Organic Thin Wheat Crackers
These are similar to Nabisco Wheat Thins, but without the refined flour and unpronounceable ingredients.
Makes: about 40 crackers
1½ cups organic whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons olive oil
½ cup warm water
1 teaspoon honey
Extra salt for sprinkling on the tops (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix the flour and the salt in a medium mixing bowl, add the oil, and stir. Mash the mixture with a heavy spoon until it is completely blended and looks like cornmeal. Dissolve the honey in the water and pour most of it over the flour mixture. Stir and mash until it all comes together into a doughy lump. If it is still crumbly, add more of the honey-water mixture, a few drops at a time, until the dough comes together. Put your silicone sheet on your work surface, turn the dough out onto it, and knead it for a few minutes until it becomes elastic and doesn’t crumble when you fold it. Form the dough into a log in the center of the sheet, flatten it a bit with your hands, and then roll it out with the rolling pin to make a thin layer almost as large as the sheet. If the dough sticks to the rolling pin, dust the rolling pin with a little flour or put a second silicone sheet or length of parchment paper on top of the dough, and roll over that (peel off the top layer once you’re done rolling). Pressing gently so you don’t cut the sheet underneath, use a dull knife or a pizza cutter to score the dough into crackers. I make mine into 1¼-inch squares. Sprinkle with salt if desired. Slide the sheet onto your cookie pan, pop it in the oven, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the edges start to turn golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven, snap the crackers apart and turn them over, and return the pan to the oven for a few minutes more to brown the bottoms. (Note: Watch the edges carefully so they don’t get too brown) Cool, enjoy, and store in an airtight jar for up to two weeks.
Organic Cheesy Wheat Tidbits
Makes: about 3 cups of Goldfish-size diamonds
½ cup whole wheat flour
¼ teaspoon paprika
¾ teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1½ to 2 Tablespoons water
Proceed as for thin wheat crackers. After combining the oil with the dry ingredients, add the grated cheese a little at a time. Mash and stir it into your dough with a spoon before adding more, and gradually add a little at a time until it is all mashed in. Add the water a little at a time until the dough just holds together. Knead the dough a few times (it won’t get elastic, as there is too much cheese, but it will get a bit less crumbly). Roll it out thin and make parallel cuts in the dough about ½ inch apart in one direction, then turn the pan 45 degrees and make cuts about ½ inch apart again to form small diamonds. Bake for 15 minutes, remove from oven, flip crackers over, and bake for 5 minutes more, until the thinner parts start to turn golden brown. Break apart, cool, and enjoy. Store in an airtight jar for up to a week (if you can resist them that long). This cracker is also good cut into long strips, similar to cheese sticks, to serve with a meal.
Farm gal, library worker, and all-around money-pincher Jean Nick shares advice for green thrifty living every Thursday on Rodale.com.