Olive Oil Crackers

Olive Oil Crackers Recipe


Today I'm going to try to encourage you to make your own crackers. It's not that difficult or fussy, and the results are infectiously satisfying. What kind of cracker? The cracker recipe I'm featuring today makes thin, snappy, rustic crackers. Though they are sturdy enough to stand up to a hearty dip. The technique is simple and straightforward (utilizing just a few ingredients) and the dough is a welcoming canvas to all manner of seeds, salts, cheeses, spices, or flavored oils that you might want to use as accents. The crackers are fantastically adaptable in this regard. For those of you intimidated by baking with yeast, no worries, I don't use any here.

You can make these crackers just about any shape you like. You can cut them into wide strips, thin ribbons, precise squares - or simply bake them off in big sheets. They go nicely with the artichoke dip I featured last week. I suspect they'd also be great crumbled over this Caesar salad, or diving deep into Rachel's midnight hummus over on Mighty Foods.

I'm going to list of a bunch of suggested toppings in the head notes of the recipe, but I'd love to hear your suggestions as well. Someone always comes up with a brilliant idea or approach that never would've dawned on me. I think I want to do the next batch topped with lemon zest, poppy seeds, black pepper, and Parmesan...but I suspect I could be persuaded to go a different route ;)...

Update 10/08: Lauren posted a gluten-free version of these crackers on her site.

 
 
 
 

Olive Oil Cracker Recipe

If you have trouble tracking down semolina flour, just substitute white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour), it will be make a slightly different cracker but should still work. To get creative with your crackers you can top them with lots of things before baking: freshly grated cheese, artisan salts, cornmeal, a dusting of your favorite spice blend, seeds, or a wash of your favorite flavored or infused oil. You can simply cut the unbaked cracker dough into various shapes using one of those pizza cutting wheels.

1 1/2 cups semolina flour
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 cup warm water
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

special equipment: pasta machine (optional)

Whisk together the flours and salt. Add the water and olive oil. Using a mixer with a dough hook attachment mix the dough at medium speed for about 5 - 7 minutes. Alternately, feel free to mix and then knead by hand on a floured counter-top. The dough should be just a bit tacky - not too dry, not too sticky to work with. If you need to add a bit more water (or flour) do so.

When you are done mixing, shape the dough into a large ball. Now cut into twelve equal-sized pieces. Gently rub each piece with a bit of olive oil, shape into a small ball and place on a plate. Cover with a clean dishtowel or plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 30 - 60 minutes.

While the dough is resting, preheat your oven to 450F degrees. Insert a pizza stone if you have one.

When the dough is done resting, flatten one dough ball. Using a rolling pin or a pasta machine, shape into a flat strip of dough - I can usually get down to the 4 setting on my pasta machine w/o trouble. Pull the dough out a bit thinner by hand (the way you might pull pizza dough). You can also cut the dough into whatever shape you like at this point. Set dough on a floured (or cornmeal dusted) baking sheet, poke each cracker with the tines of a fork to prevent puffing, add any extra toppings, and slide into the oven (onto the pizza stone). Repeat the process for the remaining dough balls, baking in small batches. If you don't have a pizza stone, bake crackers a few at a time on baking sheets. Bake until deeply golden, and let cool before eating - you will get more crackery snap.

Makes a dozen extra large crackers.

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Your Comments


Barb
January 24, 2008

These look scrumptious! What flour(s) would you suggest to make a gluten-free cracker?

 

YOYO Cooking
January 24, 2008

yummy!

love the heathful foods~

 

Babeth
January 24, 2008

God what a yummy picture! Now I want to try and make my own crackers. I have friends coming over this Saturday for "apéro" (French way to say having a drink and finger food) that would be he perfect occasion to try.
Thanks Heidi!!

 

Stephanie
January 24, 2008

I echo Barb's question: could they be made gluten free???

 

White On Rice Couple
January 24, 2008

Your recipe looks so easy and delicious! I like to have sesame seeds on my crackers to eat with Asian dishes. I'm gonna try yours with some toasted sesame seeds! Thanks for the recipe!

