When I agreed to participate in the Joy the Baker Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off sponsored by Hyperion and hosted at girlichef, we were given a a selection of recipes to try out, 2 choices per week with the option to make one or both choices. I figured I'd only do one recipe each week. I didn't want to stress myself out by trying to overachieve. For the first week, we had the choices of Chocolate Fudge Brownies with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting and Flaxseed and Cracked Pepper Cracker (say that 5 times fast). I was planning on only making one of them...and of course I went with the brownies (that's a no brainer). After seeing everyone's cracker post...I couldn't resist. I HAD to give them a try. And let me tell you....I am so happy I did. They are easy to make and taste great! You have the earthiness of the whole wheat flour, the nuttiness of the flaxseed and the slightest heat from the cracked pepper. And you can make them any shape you choose!
(time to get out your cookie cutters and have a little fun)
One side note....if you choose to purchase the Joy the Baker Cookbook (and I highly recommend that you do) you might notice that cracked pepper is not on the list of ingredients. A mild oversight somewhere along the line. It has been determined, and confirmed by Joy, that 1/2 tsp is what should be there. (it's now there, in my copy of the book, written in my handwriting).
One more side note: Flaxseed meal. It's a bit pricey. I happened to already have some on hand from some bread I made a while back (apparently it keeps very well in a very cold fridge). But I did see it at one of my local health food stores, sold in a bin. Which is great...a buck something a pound and I'd only have to purchase as much as I needed. Hopefully you have something near you that does the same. I was able to purchase the golden flaxseed in the same manner.
Flaxseed and Cracked Pepper Crackers
1/4 cup golden flaxseed
1/3 ground flaxseed meal
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
2 TB unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
1/2 cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 350' F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium sized whisk together the flaxseed, flaxseed meal, whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat), all purpose flour, baking soda, salt and cracked pepper.
Add the butter and work it into the flour mixture, quickly, using the tips of your fingers.
Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk. With a fork, work everything together until all of the flour mixture has been incorporated with the buttermilk, making sure every bit of the flour is moistened. You will have a shaggy dough but no worries....it'll come together very nicely in a minute.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough about 10 times to bring everything together. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about 10 minutes.
Once chilled, cut the dough in half (place one half, wrapped in plastic) back into the fridge. With the remaining half, roll out until it's about 1/8 of an inch thick. Which basically means...as much as you possibly can. You don't want the dough to be thick otherwise your crackers will have more of a biscuit texture than a nice crisp cracker.
Cut the crackers into 1 1/2" rounds, or use a pizza cutter to make squares...or use your favorite small cookie cutter. If the crackers are much bigger than 1 1/2", you will need to increase the cooking time accordingly.
Place on a cookie sheet and prick each one a few times with a fork
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until just golden brown around the edges. Allow to cool before storing them in an airtight container.
Store at room temperature for up to 4 days.
And there you have a whole crud load of delicious, healthy crackers that you've made yourself!
Serve with your favorite cracker topping....cheese, savory spread such as Garlic Jelly
But to be honest with you....I preferred them as is....plain and simple, straight out of the handy dandy zip lock baggy on my desk....waiting to be snacked on throughout the day. Or as a nice little side while enjoying my Merlot night cap.
However you decide to eat these tasty little morsels....make sure you share with a friend and here the awe in their voice as they say..."You made these?!"
(I'm sad to say that I just popped the last cracker in my mouth. Gee darn...I might have to make some more)