Homemade Wheat Thin Crackers

Homemade Wheat Thins
I spent several months on the Paleo bandwagon and I just decided that it’s not the way I want to feed my family. While many people have an intolerance to gluten, we don’t. I also strongly feel that wheat and grains are an important and wholesome part of our diet. (You may not agree, but you’re not the one cooking at my house. Not to be snide or anything, but we’re doing what feels right for us.)  So, we like gluten! As much whole grains as possible. I’m trying to stick with only whole wheat flour.

This has put a serious crimp in my baking. I love to bake for my family. Not so much with the cooking. I tend to get in ruts when it comes to cooking. But give me a mixer and an oven and watch out. And since I’m trying to cut waaaaay back on sugar too, my baking has slowed way down. That makes me sad. Baking for those I love gives me an incredibly deep satisfaction.

Out of desperation I ordered the King Arthur Whole Grain Baking book. I trust those folks over at King Arthur. They’ve been messing around with flour for over 200 years. If anyone could give me some ideas on baking healthy food, I figured it was them. And they haven’t let me down.

My family’s favorite recipe from this book so far has been Wheat Thins. You know, those little square crackers. (I never thought of making crackers before, either.) For the first twelve years of my life I thought these were called Wheat Things and I was not interested. But the homemade version of these is out of this world. I have a wheat grinder so I use freshly made flour (I use white wheat because it tastes better) but you can use store-bought white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour as well. This recipe is super duper easy in a food processor. If you don’t have one, well, I guess use a pastry cutter or your fingers. (Have fun with that!)

These aren’t diet food, as you will see by the generous use of butter. But they are healthy-ish and can be made without preservatives or GMO’s. So yay for that. As far as I’m concerned I’d rather be feeding these to my kids than cookies. This recipe makes about 75-85 crackers.

Here’s what you need:
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 Tbs sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
8 Tbs. butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. vanilla
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If you’ve got a wheat grinder you’ll need to grind some wheat first. Two cups of wheat berries will give you enough for the recipe plus flour for rolling out. Since there are plenty of people who have never seen a wheat grinder, here you go:

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I like to grind the flour so it’s pretty fine, but not on the finest setting. It takes less than five minutes to grind this much flour. Couldn’t be easier!

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You’re going to mix up the ingredients in your food processor (or a big bowl if you’re doing it by hand). Put in all the dry ingredients first (flour, sugar, salt, paprika) and mix it all up well. Then slice up the butter (it can be cold) into 8-10 pieces. Add these to the processor.

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Process until it looks sandy (a few small chunks are fine)

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Mix the water and vanilla together then pour in as the processor is going.

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In a few seconds it will form a cohesive ball and that means it’s mixed.

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Now comes the rolling out of the crackers. You’ll need a rolling pin and some parchment. You don’t have to have parchment but it will make this a million times easier. If you haven’t got any, liberally sprinkle flour all over the counter. You’ll have to transfer the crackers one at a time to a cookie sheet afterwards. If you’ve got parchment the crackers can be rolled out, cut and baked on one piece without moving anything individually.

Divide your dough into two equal-sized balls. Coat your rolling pin with flour because this dough is sticky (You’ll need to cover it with flour after every couple of passes of the rolling pin.) Roll it out until the dough is pretty thin. The recipe recommends rolling it nearly paper thin which is not only a pain, but we’ve decided unanimously that the crackers taste better a little thicker. Maybe around the thickness of a tortilla.

Once the dough is rolled out, cut the edges with a pizza cutter so the dough is basically a big square shape about 10-12″ across. Then cut the crackers into roughly equal-sized squares.

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Sprinkle the crackers lightly with salt. I think sea salt tastes a little better, but use what you have. You don’t need very much.

Slide the entire sheet of parchment onto a cookie sheet and bake at 400º for 6-8 minutes. (Crackers shrink a tiny bit as they bake so don’t worry about them being too close together.) They need to be dark golden brown when they’re done. These aren’t like cookies that are ruined if they are overdone. Don’t take them out too early or they will be soft. Soft crackers are gross.

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These crackers cool in just a couple of minutes. They taste especially good with hummus, but if your family is like mine they’ll inhale them instantly all by themselves.

RECIPE:

Wheat Thins
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3 Tbs sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
8 Tbs. butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Put all the dry ingredients first (flour, sugar, salt, paprika) in a food processor and mix for a few seconds. Slice up the butter into 8-10 pieces. Add these to the processor. Process until it looks sandy (a few small chunks are fine)

Mix the water and vanilla together then pour in as the processor is going. It’s done once it’s formed a cohesive ball.

Divide your dough into two equal-sized balls and place one on parchment paper. Cover other ball with plastic wrap. Coat your rolling pin with flour because dough is sticky. Roll out dough on parchment until the thickness of a tortilla.

Cut the edges with a pizza cutter so the dough is basically a big square shape about 10-12″ across. Then cut the crackers into roughly equal-sized squares.

Sprinkle the crackers lightly with salt. I think sea salt tastes a little better, but use what you have. You don’t need very much.

Slide the entire sheet of parchment onto a cookie sheet and bake at 400º for 6-9 minutes or until crackers are dark golden brown. Don’t take the crackers out too early or they will be soft not crispy, but watch them closely because they can burn quickly!

 

| Filed under Health, Recipes, Yum

3 thoughts on “Homemade Wheat Thin Crackers

  1. What a GREAT blog! Your pictures make it easy to understand and follow, and simple enough to try. You should write cookbooks in your spare time! (Between canopies, plumbing, girls camp and six kids, WHAT spare time?!?) And I can vouch that these crackers are addictively delicious!!

  2. So now why did you bake them instead of buy them? For the home-made ingredients or for the fun of baking? Or something else?

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