 

julz
January 24, 2008

Hey heidi,
Love your blog been a fan for years! I have a pretty good recipe too but like this one lots better!I used whole wheat flour and flax seed for that nutrition punch!thanx again!
Mangare!
Julz

 

Chelsea
January 24, 2008

I was literally just in the kitchen making the mesquite chocolate chip cookies from Supernatural cooking, and I was thinking about making my own crackers and thinking I wonder if there are any cracker recipes on 101 Cookbooks.
Then I came in here and saw this post. I am going to try them tomorrow!
Thanks Heidi!

 

Ya'ara
January 24, 2008

Looking good! Love crackers!!
Will try theses soon..

 

Iyabo
January 25, 2008

I have been a huge fan for a while now and I just had to comment (my first) because not only do these look yummy, I live in Nigeria right now and have been CRAVING decent crackers all week. Little did I know I could make them myself as semolina is EVERYWHERE!! Literally you read my mind, on crackers of all things. You are an inspired inspiration!
Iyabo

 

Julie
January 25, 2008

Yummm...thanks you so much.
Will try making them soon. : )

 

Sophie
January 25, 2008

Sturdy is what I look for in a cracker so these sound good...

How about za'atar or a blend of sumac with sesame seeds for a middle eastern feel? Perfect for dipping into houmous or a harissa/yogurt dip

 

JEP
January 25, 2008

Yes, I do want to make your crackers! btw---terrific photo!

 

aforkfulofspaghetti
January 25, 2008

Fantastic! I'm suitably encouraged to give them a go myself...

 

superblondgirl
January 25, 2008

Those sound fabulous! I need to look into white whole wheat flour so I can make them for my son's snack at school (with some cheese on top!).

 

heather
January 25, 2008

I like to add cumin and cayenne pepper to my homemade crackers

 

Keegan
January 25, 2008

These look amazing! Would they keep for very long stored? And how would you recommend storing them? Could the dough be frozen and baked later?

 

Liz
January 25, 2008

Your crackers look fantastic, and far better for a salad than croutons any day. I'm making homemade soup tonight - I think I'll try these instead of the typical crusty bread. You're full of great ideas!

 

Mary Coleman
January 25, 2008

I never thought about making my own crackers. I don't know why, I thought about making my own bread..the thought process never led to this. What a grand idea. I've got some farro soup for lunch today and no bread...this will work perfectly with it!

 

BeckyAndTheBeanstock
January 25, 2008

These look beautiful. I'm going to have to work up the courage to try them though, because last time I made crackers (admittedly, it was in my early days of messing around in the kitchen) they came out hard and tough and oddly chewy. I like the idea of knowing exactly what's in my crackers though -- nothing hydrogenated, manageable salt, etc, and these look tasty, so I think i will try again!

 

Dee
January 25, 2008

Do you think a food processor be used instead of kneeding?

 

Karin
January 25, 2008

I love making crackers. I made the polenta crackers and ended up giving away little packets of them for Christmas. Thank you for these great recipes!
I also made the espresso caramels and added a little homemade candied orange peel instead of walnut for a crunchy bitter twist.
Thanks again for your great blog.

 

mz priss
January 25, 2008

These sound yummy and I'm making them this weekend. Karin, would you share your polenta cracker recipe? Those sound good too!

 

January 25, 2008

I like to add cumin and cayenne pepper to my homemade crackers

 

lucette
January 25, 2008

I've made your Spicy Polenta crackers a number of times--can't wait to try these.

 

Ashley
January 25, 2008

Sounds like a fun recipe!

 

patsy
January 25, 2008

For those of us avoiding wheat, do you think a mixture of rice and graham (chickpea) flours would work? Or, soy flour?

As for flavorings, I'm all over the sumac and sesame, but my standby is grated (microplaned) garlic and parmesan.

 

Adam
January 25, 2008

I think I'll try these with your Dukkah topping ... mmmm.

 

julie
January 25, 2008

what about Amaranth flour for the hearty and nutty flavor and rice four for the crunch for a gluten free cracker?

