the water and sourdough mix is making the sourdough version and mix it in. When the water is absorbed, turn the dough out onto lightly floured work surface and knead gently to form a ball. Add a few drops of water if the dough feels too dry to gather into a ball, but you don’t want the dough to be sticky in the least or it will stick to the pastry roller.

Divide the dough into 8 pieces equal size, and cover with a towel. Take a piece of dough and flatten it into an oval with hands, dust lightly with flour. Set a pasta roller on the widest setting, and slip the disk of dough in the roller to thin it out. Fold the dough in half so the two short sides meet, and put the dough through at the thickest setting again, repeat a few times until dough feels soft. Since I made mine with 100% whole grain flour it cracked a bit on the edges, but it still worked well. If you don’t have a pasta roller, you can use a rolling pin.

Switch the pasta roller to the next smaller setting and feed the dough through. Repeat reducing the setting on your pasta rollers, making the dough thinner each time. Stop when you reach the #5 setting. Your dough should look like a long oval. Place it on one of the prepared baking sheets, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Continue this process for each piece of dough.

Slide crackers on parchment onto the baking stone, or put baking sheet in the oven and bake for 7-12 minutes, turning once to ensure even browning. If you’re using whole grain flour you might need to bake them for 15 minutes so they’re dry enough when you pull them out of the oven. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

If you find you didn’t bake them long enough i.e. they’re soft after cooling, simply put them back in the oven on 300 for a few minutes to dry them out more. Store crackers in a container and enjoy, you’ll have these eaten up LONG before they go stale believe me!
If you have a large family, or consume a lot of crackers I’d highly recommend making a few batches of these at once. You can change the flavor by subbing in different kinds of flours and different kinds of oils or fat. They’re perfect paired with cheese, and equally delicious with dips. I bet if you made them with half corn meal they could taste a lot like tortilla chips. I have a few other recipes I like to make for store-bought cracker alternatives, see links below for some of my faves.

Do you ever make crackers at home?

Sesame Semolina Flatbread from Wild Yeast
Crisp Rosemary Flatbread from Smitten Kitchen
Parmesan Cheese Crackers from Smitten Kitchen
Soaked Spelt and Yogurt Crackers from Nourished Kitchen

21 Comments to “Whole Grain Olive Oil Crackers”
  1. Ken Toney on February 23, 2011 at 6:03 am

    I love to make my own crackers. These look delicious. I’ll try them soon. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
    Ken Toney´s last post ..Starting the Spring Garden

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  2. kristin on February 23, 2011 at 7:29 am

    I never have, but I know I should. Cubby loves crackers and bread. This means that I really need to get over my loathing of baking and start making them for him. We can just add it to the list of things I should be doing and don’t seem to have time for. Maybe I can convince the MiL the master baker to give it a try . . .
    kristin´s last post ..YAY! Boo And How Are You

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  3. Kelly on February 23, 2011 at 10:03 am

    I keep wanting to try but it always looks labour intensive or uses tools I haven’t acquired yet (pasta roller – is it worth it?).
    Kelly´s last post ..Vitamin D

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    • Susy on February 23, 2011 at 10:15 am

      You can make them with a rolling pin, it’s just a bit more work. I personally LOVE having a pasta maker. I have very few kitchen gadgets usually opting to do things the long way, but I do love my pasta roller. I make pasta often and it comes in very handy for crackers as well. I got mine at a cooking supply store many years ago for $30, I keep waiting for it to break so I can buy a nicer one, but it just keeps on trucking. Not sure how the cheap ones stack up now, but this one has great reviews on amazon: CucinaPro 150 Imperia Pasta Machine

      Mine looks similar to this $37 one: Prime Pacific Stainless Steel Pasta Machine

      Reply to Susy's comment

  4. TreeHugginMomma on February 23, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Yet again a reason to want a pasta maker and more time to make things.
    TreeHugginMomma´s last post ..Sell By Date 1-10-2011

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  5. Shannon on February 23, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Homemade crackers are so good, especially when you never buy store-bought. Such a treat!

