Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Walnut Crackers

Lately I've been making a lot of complicated recipes. A lot of ingredients, a multitude of steps, or a lot of time spent stirring, flipping, or cajoling. I don't mind making complicated recipes. I don't mind creating complicated recipes. I don't mind emptying out my spice cabinet or shopping for exotic ingredients.

But every once in a while I feel a need to peel back all the layers and make something that's as simple as possible. I'm not willing to sacrifice taste for simplicity - it still has to taste good.

These crackers are not only simple in terms of ingredients, but they take very little time to make, particularly if you use a food processor to do the kneading for you. You can also do the kneading in a stand mixer or by hand, if you prefer.

Eat these all by themselves as a crunchy snack, or you can top them with something - cheese would be tasty.

Walnut Crackers

1 cup bread flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup walnut butter

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Put the bread flour, salt, and baking powder in the bowl of your food processor. Pulse a few times, then turn the processor on and then leave it running. Pour the water in through the feed tube as fast as the flour can absorb it, then leave it running until the dough gathers itself into a ball. Keep processing until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Add the walnut butter to the food processor and process until it is incorporated into the dough, and the dough is again smooth and elastic.

Flour your work surface and turn out the dough. Roll it as thin as you can to fill as much of the baking sheet as possible. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet, then cut it into 1- to 2-inch squares with a sharp knife or pizza cutter.

Bake the crackers at 375 degrees until lightly browned and they are no longer soft to the touch, about 15 minutes.

Transfer the crackers to a rack to cool.

Let's talk about nut butters

The walnut butter I used was from Artisana Organic Foods - and the Virtual Potluck bloggers also received nut butters to work with and write about.

For a complete rundown of all the bloggers and their recipes, go visit Marnely who is the host for this event, over at Cooking with Books.

Artisana sells some interesting products, including both raw and roasted nut butters and coconut products - a pretty good variety, and I'll bet there are some you won't find at your local stores. The company says that all the products are hand-crafted in small batches from hand-selected nee-harvest nuts.

I haven't worked my way all the way through the samples I received, but so far I've liked every one of them.

Want more info? Check out Artisana's Facebook page.

For my participation in this event, I received products to work with. I was not required to say nice things about the yummy nut butters.