 

Juusan
January 25, 2008

WOW! there are so many gluten free people here! that's sort of an interesting turn of events, wouldn't you say? I wonder what percentage of your readership we make up.

I'd love a GF version of this recipe, or perhaps a tip of how to make them GF. I so miss crackers for my hummous...

 

Heidi
January 25, 2008

I didn't test a gluten-free version. How about this. If you come up with a great GF version of this cracker - post it to your site/blog, and I'll update & link to it from the end of the post. I know I have some really great GF bakers as readers.

Mz Priss - here's a link to the polenta cracker recipe I featured.

Dee, I'd opt for mixing by hand - the food processor will cut all those nice gluten strands you are trying to build up in the dough.

Keegan - Keep the crackers in an air tight container - the'll likely keep for days that way. If you are going to freeze the dough, do it after you form it into the 12 blls and rub with olive oil - place in plastic freezer bag. Thaw at room temperature for a few hours before attempting to use.

Keep the topping ideas coming! I already see some great ones! -h

 

Alison G
January 25, 2008

As a long-time reader, first-time commenter (bet you've heard that one before!), I want to say again what a wonderful resource your site is. I'm about to go off to college next year, and your recipes continually inspire interesting, simple ways to make healthy food even when resources are slim (think cafeteria salad bars and tiny dorm kitchenettes).

I would love to make these crackers for an upcoming party for my parents, but wondered whether you had an estimate for how long the crackers take to bake. Your recipe says "Bake until they're deep golden" - any suggestions on when to start checking them? Would hate to burn these lovely munchables....

 

Sarah
January 25, 2008

You know, my dad and I were discussing a few months ago that crackers just don't taste as good as they used to. They're stale-tasting. Or maybe we're just buying the wrong ones. But I very much like the idea of making them myself! Perhaps it will be an adventure for tonight. I am desperately seeking ways to relax this weekend. :)

 

Morgan
January 25, 2008

i have a really great recipe for a roasted red pepper dip from The New Best Recipe(its like a thousand pages) and i think these would go great with =)
but for the top i think ill stick with sea salt and maybe a touch of garlic powder...

 

HMSUZY
January 25, 2008

/how about fresh cracker pepper as a topping, sun dried tomatoes , blanched almonds & minced garlic and lastly .... think any type of pesto ( just hint for flavor)

 

Karin
January 25, 2008

Ms Priss
The polenta crackers that I made were the ones Heidi featured. So Good!

 

Alicia
January 25, 2008

I've been intrigued by the idea of making crackers and I think that these look easy enough for my first shot at it! I think that these would be great with skordalia, a Greek dip similar in texture to hummus but made with potatoes. There's an excellent recipe in the Periyali cookbook.

 

Hillary
January 25, 2008

Have you ever heard of boia?! I ate some in Seattle but haven't been able to find more information about it...but it's essentially olive oil crackers! Thanks for giving me a recipe that is similar.

 

Mansi
January 25, 2008

Sounds perfect for the Game Night party heidi! In fact, I'm hosting a blog event for the same, and these would be a wonderful addition to that:)

Lovely recipe, and so simple too!

 

mz priss
January 26, 2008

Thanks Heidi and Karin! I'm making both kinds today and I'm making the artichoke dip to go with - yum!

 

LeenyDeeny
January 26, 2008

Sophie - my first thought was zataar. I would do half plain and serve with muhamarra.

This will be perfect to take to the parade tonight.

 

biellen
January 26, 2008

My local organic grocery has just in the past couple of weeks begun selling tiny bags of housemade crackers, and I've become addicted to them. Hmmm. This looks like something even I might be able to manage.

 

Maya
January 26, 2008

Wow, wow, wow. I'm not all that good at baking (and I'll be the first to admit it!) even with a baker for a mother, but this dough came together wonderfully, with a warm and stretchy feel in the hands, and I was genuinely surprised at how very simple it was to pull together and get ready for the baking process.

