Every time I serve these shatteringly crisp, lemon-rosemary flavored crackers, people go crazy.
Two texts that I received recently explain what I mean…
The first one was from my sister, Annie. It came after a family get-together in late October. My sisters and sister-in-laws gathered from all over the country here in Raleigh for a long weekend rendezvous. We had an incredible time being together, and created a plethora of sweet memories.
As you might imagine, I had lots of fun, planning and preparing food for the weekend. I shared a favorite entree shortly after their visit, a delicious Chicken and Shrimp Posolé Verde.
One of the appetizers I served that weekend was a silky smooth hummus paired with these Lemon Rosemary Flatbread Crackers. All the sisters seemed to really enjoy the crackers, and the day after they returned back home, I got this text from Annie: “I am making your crackers… dough is rising :)” I had to laugh – Annie and I are cut from the same cloth. When I try something new and really love it, I can hardly wait to get back home and make it myself.
The second text came yesterday. It was from my daughter-in-law, Lindsay. I’d served the crackers as part of an appetizer before our Christmas Eve dinner. I sent the extra crackers home with Lindsay as she was cooking for her dad, grandmother, sister and brother-in-law on Christmas day. I thought they might come in handy.
I guess they did, as this was the text I got from Lindsay: “Laurie (Lindsay’s sister) says your crackers are in the top 5 things she’s ever had, and that they are the number 1 cracker/chip ever ????”
I answered back: “Oh, and I was just wondering if I should blog them. Guess that answers that!!”
Lindsay responded: “She says please! She wants to make them asap!”
So how could I not share these crazy good crackers with you? I made another batch today for some company we’re having next week (they keep very well) and Scott shot a few pics of the process, as well as the results.
They’re not difficult, especially if you have a stand mixer. I let the dough hook do all the kneading work. Then it’s hands-off time while the dough rises. You want the dough to double in size which takes anywhere from 45-60 minutes, depending on how warm your kitchen is. I read a fun tip recently on how to know when it’s double in size – take a picture with your smart phone before it rises then you can determine easily when it’s doubled.
Here’s another great tip I figured out many years ago. If you’re kitchen is chilly, or you just want to speed up the rising time of your dough, boil some water in a Pyrex cup in the microwave. When it’s nice and warm and steamy inside, place your bowl with the dough inside the microwave (keep the water cup in there too), covered with a clean kitchen towel. Let the towel hang out of the door a bit and close it lightly. The towel in the door, will keep the light on in the microwave – which creates the perfect warm (but not hot) environment for your yeasty dough to rise! Just don’t turn your microwave on, or you will have guaranteed unwanted fireworks!
Yes, you will need a rolling pin, as these crackers are rolled super thin.
Then they’re transferred to a sheet pan where they’re brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with a light shower of flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (optional).
Don’t worry though, if you don’t have a mixer, you’ll just have a bit of kneading to do. Think of it as good way to build up those guns (arms)! You’ll get the same wonderful results with the crackers, however you can skip the bicep workouts that day; a real win-win!
So this one’s for Laurie, Annie … and for you! Make these Lemon Rosemary Flatbread Crackers – asap! I promise, everyone will love them and you just might get some fun, interesting texts too!
P.S. I mentioned these flatbread crackers are great with hummus. They’re also wonderful with salsas and other spreads. I love serving them with soup as well as with salad. Another fun idea – today for lunch, I spread a small dinner plate with hummus, then topped it with thinly sliced leftover steak, chopped tomatoes, halved Kalamata olives, diced Feta cheese and finely chopped fresh cilantro. I finished it off with a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Served with these crisp, Lemon Rosemary Flatbread Crackers, it made a wonderful, light (and super delicious) lunch.
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- For the dough:
- ¾ cup warm water, 110-115˚F* (I recommend using a thermometer if you're not used to working with yeast.)
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 cups all purpose flour plus more for rolling out the dough
- 1 ½ tablespoon finely minced fresh rosemary
- finely grated lemon zest from 1 medium size lemon
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- For topping:
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
- flaky sea salt (such as Maldon) or kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Combine water, yeast and sugar in a measuring cup and stir to dissolve. Let sit for about 5 minutes to activate yeast. It will become foamy and bubbly when it's activated. If this doesn't occur after 5 minutes, your water may have been too hot or not warm enough. You want it to be between 110˚F and 115˚F, which is fairly hot to the touch but not so hot that it's uncomfortable.
- While yeast is activating, combine flour, lemon zest, rosemary, salt and oil in the bowl of a stand mixer.
- When yeast mixture is foamy add to flour in mixing bowl. Attach a kneading hook and knead for about 5 minutes. Dough should come together and form a ball. If too loose and it doesn't form a ball, add a bit more flour (just a teaspoonful at a time), if too stiff add a bit more water, (a few drops at a time) until a ball forms.
- f you're making these flatbread crackers without a mixer, combine flour, lemon zest, rosemary and salt in a medium size mixing bowl. Add oil and activated yeast mixture and stir until well combined with a sturdy wooden spoon. Turn mixture out onto a floured work surface and knead until a ball forms. Continue to knead for another 6-8 minutes until dough is smooth and no longer sticky, then proceed with recipe as directed below.
- Drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil over dough ball and turn to coat. Cover mixing bowl with a clean kitchen towel and set in a warm place to rise. When dough has risen double in volume, punch down and turn out onto a well-floured work surface. Knead dough for 15-30 seconds, just to coat with flour.
- Preheat oven to 325˚F. Line 2 or 3 sheet pans with parchment paper. Pinch or cut off peanut (in the shell) size pieces of dough, about 36-48, depending on size**. You can go a bit bigger or smaller (for more bite size crackers).
- With a flour coated rolling pin, on a well-floured surface, roll each piece of dough till paper thin*, turning several times to coat with flour. When you think it's paper thin, roll one or two more times. The secret to rolling this thin is to keep your rolling pin an d work surface well-floured, otherwise the dough will be sticky. Also rub rolling pin with flour between each piece of dough to remove any small dough bits that may have stuck.
- Transfer rolled dough pieces to prepared sheet pans and brush lightly with olive oil. Hold on to one corner of the dough as you brush each piece with oil. Scatter lightly with flaky sea salt (or kosher salt) and freshly ground black pepper (if desired - you can just use sea salt if you're not a huge pepper fan).
- Bake crackers for 10-13 minutes, rotating pans half way through or until golden brown and crisp. Remove from oven and transfer to cooking racks. Repeat with the rest of the dough, allowing pans to cool between baking. Cool completely and store in a airtight container. Will keep well for up to a week in an airtight container.
- Yields 36-60 crackers, depending on size.
** Shape can be elongated or rounded, but they do not have to be perfect. These should be somewhat rustic, irregular shaped crackers. Also crackers can be made larger or smaller. It just depends on how much dough you pinch off.