What do you do if you run out of crackers? Silly question really, you either hop in the car and nip into the local shop or the nearest supermarket. Right?
Or, you put your sensible walking shoes on, go into the outhouse pick up the dogs’ harnesses, collars, coupler and lead? You then take all the walking paraphernalia into the house; calm the dogs down. Quickly tog Filska up, chase Heath around the sitting room; when you pretend to go without Heath he obediently sits in front of you, looking at you with his big innocent brown eyes as though butter could not melt in his mouth. I don’t know if he doesn’t like having all this gear on, because he certainly loves going out for a walk, or is he just being playful? The latter I suspect. Now back to the matter in hand do I, a confirmed baker-holic, go to all the bother of getting the dogs ready just to go out for a few minutes walk just to buy some savoury biscuits? Would you? Nipping out in the car is out of the question, it’s in Lerwick and I’m at home. I suppose we could do without. No, impossible! I don my apron, turn on the oven and get cracking.
I’ve been itching to make some savoury biscuits for a while. The last batch I made was months and months ago, well Christmas was nearly four months ago after all. The family declared I was evil at that point as there was no way that they could resist homemade parmesan and cheddar biscuits.
Today I decided to test their resolve again; however I was going to lighten them up a little: by using no cheese and less butter. My next baking experiment is savoury spelt crackers with a hint of rosemary and smoked paprika to perk them up. The uncooked crackers are quite a lurid orangey colour before they cook but they change to a nicer golden hue as they bake.
If there are more than a dozen left by the time I get up tomorrow I’ll be astonished (and slightly less svelte than I already am).
Don’t they look so easy to eat, so crisp, so savoury so small and so many too. ‘Eat me’ is just written all over them.
Spelt, Rosemary and Paprika Crackers.
300g spelt flour, or wholemeal.
1 TSP salt, I used an extra half of a spoonful more
1/2 TSP pimenton or ordinary paprika
1/2 TSP dried rosemary
100 g butter
100 – 110ml cold water
If you have a food processor place the flour, sugar, salt, butter, paprika and rosemary into the bowl and give everything a quick whizz around.
Slowly pour the water on through the feed tube until everything clumps together. I accidentally added 120ml of water and it was well past the clumpy stage, more pasty really – I added a couple of handfuls of plain flour to make it less tacky to touch. Opps!
Grease, or line several baking trays with baking parchment. I just used silicone mats.
Preheat oven to 200°c or 180°c fan
To make by hand mix the flour, sugar, salt, paprika, rosemary together rub in the butter to distribute it. Gradually add the water until all can be combined onto a ball.
Flour your work surface liberally and place a quarter of your dough on the surface. Keep your rolling pin well floured and roll out the dough as thin as possible and I mean wafer thin. Keep checking that it isn’t sticking, use a palate knife to ease it up and sprinkle more flour under it.
Cut into small squares -about 2cms. I used a pastry cutter but a knife would do the same job. As you can see mine were not all regular shapes. I’m a home cook and this isn’t The Great British Bake Off after all.
(I sprinkled some with salt and pepper, however this is entirely optional )
Carefully lift them onto your prepared baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake for about 6 to 8 minutes. Keep an eye on them as they will quickly go from golden to dark, deep brown with a hint of carbonisation!
Leave to cool on a baking tray and they will crisp a little more.
If you find that once the crackers have cooled they’re not crisp, pop them back in the oven for a couple more minutes.
Store it an airtight container. I believe that they could keep for a week. However; savoury biscuits never last more than a couple of days in our house.
I hope you are enjoying the musings and meandering s of this apprentice blogger. If you can please leave a comment. Thank you.