It's resting right now, we'll see how I do on the baking part soon... ;)

 

Muncle
January 26, 2008

I've been using your recipes for over a year now, and I've never been disappointed. These were the perfect thing to do on a boring Saturday afternoon. I did salt and pepper, herbes de Provence, and in an interesting case of experimentation, BBQ sauce. Turned out pretty good.
Alison G, mine were all done within 5 minutes. Sooner, with the sweet BBQ sauce.

 

Maryann
January 26, 2008

I appreciate your post. I was looking for a good cracker recipe. Thanks :)

 

Maya
January 26, 2008

Update on the crackers - they baked up wonderfully. :) My entire family is enamored with these tasty tidbits. Thank you so much for another wonderful recipe, Heidi!

 

Dana Dew
January 26, 2008

oooh! these remind of of the divine crackery pizzas at the now gone auriga in minneapolis. i mean, $5 happy hour truffled parmesany, crispy, olive-oily goodness is just about all i needed in my local around-the-corner restaurant. and scrumptious wines to boot. i ask you all- how could this recipe be slightly adapted to be a bit more aerated? my life will be complete if i can come even close to replicating those excellent pizzas!!

 

Grammy Peg
January 26, 2008

Another plea for gluten-free!

I am down to one cracker I can eat, and had to order them from Amazon (Sesmark Brown Rice Thins). I haven't ventured, in my overcommitted life, into experimenting w/ the GF flours out there.

These look worth every precious minute!

 

maryn
January 26, 2008

These remind me of my (formerly favorite? :-> ) cracker recipe by the late Lee Bailey. His included whole sunflower seed kernels in the dough. The seeds make it harder to get the dough very thin, but give a great richness and texture. I do them with olive oil, thyme and very coarse salt, or black and Aleppo peppers. Look forward to trying these!

 

Helen
January 27, 2008

Goodness these look so perfect for entertaining. I think I'd like to use them as a way of setting the theme for the evening so I might do parmesan for an Italian meal, with some great olive oil and really fine dukkah for a Middle Eastern evening and so on...

Thanks for introducing me to Mighty Foods also. Helen.

 

The Secret Ingredient
January 27, 2008

Great idea! The furthest I'd ever gone in terms of making my own crackers were brushing pita bread with olive oil and salt and baking them into chips----these may inspire me to go whole hog! yum!

 

steamy kitchen
January 27, 2008

Hey Heidi!
I bought 2 bags of hazelnuts and made your butter toasted hazelnuts - they are fabulous! I "Asianfy'd" my second batch and spiced with Sichuan Peppercorn powder and a touch of soy.

 

Lucy Vanel
January 27, 2008

I love these crackers, and love you, Heidi for getting me psyched up to make them. In my version at home today, I added 1/2 cup of gomasio (a japanese condiment made of ground toasted sesame and sea salt) and a nice big dose of mixed seeds - poppy, sesame, flax, sunflower, quinoa, and hemp to the dough. WOW. Next time I will do exactly the same but without the sunflower, which didn't always press well through the pasta maker. Thanks for encouraging the crackers - I love them.

 

Allen
January 27, 2008

Fate led me to your site this morning -- I've been thinking about finding a good cracker recipe. I decided to visit your site today and here's your posting!

I have an addiction for any type of crispy cracker. I'm thinking I might top these with a mixture of black and white sesame seeds. Your post also reminded me that I haven't used my pasta roller attachment in some time -- great tip for how to get them nice and thin.

 

John
January 27, 2008

When I saw this recipe I was inspired and made them straight away. After becoming recently house-poor, we are making more of our food from scratch since our food budget was cut in half! We are now baking our bread and now I can add crackers to the mix. I sprinkled salt and crushed black pepper on them just before popping them in the oven. I hand rolled them and it is important to get them really thin. I baked for 10 minutes and they came out great. I suggest a little less olive oil, they are kind of greasy (not that I mind!)

 

Syreeta
January 27, 2008

I made these today and they were fantastic! We rolled lemon zest and sugar into the dough of some, and cut them out with a shot glass. They were crispy little tart treats.