    Reply to Shannon's comment

  6. Amy @ Homestead Revival on February 23, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Excellent post, Susy. I had been thinking about a pasta roller and now I have another excuse for why I need one! We use to buy crackers all the time – love them with cheese or olive bruchetta – but they were getting too expensive. The only cracker I still buy are the Akmak, but these would be a great alternative for a change!
    Amy @ Homestead Revival´s last post ..A New Tiller For The Garden

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  7. Lynda on February 23, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    I love homemade crackers and make them all the time. What I’d really like is a recipe for a Ritz-type cracker…just can’t find one anywhere! If you hear of one: pass it my way…thanks!
    Lynda´s last post ..Harvest Monday Deux

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  8. annie on February 23, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    I make all our crackers and they’re soooo much better than store bought (I can’t believe there was a time when I got by without homemade!). I do use a rolling pin and I make my dough a little soft for this reason, but it’s very quick to roll out by hand. I started out with Alton Brown’s recipe for crackers but now I just do it by eye. Sometimes I make olive oil crackers, sometimes butter and cheese crackers, often I’ll put spices or seeds in but I always use whole wheat.
    annie´s last post ..Rhizobia and Root Nodules

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  9. amy on February 23, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    Eureka! What a great idea to use the pasta roller! I normally roll my crackers out with a marble rolling pin and never get them thin enough….much to my love’s dismay. I have a pasta maker which I never use because I prefer to make mine by hand. I love to see things used successfully in ways they were not intended….Brilliant idea. Thanks!

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  10. Blake @ Salt, Teak & Fog on February 23, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    oh, goody. I have been on the hunt for a good cracker recipe. Made some from a more simple recipe last weekend that were not good at all. And, I also keep a sourdough starter, so I’d be very happy to use it in crackers. Quick question: when you add the 100g of sourdough, I interpret this as 100g of ripe starter — is that what you mean? Thanks!
    Blake @ Salt, Teak & Fog´s last post ..project 365 2011 Week 7

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  11. Morgan G on February 23, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Haven’t yet, but I have sourdough starter and that neat KitchenAid attachment so looks like I’m going to have to give it a go!
    Morgan G´s last post ..Sea Salt Coffee

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  12. Daedre Craig on February 23, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    I’ve never made crackers. It seems kind of time consuming for a snack food…but looks and sounds delicious!
    Daedre Craig´s last post ..Theyre Here!

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  13. Lemongrass on February 23, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    I will have to try these soon. I’ve had the recipe for a few months now. I want to use spelt flour instead of whole wheat flour and add some fresh thyme.
    I stopped buying the crackers that I enjoy eating, cause they are getting too expensive.

    Reply to Lemongrass's comment

  14. Lisa on February 24, 2011 at 8:43 am

    I am always sooo jealous of those who can have gluten. Having been off gluten for the last year for medical reasons and my baking has ground to a halt. I find making GF breads and crackers so hit and miss, most of the time Iand up having to discard what I have baked. I used to make everything from scratch and I am really suffering with the limitations I am finding now. I find cookine loads of yummy stuff for hte kids so hard as I tend to find I like the bowl or spoon out of habit and make myself ill, so I am having to buy everything these days and it is soooo expensive.

    Reply to Lisa's comment

  15. Sincerely, Emily on February 26, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    OK, no more excuses. I have been saying “I want to make crackers” for a while and then I started saying “I am going to make crackers”…..now it is time to ACTUALLY make them!! I know one of the reasons I have put it off was because I didn’t want to use the rolling pin (not afraid of the rolling pin, just didn’t want to do i, it seemed like a lot of work – ha). Pasta roller – I am all over that. That makes complete sense to me! As part of the “real Food challenge” I WILL make them. Thanks for this post and this push. Emily

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  16. Sincerely, Emily on February 26, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Meant to say as part of the “No Buy February” too.

    Reply to Sincerely, Emily's comment

  17. Jamie Kite on February 27, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    Just finished making these crackers and they’re quite good! I needed to add about a tablespoon more oil and 1/4 cup more water to get the dough to come together for me, but that might be because of the humidity here. I’ll add that these crackers have a wonderful texture and hold up very well to whatever dips you might throw at them.

    Next time I’d love to try them with some dried herbs incorporated into the batter and a light sprinkling of salt on top!
    Jamie Kite´s last post ..Strawberry-Almond Buttermilk Scones

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  18. Jen on February 27, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    I just want to say thanks for posting this. I have been meaning to make crackers but hadn’t gotten to it. Using a pasta machine to roll them is brilliant – my kids had a great time cranking them out, so the whole process was fun instead of fussy/puttery as I always envisioned cracker making.

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    • Susy on February 27, 2011 at 10:06 pm

      Oh yeah, and kids are always so much more willing to try new things when they have helped make them!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  19. Gina on March 6, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    I have often made crackers but I never used my pasta roller! What a brilliant idea!
    Thanks!
    Gina
    Gina´s last post ..Bread Baking – Dough Enhancers

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