Saturday, January 23, 2010

Seeded Buttermilk Crackers

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
This is a wonderful recipe for buttermilk crackers from Nancy Silverton’s Pastry from LaBrea Bakery cookbook.

3 1/2 cups AP flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons butter chilled and cut into small cubes (5 ounces)
1 1/4 cups Buttermilk
Optional items to sprinkle on crackers: fennel seeds; anise seeds; sesame seeds; dill seed; poppy seeds; caraway seeds

In the bowl of your food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and pulse a few times to combine. Add butter and pulse mixture till you create the consistency of fine meal. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and make a well in the center. Pour in buttermilk and draw the dry ingredients from the side of the bowl into the mix till all combined. This part is a sticky mess — go wash your hands! Next, with lightly floured hands, turn dough onto a floured table and knead a few times and gather dough into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to bake, cut dough into 1/4s and keep 3 refrigerated while rolling out one. Heavily flour table surface and roll dough to a 1/16th thickness. It should be almost see-through. Now flour the top of the dough and using a rolling pin to transfer the dough, roll it onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Using a fork, poke roles in the dough — which stops it from puffing up — and then chill dough on sheet pan for 30 minutes or so. Do this with all 4 pieces of dough. Preheat your oven to 350. At this point, using a pizza cutter, you can cut the dough into small shapes. Then chill again for 30 minutes. Brush or spray the top of the dough and add seeds. Bake 2 sheets at a time for 25-30 minutes until lightly browned and crispy. You might want to turn the sheets halfway through baking. Allow crackers to cool and separate the crackers. This recipe makes 1 1/2 pounds of crackers.