These Chili Oil Rubbed Flatbread Crackers are shatteringly crisp and amazingly flavorful. The DYI chili oil takes these delicious crackers way over the top!
That was two weeks ago, and I haven't been able to forget the delightful Chili Oil Rubbed Flatbread Crackers since. This week, I couldn't stand it any longer and I decided to try my own rendition. I checked my pantry and saw that I had all the ingredients I'd need, except for the chili oil. I knew that Whole Foods would most likely have it in stock, so I stopped there on my way home from work. I had my hand on the $6 bottle of oil when suddenly, there came an "Ah-ha!" moment; a practical little voice in my head said "Why would you pay $6 for a bottle of oil that you could probably make for almost nothing?". Good question, why would I?
I set the bottle right back on the shelf, scurried home and checked out my friend, Mr Google. Sure enough, there were a zillion recipes for chili oil. I checked out a few of them and realized there was nothing to it; heat up a neutral-flavored oil, throw in some crushed red pepper or dried peppers, turn off the heat and let it sit. The longer it sits, the more of the delicious flavor gets infused into the oil. I quickly made a batch; it took less than five minutes and cost less than 50 cents!
Okay, so once the chili oil mystery was solved, I was on to the Chili Oil Rubbed Flatbread Crackers themselves. I played around with some basic ingredients and came up with a simple, easy to prepare dough. It helps to have a heavy-duty stand mixer, but they can certainly be made without one. After an hour rise, the dough is divided into peanut-sized pieces and rolled paper-thin. A light brush of the chili oil and a scatter of sea salt is the final touch before a stint in a hot oven.
The result? Your family, friends and guests will take their first bite and say, "What IS this?" and "WOW!" and they'll be begging YOU to share the secret. If you're tempted to smile and keep it to yourself, just remember, I told you, so it's only right that you pass on the delicious news.
P. S. These Chili Oil Rubbed Flatbread Crackers make a wonderful appetizer with dips, spreads, hummus etc., but they're also perfect with soups and salads.
By the way, if you enjoy these Chili Oil Rubbed Flatbread Crackers, you'd love our Lemon Rosemary Flatbread Crackers or our Ridiculously Easy Olive Oil Rosemary Crackers. They're all so simple, inexpensive and the tastes are out-of-this-world!
- 1 cup neutral-flavored oil such as sunflower (my favorite), safflower, canola or peanut oil
- 1½ tablespoons crushed red chili flakes
Place oil in a medium size sauce pan and heat over medium heat till oil is very hot, but not smoking. Test to see if oil is hot enough by adding one or two flakes of crushed red pepper. They should sizzle just a bit.
When oil is hot, add the crushed red pepper (it will sizzle a bit) and remove pot from the heat. Set aside to cool. When cool, transfer to a glass jar, cover and allow to sit at room temperature for 12-24 hours then refrigerate until ready to use.
- ¾ cup hot 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
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil***
- ½ teaspoon salt
- chili oil purchased or see recipe below
Combine water, yeast and sugar in a measuring cup and stir to dissolve. Let sit for about 5 minutes to activate yeast.
While yeast is activating, combine flour, 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 add a bit more flour, if too stiff add more water, a few drops at a time until a ball forms. (If you're making these without a mixer, combine flour 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.
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 about 30 seconds.
Preheat oven to 325˚F. Line 2-3 sheet pans with parchment paper.
Pinch or cut off peanut size pieces of dough, about 30-40, depending on size*.
With a flour coated rolling pin, on a well-floured surface, roll each piece of dough till paper thin*, turning several times to coat wit 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 and work surface well-floured, otherwise the dough will be sticky. Transfer rolled dough to prepared sheet pans and brush lightly with chili oil. Scatter lightly with sea salt or kosher salt.
Bake crackers for 8-10 minutes, rotating pans half way through or until pale golden brown and crisp. Remove from oven and transfer to cooking racks. Repeat if needed with the rest of the dough, allowing pans to cool between baking. Cool completely and store in a airtight container.
* ~ 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.
** ~ Recipes with yeast will often use the term "dissolve yeast in lukewarm water. 110-115˚F is NOT lukewarm to me. It's quite hot! You definitely don't want the water too hot, but if it's not hot enough, the yeast won't activate resulting in minimal rise. That's why I suggest using a thermometer if you're not used to working with yeast.
*** ~ If you like things really spicy, substitute chili oil for some of the olive oil.
Hi. Stupid question for you......after the chili oil has set for 12 to 24 hours, before refrigerating, do the chili flakes need strained out? Thanks in advance.
Chris Scheuer says
Hi Shelley, you can strain out the chili flakes but it's not necessary. They sink to the bottom.
Question, do you think this would work w/white whole wheat flour? Love your blog!
Chris Scheuer says
I do sub white whole wheat flour lots of times with good result although I haven't done it with these crackers.
Robyn Sinclair says
I finally mase these today, Chris, fantastic. I used the pasta machine. So easy. I'm getting compliments, thanks to you!
The Café Sucré Farine says
I think that just brilliant Robyn! The pasta machine would make these crackers a breeze! Aren't they quite addictive. I was so happy when I made them thinking that they were so thin and not fried, that each one would be fairly low in calories and fat, but then when you eat a whole pan full, well, that's a different story!! 🙂
Robyn Sinclair says
That's the major thing I love about them, Chris they're not fried, but they have the same satisfaction as something wicked and fried. Many thanks again, I can see myself making these on a regular basis.
Just now I'm experimenting to see how long they stay crisp in an airtight container. I only made half the quantity of the recipe because it's quite a lot.
Looking at the responses, you probably already know these look wonderful. I look forward to trying them. They are like little tiny extra thin pitas! FA-Bu- Lous.
Hi Chris, your bread cracker look extremely good. I think hard to stop munching cos it's so tempting and addictive. YUMMY! Wish I can have a few pieces now. 🙂
Have a lovely week ahead,regards.
Natalie G says
They look awesome, especially because of the chili oil! I love how thin they are too, would go fantastic with all sorts of yummy dips.
I too want to live in your neighborhood. You are such an inspiration. Thanks for doing the research for the chili oil and also for the recipes.
Claire @ Claire K Creations says
Yum yum yum Chris. Do you think I could make chili oil with fresh chilis? I have so many in my garden at the moment it would be a shame to waste them. I do have a lot of oil and even some little oil bottles left over from my Christmas recipes. Sounds like it was meant to be.
The Café Sucré Farine says
You could use fresh chilies Claire but I believe you need to cook them a bit first - here's a good article: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-best-tips-to-make-chili-oil.htm#slideshow
Dining Alone says
My husband would love these, he loves anything with a little spice to it! Thanks for the chili oil tip, I was a sucker and bought some a while back at the Asian market.
Wow, those sound and look delicious!
Debra Eliotseats says
I cannot wait to try these. Cudos for saving six bucks and making your own chili oil! What about a drizzle of that oil in that great looking carrot soup too?
Jennifer@ Peanut Butter and Peppers says
I have been waiting for this recipe! I love the crackers! Another one of your recipes to make this week!!
Angie's Recipes says
I will have to make a batch for myself too! Would be great with some bean dips too.
Karen (Back Road Journal) says
The flatbreads sound similar to what a restaurant near us serves. Chili oil makes sense of what the secret ingredient is. I'm glad you shared your cracker recipe.
I never think to make my own crackers, but these look too good to pass up! I love the chili oil. 🙂
The Sketched Chef says
Yummy, it all look amazing !
I have never made crackers in this way, but I am definitely going to give it a shot 🙂