Cracker trial

Baking something that is so readily available is not obvious. But lately I haven’t been able to find our favorite crackers, the Kashi stoneground 7-grain crackers, in stores. Also, the rosemary plant that moved from its winter home in the guestroom to the patio is so full and bushy that not using rosemary often makes me feel guilty each time I walk by and inhale the wonderful scent. And, finally, I had buckwheat flour that needed to be used up, as it does not have a very long shelf life. Three good reasons to try my hand on crackers.

I used solid Amish farmer’s cheese but I doubt it is easily available outside Pennsylvania. Substituting it with well-drained Greek yogurt should work as well. The crackers might just end up a bit moister and might require a tad longer baking and a bit more salt, as Amish farmer’s cheese is saltier than Greek yogurt. I wanted the crackers to be even so I cut them with a ruler but that’s just me being a neatnik… For a more rugged look, just break the sheet in pieces after baking.

Buckwheat Rosemary Crackers

3½ ounces buckwheat flour

3½ ounces rye flour

1 level teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons + 1½ teaspoons cold butter (1¾ ounces)

3 ounces solid farmer’s cheese

1 heaping tablespoon Greek yogurt

3 tablespoons + 1 ½ teaspoons 2% milk (1¾ ounces)

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

1. Put the flours, baking powder and salt in the food processor. Dice the butter and the farmer’s cheese and add. Process until the mixture is crumbly.

2. Add the yogurt and milk and process until the dough forms a homogenous mass and sticks together in a ball.

3. Transfer to a bowl and quickly incorporate the rosemary using the tips of your fingers. Do not overwork the dough. Cover and let rest for 45 minutes.

4. Line a large (14×16 inch) baking sheet with parchment paper. Dust with flour. Roll out the dough directly on the parchment with a floured rolling pin. The dough should fill the entire sheet. You can patch the dough as needed but make sure to smoothen out the sutures.

5. Cut the dough into 1.5-inch squares using a ruler and a sharp knife. Place the baking sheet in the middle rack of the cold oven. Set the oven to 375 degrees F and bake until the crackers are lightly browned. Depending on the time it takes your oven to reach the set temperature the crackers might already be done at that point (mine were).

6. Transfer the parchment with the crackers onto a cake rack and cool slightly. Break the crackers apart and completely cool on the rack. Store in airtight tin containers.

Makes about 80 crackers

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