Updated: Aug 3
Over the years, Americans adopted snacking as a lifestyle. For the last 5 years the industry has experienced only moderate growth because the demand of snack food has changed. Customers are desiring more healthy options but the quantities of purchases haven't changed. The snack food production industry is projected to continue to experience growth. As a result, established industry operators have released various reduced-fat and low-calorie options as premium products for a premium price.
Fortunately, I didn't grow up with this snacking lifestyle for we didn't have what is considered snack food. As a child we ate only when we were hungry and anything we had on hand, If we played outside and saw a fruit tree, we would snack on freshly picked fruit, We would dig up carrots and radishes and eat them right away. Sweet peas were my favorite as were green unmatured walnuts, and unpeeled sunflower seeds of course. We also ate leftovers from the last meal. My mom never made or even called any specific food a snack.
Shortly after I arrived in the US, I noticed that people carried water bottles everywhere they went along with bags of chips, popcorn, etc. I asked my fiancé David why people always had a drink in their hands, and he said, because if you don't drink often, you have a great chance of becoming dehydrated. Massachusetts' climate is not different from Ukraine where I'm from, and I never had a dehydration issue.
Shortly after arriving in the U.S., I went on my very first vacation to Cape Cod with my future husband and his family. As we drove around together, everyone had brought their favorite bag of some crunchy stuff and started chewing on it. My future sister-in-law Tracy offered me her snack, I asked, " What is it"? She politely answered, "It's a healthy snack you can have when you crave chips". She insisted that it was really good and most importantly low-fat. But I never experienced these types of foods and didn't crave any crunchy stuff. However, I said thank you and began eating this so-called healthy crispy food only because I just wanted to be one of them.
As I'm writing this blog for you, I am wondering if there is a particular season for crackers and did I choose the right time to post this recipe? I guess so, since it's entertaining season, but crackers are versatile and can be eaten any time of the year, right? If your family is like mine, you more than likely want to always have on hand some kind of crackers. We like homemade crackers because they are better than Saltines, Wheat Thins, and Cheez-its since they are made with fresh whole foods that are without any harmful ingredients. Please check out these recipes: Golden fish and Grammar crackers
Just 4 Ingredients
Making your own “fancy” crackers at home is a very simple process, and not only will they be much less expensive, you can customize them anyway you want. For those reasons me and my boys love to make them. You may have other reasons which influence your decision to make these crackers. Whatever those reasons are, your efforts will be rewarded for these crackers are excellent in taste, texture and provide a satisfying snacking experience.
Only 4 ingredients:
Flour all-purpose - and as always I prefer organic unbleached
Olive oil - I recommend good quality oil
Parmesan cheese - please, don't use that stuff from a jar in powder form
Herbs - dry or fresh it's up to you. In the video I was a little bit lazy and used dry Mix Herbs Provencal. For every teaspoon of dry substitute with one tablespoon of fresh chopped herbs: any type will work in this recipe.
These crackers are much more like a fried pita chip, rather than a saltine type cracker, making them perfect for pairing with cheese or your favorite dip. They are delicious on their own for quality parmesan cheese gives them a great umami flavor and the herbs provide enticing fragrance.
Notes on baking
Even though the recipe and technique are very simple and quick, I would encourage you to please watch the video. It is important to pay attention to your baking time. Mine took 15 minutes to bake and the baking time will depend on the thickness of your dough. I would start checking at 10 minutes, and go from there. Other than watching your timing, even a 6 year old can make these crackers for not much can go wrong.
Let's do it...
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 10 - 12 minutes
Total Time: 40 - 45 minutes
Author: Inna of innichkachef.com
Servings: 60 crackers
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons Celtic salt
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (plus 1/4 cup for brushing)
1 cup ice-cold water
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons of dry herbs or 2 Tablespoons of fresh, chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
3. Mix all together, add water and mix dough until it's turned into a ball.
4. Place dough into a plastic bag or plastic wrap. Leave for 20-30 minutes to rest at room temperature or in the fridge.
5. Take one portion of dough and roll it on a well floured surface. The thinner the better, anywhere between 1-2 millimeters is good. Line a baking sheet with baking paper or a baking mat then place the whole rolled piece onto the baking sheet.
7. Bake anywhere between 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the dough.
8. Move to a plate or cooling rack to cool down.
Enjoy the crispiness!