Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Easy Homemade Oyster Crackers #BreadBakers

Easy homemade oyster crackers are puffs of buttery, slightly salty dough, rolled thin and baked to crisp perfection. Float them in your favorite chowder!

Had it not been for this month’s Bread Bakers challenge, I don’t think it would ever have occurred to me to make my own crackers. Crackers are thin and crispy and light. And they come in a box.

But after just a little research, I found out that people all over the world are making homemade crackers! There are recipes for saltines, wheat thins, ritz crackers, water crackers and even homemade cheesy goldfish. I so wanted to make those but I couldn’t find a tiny fish cutter. Is it still a cheesy goldfish cracker if it’s round? No, nah, nope.

The decision was made when I ran across a recipe for homemade oyster crackers on Serious Eats because crab and scallop chowder was already on my menu. And everybody knows that a good seafood chowder needs some light and crunchy oyster crackers floating on the top. Maybe someone in Dubai sells them but I haven't found them yet.

Easy Homemade Oyster Crackers

No oysters were harmed in the making of these crackers. The story goes that these delightful little round crackers were first eaten with oyster stew so that is how they got their name. If you don’t feel like fiddling with a round cutter, by all means use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to make small squares instead.

1 1/8 cup or 140g all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons or 28g cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 in or 1/2cm cubes
1/3 cup or 80ml cold water, plus additional as needed

Whisk your flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder together in a medium bowl.  Or sift them together into the bowl.

Add the bits of butter into the flour and use a pastry cutter or two knives to work the butter into the flour until it resembles slightly damp sand.

Add the cold water a little at a time and use a fork to mix it through the flour until it begins to stick together like a soft dough. You may not need it all or you may need just a little bit more. This is just like making pie crust, but with way less fat.

Knead the dough for a few turns on a lightly floured surface and then roll it into a ball. Cover it with the mixing bowl and leave it to rest for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, adjust your oven rack to the middle position and preheat oven to 375°F or 190°C. Line two baking pans with baking parchment or silicone liners.

Once the dough has rested, cut it into two equal pieces and wrap the second one in cling film. Set aside.

Lightly flour your rolling pin and work surface and roll the dough out to a thickness of about 1/8th inch or 3mm. This is about the same thickness as two US quarters stacked on one another or a single UK one pound coin, if you have either of those handy to compare.

Use a large decorating tip (I used a Wilton 124) or a small fondant cutter to cut the dough into small circles. Transfer to your prepared baking sheet. You can put them fairly close together because they don't really puff out from the sides.

You can also use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut the dough into small squares instead of using a decorating tip, although putting a Q-tip through the tip does make it very easy to poke the dough out should it get stuck.

Form a ball out of the leftover dough and roll it out and cut shapes again. Repeat the process with the other half of the dough until all the little oyster crackers have been cut out.

Bake the crackers one pan at a time on that middle shelf, until the crackers are golden brown.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

This makes about 2 1/2 cups or 175g of easy homemade oyster crackers.

Enjoy as a crunchy snack or float some in your favorite chowder or soup.

Check out all the other creative crackers we have for you this month! Many thanks to our host, Sue of Palatable Pastime for this great theme.

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

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