Olive Oil & Rosemary Wheat Thins
I’m sure that I’m violating a trademark or copyright law by calling these “wheat thins” but that’s exactly what they are; thin, crispy whole wheat crackers with the rich flavor of olive oil and earthy rosemary to boot. More importantly, they taste an awful lot like the real Wheat Thins, which are one of my not-so-guilty pleasure crackers.
Wheat Thins have been a stand by for me since I was barely a taciturn (but cracker loving) tween, and they’re utterly addictive for the gently sweet taste of whole wheat, perfectly salted flavor and thin, crispy crunch on the tongue. However, a few days ago when we were preparing to go visit a friend, my white bean and olive dip was already chilling when I realized that I had completely depeleted my cracker stock. Horrors! Thankfully, a good homemade cracker is never more than a half hour away, so I decided to make one of my go-to crackers but flavored with rosemary to complement the dip.
You guys, if you’ve never made crackers before, it’s really, really easy. Far less fussy than bread making, what with all that kneading and proofing, and infinitely less challenging than fussy and persnickety pastry dough, crackers are like The Every Man of baked goods. They’re laid back, fuss free, and an easy-like-a-Sunday-morning kind of baking option. These crackers are exceptionally easy to make with only 6 ingredients (including salt and water!), the dough comes together splendidly and rolls out like a charm, and they’re crispy and completely baked in the time that it takes you to change clothes and apply another coat of lip gloss. Seriously folks, from start to finish this will take you about 20 minutes….or 35 if you’re unfortunate enough to be like me and your diminutive oven is only deep enough for 1 baking sheet at a time. But even so, that’s not bad at all.
Olive Oil & Rosemary Wheat Thins
Makes equivalent to 1 box
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2.5 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp fine ground kosher salt, plus more to sprinkle
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup warm water
Preheat your oven to 375ºF with your racks set in the center.
Stir together the all purpose and whole wheat flour, salt and rosemary in a medium to large mixing bowl.
Make a small well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the oil and warm water.
Working outwards, mix the wet ingredients into the dry until everything is combined. At first the dough will seem rather sticky but it should come together quickly. If all of the flour is incorporated and the dough seems ‘wet’, add another tablespoon or two of flour until it holds into a supple ball. Knead the dough in the bowl for 2-3 minutes and then set it aside to rest for 5 minutes.
Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Cut a piece of parchment paper as big as a standard baking sheet. Sprinkle a bit of water on your work surface and press the parchment down flat on top (the water will help the parchment to stay put better. Less sliding = easier rolling). Roll the dough out on the parchment paper into a rectangle of even thickness which is as large as your baking sheet. If you develop any holes as you’re rolling, just patch them up with some scrap from a side or corner which looks fat.
This dough rolls out really easily and smoothly, so don’t take a shortcut on this step. Roll it out as thinly as you can and the dough should be less than 1/16″. The dough will shrink in size as it bakes, but the crackers will puff slightly and get thicker. You really want it to be thin or you’ll end up with biscuits instead of crackers (tragedies!) but at least this goes pretty quickly because the dough is so easy to work with.
Slide the dough covered parchment paper onto your baking sheet and cut it into squares or rectangles using a pizza cutter or sharp knife. Sprinkle the crackers with a little bit of kosher salt.
Repeat the rolling, cutting and salt sprinkling process with the remaining dough.
Tuck the crackers into the center of your preheated oven for 14-16 minutes, or until they are golden and slightly browned around the edges. After 12 minutes, check on the crackers. If your oven is anything like mine, the crackers around the edges will be fully cooked while the ones in the center of the pan need the full time to finish cooking. Take the baked crackers off and return the pans to the oven until all of the crackers are baked. Do keep an eye on them, because thin baked goods like crackers can go from a tawny golden to overcooked (completely brown) in a heartbeat. Not that it will be hard to stay close by, considering that the smell as these cook is utterly intoxicating.
Transfer the crackers to a wire rack to cool, but feel free to sneak a sample while they’re still warm. Mike certainly did. And by “a sample”, of course I mean, “a handful”.
Crispy and seasoned with the rich taste of olive oil and subtle but fragrant rosemary, these crackers are certain to satisfy. Now all that you need is a slather of dip to go with them, so might I recommend some hummus (3 ways), spiced white bean and spinach dip, tangy and delightful black olive and yogurt cheese spread, or a tried and true classic like lemony goat cheese and chive spread? Just a suggestion….