The more I cook, the more I think it makes sense to serve everything fresh – including things like crackers, bread, etc. Although it might sound a bit difficult, making a fresh batch of most any dough recipe can be frozen up to 6 months – then popped into the oven when ready to serve. Which is why, right alongside my frozen pot-pie’s, I have a log of these (yes, I’m going to need a new freezer quite soon).
Like many of my recipe’s, my mom called me up and told me about this one – she knows I love entertaining and am always looking for new and different things to serve (the standard chips and dip can get quite boring… and don’t even get me started on a bowl of lonely, dry, mixed-nuts). Plus, the cupcakes and tea for the ladies gatherings, and pizza and mixed-nuts for guy’s night’s just isn’t quite cutting it…
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup fresh, grated parmesan
1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh, chopped thyme leaves (i used 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme, since I didn’t have fresh on hand)
1/2 teaspoon fresh, ground pepper (try to use fresh – the tiny cracks of pepper are traceable when the cracker is cooked and add character to it)
It’s quite simple – first beat the butter until creamy (if you’re using an electric mixer, use the paddle to beat the butter on low for 1 whole minute). Add all the remaining ingredients until combined well: flour, salt, thyme and pepper). Once combined, roll the dough into a long log form – try not to keep it too thin or thick, so as to give the appearance of the cracker (and not a biscuit). Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes, or up to 4 days. (At this point, I just pop mine into the freezer until I have guests and am ready to serve). When ready to serve, slice them about 1cm thick, and place them on a buttered pan or parchment paper. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 20-25 minutes, or until light golden brown. Halfway through the cooking process, flip the crackers over once so they bake evenly.
That’s it – it’s such a simple recipe, and they come out flaky, light and delicious. Perfect accompaniment to tuna, or piping hot artichoke dip. Plus, it’s a sure crowd pleaser and surprise since most guests don’t expect fresh, baked crackers. Enjoy !
Recipe, courtesy of Ina Garten