During the holidays, we think of baking all sorts of sweet goodies and often forget about the salty side. In Salty Snacks, Cynthia Nims, provides seventy five recipes for an array of savory snacks including crackers, pretzels, chips, and more. You can learn to make anything from Kabocha Squash Chips, Cheddar Ale Bread, and Poppy Seed Crackers (recipe below). Not only do these snacks allow you to get creative in the kitchen but they're also healthier, containing less sodium then pre-packaged foods and no preservatives. These homemade snacks also made great edible gifts. So whether you want to give a unique present or just have a craving for something salty, Salty Snacks is a source for some delicious ideas.
Poppy Seed Crackers
Makes about 6 dozen crackers
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
1/4 cup poppy seeds
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt or flaky or coarse sea salt
1/2 cup water
1/ 4cup olive oil
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Stir together the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and make a well in the center. Add the water and olive oil to the well and stir until a cohesive dough forms, kneading with your hands two or three times if needed to draw all the dough together. It’s important to not overwork the dough, or it may become tough. Cut the dough into 4 even portions.
Use a pasta machine (see page 12) or rolling pin to roll 1 portion of the dough to a rectangle about 1/16 inch thick, dusting lightly with flour as needed. With the rolling blade of a pizza cutter or pastry wheel (plain or fluted), cut the dough lengthwise into strips 2 to 3 inches wide, then across into 2-inch pieces. Arrange the dough pieces on a baking sheet; they can be snug but should not touch. When one of the baking sheets is filled, bake until the crackers are lightly browned and crisp, about 12 minutes. Some crackers around the edges of the baking sheet may be done sooner than those in the center; transfer them to a wire rack to cool and continue baking the rest for a minute or two longer. Continue with the remaining dough portions until all the crackers have been formed and baked, filling one sheet while another is baking. Ideally the baking sheets should cool off before new crackers are added.
When all the crackers have cooled, arrange them in a basket or bowl for serving, or store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Reprinted with permission from Salty Snacks: Make Your Own Chips, Crisps, Crackers, Pretzels, Dips, and Other Savory Bitesby Cynthia Nims, copyright © 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group. Photo Credit: Jennifer Martiné.