Easy Holiday Entertaining: Spicy Cheddar Cheese Crackers

December 17, 2014

 

 

Spicy Cheddar Crackers
Makes 384 small crackers  
 

All-purpose flour

280 g

9.8 oz

2 cups

Fine gray salt

9 g

0.3 oz

1½ tsp

Red pepper flakes

4.5 g

0.16 oz

2 tsp

Unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes, cold

112 g

4 oz

8 Tbsp

Cheddar cheese (preferably half white and half yellow), grated

450 g

16 oz

 

Cold water

≈30 g

1 oz

2 Tbsp

1. Put the flour, salt, and red pepper flakes into a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and mix until you have a crumbly mixture. Add the cheese and mix until the cheese is broken down and completely incorporated. With the processor running, stream in the water, processing until the dough comes together.

2. Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

3. Divide the dough in half. (The dough can be worked with right away or wrapped individually in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month; if frozen, defrost completely in the refrigerator before using.)

4. Dust the work surface with flour. Use a rolling pin to roll one piece of dough into a rectangle, slightly larger than 12 by 16 inches, adding flour as needed to the work surface and rolling pin to keep the dough from sticking. Turn the dough as you roll to keep it at an even thickness. Dock the dough with a fork. Using a pizza cutter, or a sharp knife, trim the edges to form a 12-by-16-inch rectangle. Cut the dough into 1-inch-wide squares. Using a spatula or a palette knife, transfer the squares to one of the lined sheet pans. Repeat with the second piece of dough and the second pan. (The pieces will all fit on the sheet pans, but they will be close together. You can also spread them farther apart on the pans, and bake in batches as needed.)

5. Bake for about 15 minutes, rotating the pans once from top to bottom and front to back midway through baking. The crackers will puff up as they bake, but you will know they’re done when you smell the cheese. The crackers will look more golden brown, but they will not be firm at this point. Remove from the oven and let cool on the sheet pans. If the crackers are not completely crisp once cool, they can be popped back in the oven for a few minutes.

6. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days. (If the crackers soften, they can be popped back into the oven to crisp them up.)

 

Excerpted from Della Fattoria Bread by Kathleen Weber (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2014. Photographs by Ed Anderson.

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