The cracker strikes many a pose. The scallop-edged ersatz elegance of the Ritz. The pale solicitude of the Saltine. The deep brown, deeply dimpled smile of the Wasa. Whichever cracker you prefer, here's how to make a simple, homemade version of everyone's favorite snack.
This recipe is by Leah Eskin, a Tribune special contributor, and was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 Cup fine or medium-grind cornmeal
- 1/2 Cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 Cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut up
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 3/4 Teaspoons salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 Tablespoons half-and-half
Step 1: In a food processor, combine 1 1/4 cups flour, 1/4 cup fine or medium-grind cornmeal, 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (cut up) and 1 tablespoon sugar. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Pulse to a crumble.
Step 2: Drizzle in 2 tablespoons half-and-half. Pulse until mixture clumps into a soft dough. Add an additional 1 tablespoon of half-and-half, if needed.
Step 3: Preheat oven to 400 F.
Step 4: Pat dough into 2 disks. Set 1 disk on a sheet of parchment paper. Roll out and trim to a very thin 12-inch-by-12-inch square.
Step 5: Slide parchment paper onto a baking sheet. Use a pizza or pastry wheel to score dough into 36 two-inch square crackers. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt; press in lightly. Punch in neat rows of holes with a fork.
Step 6: Bake until crisp and golden, about 6 minutes. Cool crackers, then snap them apart (feel free to munch on a few). Repeat with remaining dough disk. Store crackers in a tin at room temperature.