Cracking Up

Its time for my vacation! Its a much needed time away from the hustle and bustle of my crazy life. Between blogging, my career and Stephan’s business, we stay VERY busy. So when we can find time to take a few weeks to travel, its very necessary! We leave today for Frankfurt, Germany and then will be making side trips to Cologne (for Photokina), Rome and possibly (hopefully!) Amsterdam. I do plan on blogging while we’re away, since we lug the “big” camera everywhere we go. You can also keep up with Stephan’s blog, as he will definitely be updating more than me.

As for today’s post… they are some of the easiest crackers you will ever make. I think a monkey (OK, a well trained one) could make this. All it takes is about 10 minutes mixing and rolling, and another 10 or so in the oven. Fresh, delicious crackers in no time. I saw the recipe in Gourmet Magazine (July 08) and knew I had to try it. You rarely come across such a fool-proof recipe that sounds so good. I made two batches, both very different, both fabulously tasty. The first batch (as photographed) was as the recipe was written with fresh rosemary. The 2nd batch was with 1/2 whole wheat flour, pink peppercorn and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Unfortunately, too much wine = no photo of 2nd batch…. but it was fantastic!

Crisp Rosemary Flatbread Recipe (Gourmet July 08)

1 3/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbsp chopped rosemary (plus a few extra springs)
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 c water
1/3 c olive oil, plus more for brushing
flaky sea salt, such as Maldon

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with one heavy baking sheet on racks in the middle of the oven. Stir together the flour, chopped rosemary, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center, then add water and oil and gradually stir into flour with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Knead gently on a work surface 4 or 5 times.

2. Divide dough into three pieces and roll out 1 piece (keep remaining pieces covered with plastic wrap) on a sheet of parchment paper into a 10 inch round (shape can be rustic, dough should be thin).

3. Lightly brush top with generous amounts of olive oil and scatter small clusters of rosemary leaves on top, pressing in slightly. Sprinkle with sea salt. Slide round (still on parchment) onto prepared (hot) baking sheet and bake until pale golden and browned in spots, 8-10 minutes. Rotate pan about half way through baking.

4. Transfer flatbread (discard parchment) to a rack to cool. Repeat with remaining 2 rounds on fresh parchment. Do not oil or salt until just before baking. Break into pieces.

Makes 4 Servings

Note: I baked two at a time and used my convection feature. This made it go MUCH quicker. Just don’t walk away, or it will burn!

Note: This can be flavored with your favorite herbs, and is great with whole wheat flour. Also great with sprinkling of cheese.