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Homemade Snack Crackers — A Healthy Choice

One of the popular snacks in our house is homemade cheese and crackers. Since I already make cheese out of our own milk, I had been researching some cracker recipes to go with it. Now that I have found a Manitoba source of certified organic flour my daughter and I got to work.

We are very excited with this recipe for Onion-Caraway Rye Crackers and the Vegetable Cracker variation we developed using Clubhouse Italiano spice (which is a blend of dehydrated peppers and onions). Next fall I want to dehydrate my own assortment of vegetables and herbs to use in this recipe. The taste sensations that could be created are endless!

ONION-CARAWAY RYE CRACKERS

1-1/2 c. whole-wheat flour

2 tbsp. dehydrated chives (commercial onion flakes could be used)

1/4 c. butter

1/2 c. rye flour (if rye won’t go with the other herbs you choose replace with whole-wheat flour)

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. caraway seeds

3/4 c. water Coarse salt

Preheat oven to 400F. Place the caraway seeds in a bowl and pour enough boiling water over them to cover. Let them soak about 5 minutes to plump.

In a medium bowl mix well flours, onion and baking powder. Melt butter and stir in until well blended. Stir in water until smooth dough forms. Divide in half; cover; let stand at least 10 minutes. Place half the dough on lightly greased 17×14-inch baking sheet. Roll it out on the baking sheet, dusting with flour if needed. The thinner the better. Using a pizza cutter or very sharp knife slice the dough into desired cracker shapes. Repeat with other half of dough. Bake till crackers are dry and crisp but not overbrowned. Remove to racks to cool.

Variation:

To make the vegetable crackers use only whole-wheat flour, add 2 tbsp. Clubhouse Italiano spice (or whatever dehydrated vegetables are appealing) instead of the dehydrated chives and do not use caraway seeds. Make the same as for the Onion-Caraway Rye Crackers.

These Oatmeal Crackers not only went very well with soft goat cheese, but we also liked them with soup. They baked a bit less crispy making them more of a biscuit texture.

OATMEAL CRACKERS

1-1/3 c. whole-wheat flour

2 tbsp. sugar

2/3 c. buttermilk

4 tbsp. butter Rolled oats

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

Preheat oven to 400F. In a medium bowl mix whole-wheat flour, 1 cup oats, sugar, baking soda and baking powder. Add buttermilk and butter; stir until smooth dough forms. Divide the dough in half on a greased 17×14-inch baking sheet. Roll out to fit the pan, using extra oats to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin. Cut into 2-inch squares, then triangles. Prick all over with fork. Bake for approximately 8 minutes. Repeat with rest of dough. Remove to racks to cool.

When I have honey in the house I like to make these crackers as a treat. We find they go well with a nice cheddar-type cheese.

HONEY-GRAHAM CRACKERS

2 c. white flour

1/3 c. packed brown sugar

1/4 c. honey

3 tbsp. cold water

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 c. whole-wheat flour

1/2 c. butter

1/4 c. olive oil Preheat oven to 425F. In a medium bowl stir all the ingredients till well blended. Divide in half. Place half the dough on an ungreased 17X14-inch baking sheet; flatten into a 5-inch square. Roll out on baking sheet to a 12X10-inch rectangle, dusting dough lightly with flour to keep it from sticking to the rolling pin. With a knife score 2-inch squares, leaving squares in place. Prick all over with a fork; bake in 425F oven till browned. Remove from oven; cut apart while hot. Let cool on baking sheet (they will crisp as they cool). Repeat with rest of dough.

The added advantage of making our own crackers was our ability to decrease the amount of hydrogenated fats that were being consumed by our family, which is something our doctor recommended to do. The only hard part we have found is keeping our men steadily supplied with their favourite after-chores snack.

Debbie Chikousky farms at Narcisse, Manitoba

Email her at [email protected]

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