We’ve been making our signature CRACK since the day we opened at La Petraia. These addictive crackers have become quite popular over the years. I’ve shared the recipe with countless guests who now make their own at home and some people have even tried to persuade me to start a cracker business. I think this could be quite a lucrative venture but I’m sure I’d get bored running a cracker factory!
Anyone who maintains a sourdough starter knows that frequently you have leftover starter after you’ve built up your mother for baking. I first started making “Crack” as a way to use up this excess and I’ve never followed a precise recipe. I just mix enough flour to make a stiff dough into the leftover starter along with a some olive oil, salt and seeds. I then freeze it in small portions to bake off as we need it. We roll the dough very thin using a pasta machine, but a rolling pin works too. I add whatever seeds I have on hand. Small seeds like sesame and poppy work best as they won’t tear the dough when they pass through the rollers of the machine. Larger seeds like flax, fennel, cumin or anise are best ground to a powder first. Black pepper give the crackers a spicy kick and lately I’ve been using a lot of it.
Below is a recipe for our classic CRACK I developed for Dinamica. You don’t need sourdough for this version. The beautiful photo by Michael illustrates how we serve them at Petraia. Over the years, I’ve become a serious crack addict and developed lots of other recipes for things that CRACK. We now make polenta, rice, buckwheat, farro, emmer, leftover risotto and spelt crack. I’ll be sharing those ideas with you via via in this series of posts. But lets get things going now with our classic crack…..
- 145 grams all purpose flour
- 85 grams water
- 1 tablespoon mixed seeds (sesame, poppy, chia, etc)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- A healthy teaspoon or so of spicy seeds like cumin, caraway, anise or fennel or ground black pepper (optional)
- More salt and extra virgin olive oil to taste for brushing on before baking
- Combine all the ingredients except the additional salt and the oil and mix by hand or in a stand mixer until the dough comes together in a stiff ball.
- Wrap the ball in plastic and let it rest for an hour
- Preheat your oven to its maximum temperature
- Cut the dough into 4 pieces.
- Roll each one out as thin as you can between 2 sheets or parchment (or use a pasta machine)
- Leave the sheets whole for flat bread or use a pastry wheel to cut the dough into large squares or rectangles for crackers
- Place the bottom parchment and rolled out dough on a baking sheet.
- Brush the surface liberally with olive oil and sprinkle with the salt
- Turn the oven off.
- Bake in the cooling oven for approximately 20 minutes or until crispy.
- Make sure your oven has come to temperature and stayed there for at least 10 minutes before you turn it off. This ensures it will hold enough heat to bake the cracker. These thin crackers burn easily so baking them in a cooling oven helps prevent this and results in a cracker with a beautiful even golden color.