 

Tiina
January 27, 2008

This recipe is great and so easy! I made these (my first homemade crackers ever!) yesterday and actually just finished eating one! I topped mine with some sea salt plus herbes de Provence, cayannepepper or dried basil. They taste almost too good... :) Thank you so much for the recipe!

 

Heather
January 27, 2008

Seriously...i made these last night with some sea salt and poppyseeds...and they rock. i've been waiting for an excuse to try the Midnight Hummus so i whipped up a batch and now i'm having difficulty to quit eating them. My co-workers will love me when i bring these in. Can't wait to make more with different flavours.

 

Aygun
January 27, 2008

Hi add me .

 

Eco-polis
January 27, 2008

Man these look good!

I came here for the lentil soup, which is warming me quite nicely on this cool rainy day in the desert - it is so simple and tastes much more complex than the ingredients let on; the saffron yogurt is fantastic in it - although mine doesn't look quite the same as yours, perhaps I need a filter :) Made a batch of the buttermilk pancakes to eat throughout the week...

Don't know how your blog passed me by, but I'm here now, and hooked!

 

Dani
January 27, 2008

On a completely unrelated noted,

Whatever happened to Barry the unwilling cook???

 

Teddy
January 27, 2008

hmm i'm a cheat and i bake torillas! :)

 

hayley
January 28, 2008

I'm flabbergasted (and pleased) by such enthusiastic reactions to a 5-ingredient recipe...the ingenious Italians believe that tasting each ingredient is fundamental. Weirdly, honey makes olive oil sing up (and vice versa - although wouldn't try olives with honey :oX ) maybe some black pepper too, then all that's missing is unctuous philly cream cheese....do these crackers form well into thicker strips/ bastons? get the feeling they'd snap against stiffer dips.

 

Robyn
January 28, 2008

I made these Saturday to go with a cheese plate for our book club meeting. I used caraway seeds, poppy seeds, and cracked black pepper for a little variety. They are delicious and everyone raved! Thank you for a great, easy, delicious recipe!

 

Beth
January 28, 2008

First time poster here. :)

I check your website regularly and did so on Friday before I checked out of work to head home to prepare some appetizers for a book club I was hosting. I had prepared some sun dried tomato hummus with toasted cumin the night before and had some basic grilled pitas I was planning on serving it with. I saw this recipes, was inspired, ditched the pitas and made the crackers with a simple olive oil, kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper crust.

The results were divine. Thank you for the inspiration. I love venturing outside of my normal cooking boundaries! (Even with something as simple as a homemade cracker!)

 

abbersnail
January 28, 2008

Hey Heidi!

Thanks for another great recipe! I'm going to try both this and the artichoke dip this weekend for Super Bowl Sunday! Woot!

-Abby

 

holly
January 28, 2008

these look and sound great:)
love your blog!
i make crackers with spelt flour since im allergic to wheat and they came out really hard. do you think spelt would work with these, and would they be as light as with wheat?
Holly

 

Christy
January 28, 2008

These crackers are magnificent. I made them with half white, half spelt flour and some beautiful olive oil a friend got me in Spain, and I tried many kinds of herbs and spices on them. Nigella seeds and a little salt were among my favorites, as were the ones I made with thyme, with oregano, and with curry powder. I also made a few with sugar and sweeter spices like cinnamon and allspice, and those were excellent as well. I think I shall make these all the time.

 

Wesley
January 28, 2008

Ok, crackers may not be the most exciting or impressive thing to make (the general reaction from my friends was "huh?? you made CRACKERS? ...dork." then they laughed at me). But I found this recipe to be very easy and fun. It's rewarding to make your own flavors and experiment from a single batch of dough. I made at least 6 different types and also played with varying the thickness. In my experience, the thinner the better... just don't burn 'em.

 

Julie
January 28, 2008

Yummy! I love how crackers are charred. gives that wonderful wood-ovened taste. mmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

 

Vicki
January 28, 2008

Hi Heidi - I made these crackers last night (with AP flour), topping them with The Spice House's Spicy Sesame Salad Sprinkle - so good, especially when dipped in a cilantro-chili chutney!