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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Going Crackers

Our Cork Poppers group was planning to meet and Rick and I volunteered to bring bread for the tasting and dinner and crackers for the tasting. There's always an elaborate cheese platter and pretty much everything on it is eaten by the end! This selection is from last summer's gathering.


It was suggested to me by my friend Kim that perhaps I should make the crackers. After all, Rick was making the bread.


Good idea. So, I searched for cracker recipes, coming upon those by all the one-named cooks: Ina, Julia and Martha. And there were many more. These are Ina's. Not bad -- not really "crackery" -- more buttery like a sable. In fact, she should have named them sables, not crackers. But a tad rich.


Then I tried three recipes with varying degrees of success. The long, flatbreads are from the "Toledo Blade" and would have been fine if I'd rolled them thinner, but the dough kept springing back. The big round ones were Julia's and I gave them a big zero. The little round cheesy ones are from Joy the Baker.


Those were good. But I needed more than one kind. When moaning about this to blogger Marilyn, she shared her recipe for me, which reminds me of biscotti.


You bake loaves of bread with lots of seeds and cranberries. Refrigerate the end product and the next day you cut them into cracker pieces and bake again for awhile on a low oven to make the crisp and dried out -- very crackery!


Yay! Blog Land comes through!


The Poppers got Joy the Baker and Marilyn the Blogger. And, since Marilyn's dry-out method worked, I was able to rescue the Toledo Blade.Here's the finished basket (the ones in the bowls were the Trader Joe's {Plan B.)


Ina is worth another try. Less butter or maybe better kneading. But apart from Marilyn's, I really recommend Plan B unless you have lots of time and are feeling particularly adventurous! (Note: I'm going to try Marilyn's method with other savory quick bread recipes, too!)

Coming next -- Our Cork Poppers reviews of the Wines of Italy!

22 comments:

The Artful Diva said...

looks mighty tempting!

Joanne Huffman said...

I have to admit I'm unlikely to make my own crackers; I would go directly to plan B. But these look very tasty.

Anne Jeffries said...

I've always wanted to try making crackers. I'm inspired. I think I'll try this with Erin while we're in Indianapolis.

Jeanie said...

Your tray looks beautiful and I bet the homemade crackers got eaten before the plan B Trader Joe's crackers.

Marilyn said...

The first time I had a cracker similar to the one I shared with you was in a specialty shop in Canada. They were so good. Then when I came across this recipe I had to try. I end up making them in miniature loaf pans, which work really well. Oh I need to make some soon. All your crackers look so good. What a treat for the Cork Poppers.

gigihawaii said...

Those crackers look delicious. You are such a creative chef.

Linda Jo said...

That all looks incredibly delicious!!!!

Mary said...

Wow! It all looks so delicious. :) I love cheese, crackers and breads as much as chocolate. Sounds strange, but it's true! :) I would like the crackery ones better too. But it doesn't matter what kind of cheese. I adore it all!

Mae Travels said...

It seems to me that there's a conceptual problem: it's so unusual to bake crackers on a small scale (even at an artisanal bakery) that all our expectations are for very uniform very crisp, long-lasting, crunchy little bites, highly salty and with a high fat content. And not always such healthy fat.

If you want to bake a savory bite-sized starchy base for eating cheese or various spreads, maybe it's better to think of it as something other than "cracker."

Interesting how that's totally different from the idea of a cookie -- we have a very well-developed sense of artisan or home-baked cookies as well as the idea of (say) vanilla wafers or oreos.

Shelia said...

Hi Jeanie, I'm very impressed - your crackers look so good. You just never know how tasty things will be until you make them yourself. Your tray is just lovely and I'm sure everyone loved them.
Thanks for popping in to see me.
be a sweetie,
Shelia :)

~*~Patty S said...

You are so adventurous and industrious = Yum!
oxo

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning, Jeanie! Looks like fun and DELICIOUS! It's party time....spring is invited, but has refused my invitation. Oh well, we'll start without here, in the COLD!

Much love!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I am glad that a bloggie friend was able to come through with a suggestion! I am impressed that you took this on as it seems like a bit of a finnicky project, but the results looks wonderful and I am sure the cork poppers loved them!

shoreacres said...

Of all the things in the world that I am not going to do, making crackers is pretty close to the top. In fact, I've never once in my life thought of making crackers - why would you? There are perfectly acceptable toasts, crackers, flatbreads, cocktail loaves, etc. in the grocery store.

Great photos of what seems always to be a good time, though. As for your cracker making? Well, you've just confirmed me in my prejudice!

Tracy said...

VERY interesting your adventures with cracker making, Jeanie...and very impressive too! I made crackers once, and they were a total flop. I've not made them since... LOL! All these look so good though. Can't wait for the "wine report" next! ;o) Happy Day ((HUGS))

Bella Rum said...

Yes, I was going to say that I would try Marilyn's with other breads for variety. I've never tried to make crackers. I have to say, though, even if they didn't turn out as well as you would have liked, your presentation is very appetizing. Your basket arrangement is beautiful.

I need orange said...

The problem with the dough springing back when you tried to roll it -- I had that very problem with the only crackers I've baked.

I am pretty sure that letting the dough rest (15-20 min?), before rolling it out, would relax it to the point that it wouldn't fight being rolled.....

You are an inspiration -- I should try again!

Arti said...

I admit reading your post, no, looking at the pictures make me feel so hungry. And I haven't had breakfast this morning. Thanks for all these ideas, albeit I know I'll never actually do the baking of them. Probably just look out for where I can get them here in my city, without a membership in any Cork Poppers Group.

Willow said...

What a yummy display indeed !

Virginia said...

My wine group is Wine and WHIners! :) Your spread makes me want to join you.
V

paris parfait said...

Looks delicious! Very impressed that you made them all yourself! That must have taken a considerable amount of time. I'm sure your friends enjoyed sampling such yummy creations.

Retired English Teacher said...

These all look quite good. I think you were quite adventurous. Years ago, I mean like many years ago, I made soda crackers. They weren't bad. But I remember they were a lot of work.

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