You know how it is when you have a particular food item that you just love to buy; it’s like your little treat. Well, I used to buy these rustic hand-made olive oil and sea salt crackers at one of my frequented grocery stores. I loved these little crackers. Sometimes I would plan a whole evening’s meal around these crackers with a nice bottle of wine and some cheese. One day I went to the store and they were gone. I asked and nobody seemed to know anything about them. It’s like these crackers just disappeared.
So, I decided to make some at home. I’ve been searching for a while and recently found this recipe on-line from 101 Cookbooks, a wonderful food blog that I enjoy reading. I had a lot of fun making these and they taste almost like my favorite artisan crackers. I did use a combination of sea salt and a special Hawaiian black salt on my crackers. The black salt gives the crackers a bit of flair.
1 ½ cups semolina flour
1 ½ 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
Sea salt for top of crackers (see notes below)
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 or mix and knead by hand on a floured surface. The dough should be just a bit tacky, but not sticky. Add a bit more water or flour to get it right if you need to.
When you are done mixing, shape the dough into a large ball. Divide into twelve pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, dip in olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Cover with a clean dishtowel and let rest at room temperature for 30 – 60 minutes. It won’t rise because there is no yeast in it.
While the dough is resting, put a baking stone into your oven and preheat to 450 degrees. When the dough is finished resting, flatten one dough ball. Using a rolling pin shape into a flat strip of dough. You can also use a pasta machine to roll out the dough. Cut the dough into whatever shape you like at this point. Set dough on a floured (or cornmeal dusted) flat-sided cookie sheet, poke each cracker with the tines of a fork to prevent puffing, add any extra toppings, and slide 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 golden around the edges and let cool before eating. Makes a dozen extra large crackers. Break into smaller pieces upon serving.
If you can’t find semolina flour, substitute white whole wheat flour or even all-purpose flour. You can adjust the thickness to your liking. I wanted a thicker rustic cracker, but you can make them very thin if you prefer. I used sea salt and black salt on top of my crackers, but you can use freshly grated cheese, artisan salts, any spice blend, or brush on a flavored olive oil.