Oatmeal Crackers

Oatmeal Crackers Recipe

Repetition has been the theme around here lately. And you'll see why in just a minute. In a nutshell, my life has been dialed into one channel - it's called the "you have a cookbook coming out" channel. There's a lot going on, and the more unmanageable my in-box gets, the more I find myself craving moments of mindless repetition. The more mindless, the better. Roll-and-stamp cookies or crackers fit the bill nicely - like these oatmeal crackers. I've also started the process of assembling a thousand little postcard packets. I finish each one with a small piece of pink-striped tape, and I swear, I smile inside when each pack is completed. Simple pleasures.

Oatmeal Cracker Recipe

The postcards came about as I started thinking that it would be nice to have a little something on hand to give to people who make the effort to come out to a signing, or to give to friends I bump into out and about, or to mail to all the people who helped me test recipes. The guys at the print shop up the street from my house helped me make four different postcards, each featuring a different image from the book. I ordered a box of flat glassine bakery bags, a self inking stamp, and picked up some paper tape in Japan Town.

Oatmeal Cracker Recipe

As far as the postcards were concerned, I kept it simple - image on one side, then all-white back with a tiny super natural every day logo, and the words "stamp" and "postcard" micro-small. I wanted the bags to show a hint of the underlying image through them. Come to think of it, I wish they were a bit more transparent, but they work well enough. A semi-transparent kraft bag was another direction I was thinking about, but I had a hard time finding a good source with volume.

Oatmeal Cracker Recipe

So, I've been making postcard packets. And at the same time, I've been thinking about crackers. I like the recipe for Oatmeal Crackers in The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas. I thought I might make them as part of a lunch menu I did for an event with Little Flower School and June Taylor yesterday. I'd top them with a spread (of some sort) in place of crostini. Well - I ended up doing the crostini from Super Natural Cooking instead, but I like these crackers enough that I wanted to share them. I have some tips and tricks I've come by to make them extra good.

Oatmeal Cracker Recipe

The concept for these crackers is straight-forward. You make a pot of oatmeal, combine it with rye & all-purpose flour and a few seasonings. Then work it all into a dough. When these crackers are at their best, they are full of toasty oat flavor, hearty and substantial. They are snappy not soft, and will keep for a week or more sealed tightly in a jar. But! To get them this way you need to roll the dough as thin as you possibly can. And then you need to bake the crackers to within an inch of their lives - dark, dark golden. Can you see how thin I've rolled the dough up above there? Work it even thinner if you can.

Oatmeal Cracker Recipe

You can cut the crackers into whatever shapes you like. And you can either bake them bumped up next to each other, or spaced out. I make strip shapes for cheese plates and spreads, and tiny animal crackers for my nephew from the scraps.

Oatmeal Crackers

I tend to use fine grain sea salt in the crackers, and then a flakier salt sprinkled across the tops before baking. I grind my anise seed in a spice grinder.

1 cup / 3 oz / 85 g rolled oats
1 1/4 cups / 300 ml whole milk, heated just to boiling
1/4 cup / 2 oz / 55g room-temperature unsalted butter
4 tablespoons natural cane sugar
3 teaspoons aluminum-free baking powder
2 teaspoons crushed anise seed - optional
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 1/4 cup / 5.5 oz / 155g dark rye flour
1 1/2 cups / 6.75 oz / 190g all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
more salt for sprinkling

In a large bowl combine the rolled oats and boiling milk. Let stand until cool. To speed this up I sometimes place the bowl in the freezer for about 35 minutes. When cool, stir in the butter, sugar, baking powder, anise seed, salt, and rye flour. Stir in the all-purpose flour, a bit at a time, until a stiff dough forms. Turn out onto a counter top and knead until the dough comes together and is uniform.

Heat the oven to 425F / 245C with racks in top and bottom thirds.

Divide the dough into two parts, just so you have a manageable amount to work with. Now, you're going to want to roll the dough out very thin - 1/8th-inch. This way your crackers will have snap. Have a look at the photo up above, and try to get it thinner than that. If your dough is at all stubborn, just let it rest there for ten minutes or so, then try again.

Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheets [they don't spread much), and sprinkle with a bit more salt - flaky salt if you have it. Bake for roughly 14 minutes, but here's the trick. When the cracker bottoms are deeply golden, roughly 9 minutes in, flip each cracker, and brown the flip side as well. Use your best judgement and remove when well done. Cool completely before storing in large air-tight jars.

Repeat with the remaining dough, and cut the scraps into tiny soup crackers.

Makes dozens of crackers, depending on how large or small you cut them.

Adapted from The Great Scandinavian Baking Book by Beatrice Ojakangas.

Prep time: 45 minutes - Cook time: 15 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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Comments

  • Those look great! The rye flour and anise seed sounds amazing. These are definitely on my to do list :)

    Heidi @ Food Doodles
  • The crackers look delicious, and I love the packaging for those postcards. Simple and fulfilling... just like your recipes!

    sweet road
  • You are a brilliant woman! I love the postcards and crackers are right up my alley! I am always reaching for something crunchy but I will not settle for any old greasy cracker. I will make these as soon as possible!

    Michelle
  • These are absolutely adorable and show such impressive craftmanship with food - rolling dough that thin by hand and making straight lines with a dough cutter are tricky tasks! I'm wondering where you found those cutsie cookie cutters, I love the duckling! Where can I find info/dates about your book signings? HS: Hi Julianna, I'm hoping to post some info in the next week or so.

    Julianna Starr
  • What a lovely idea the postcards are, very thoughtful- in fact I might start using my photos in the same way. Thanks for the idea! Bianca

    BiancaSasha
  • What a great recipe for healthy and delicious crackers! I've never made crackers on my own but will definitely try this - and I love the animal shapes - so cute :) Congrats also on getting close to your cookbook coming out - I can't wait to come to one of your signings in SF!

    Anjali Shah
  • Heidi, what a beautiful and generous gesture making the postcard packs. I am going to keep a close eye on where you might be doing signings in SF. My sister will be in SF for several days at the very end of April and if there was an opportunity for me to pre purchase the book at a store like Omnivore perhaps and have it signed for her to collect & bring home to Australia I would be so thrilled. HS: Hi Kate, It looks like I might be popping up to Portland/Seattle at the very end of April for a few days. But mail me on the side when you know her dates. We'll work it out so that she can swing by and pick up a copy to take back to you!

    KateP
  • I am going to really really try to make it to one of your sf book signings! Thank you Heidi for being such a great model of coolness, kindness and talent. xo

    Jessica
  • Making homemade crackers is on my project list for this spring. These sound great and very different from what I had in mind. I think I'll try them.

    Janet @ MusicCityFoodie
  • I have to try these! I have found that rolling out homemade crackers super thin is definitely key. It takes some muscle!

    Maryea @ Happy Healthy Mama
  • You're so creative! I will have to try them. Can't wait for your new book

    Amy
  • Congratulations on being that much closer to publishing! I got the Great Scandinavian Baking Book for Christmas and while I love it, I have not baked as much from it as I would have liked because I am perhaps too spoiled for choice? Where to begin among all these delicious items? I have not had good luck with crackers in the past but perhaps this is a sign that I should try again (especially as we have had far too much sweet baking recently). It's also a great chance to use my rye flour which has been neglected of late. (PS just made your ginger chocolate cookies from a past Christmas post--they are incredible--somehow we still haven't eaten them all but they are as soft and delicious as fresh baked!)

    Sara
  • Homemade crackers are a big deal lately! I can't wait to try your version! Also, I can't wait to come to one of your signings! Keep us updated :)

    DessertForTwo
  • I love these crackers! I'm planning my birthday brunch- with assorted cheeses, and will make these for my guests! I love your crackers. Your first book, and website have changed my life!

    Sarah
  • The postcards are so pretty and so are the crackers. Good luck with all the work you have to do for the cookbook. It'll be all worth it at the end.

    Nisrine M.
  • love that you start w/a pot of oats and add rye! they look satisfying and delicious!

    PB&Jargon
  • love that you start w/a pot of oats and add rye! they look satisfying and delicious!

    PB&Jargon
  • The postcards are beautiful. I love the oatmeal animal crackers but I would probably go crackers doing them. Rectangles are nice.

    Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet
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