This is more than a recipe post. It’s a small epiphany about why making homemade crackers is a great way for home cooks to learn (or improve) key techniques in the kitchen.
I’ve become hooked on making these. I’ve been making small batches, a couple of times a week. I’ve been playing with different flavors. I’ve been wondering if this is something I should even post here. I’ve been thinking that perhaps people would find the thought of making crackers at home to be a waste of time, given that there is such a wide variety at any grocery store. Who would take the time to make crackers? So, I originally decided not to share this. Then, something started to change my mind.
I found myself making a better quality cracker each time. Each batch got easier to make than the previous one. I was getting better at other baking and dessert making techniques. This was becoming fun. I realized that the basic techniques here are transferable to many other foods in the home kitchen: preparing a basic dough, rolling pin techniques, and making consistent cut-outs. These are all needed for making breads, cookies, pie dough, pastries, and pasta.
This recipe is a bit unique. It uses tomato sauce as the primary liquid. Use a puree-style sauce (no chunks). A quality tomato puree would work great. I also stuck with traditional butter for the fat. I tried olive oil to be healthier, but found the crackers got too crisp and dull tasting. I have used both All-Purpose and Whole Wheat flour. For me, the Whole Wheat is easier to work with and the taste is more rustic. If your dough is too tacky, cut a little more flour in. Likewise, if it is too dry, you can add a bit of water. When it rolls out it should not stick too the surface or the rolling pin.
Please remember, as with any fresh bread, cake, or other baked item, there are no preservatives here. These will only last for a couple of days. I actually cut this batch in half most of the time (as I am the only one eating them). But, for a family, I would think these will disappear really quickly!
PS, I think your kids would have a ball making these with you!