Although I’m a pretty laid back person, I can be a bit obsessive at times. Like when I find a new song I love and play it over and over, needing to feel all the feelings the song evokes in me. I’ll play it on repeat in the kitchen while I cook, listen to it in the car with the windows down, sing it in the shower; it’s not that the song is stuck in my head, it’s more that I want it in my head. When I find something good, I go with it.
The same thing happened recently with cheddar crackers. Like, I’m currently in a committed cracker relationship and I don’t care who knows it. Random, I know. A few weeks ago I was at my grandparents’ house waiting for dinner to be ready, sculpting creatures out of play-dough with my sisters, cousin, and niece, and snacking on goldfish. After that, I was crazy about cheddar crackers. I found myself stopping at Target after the gym to grab a bag of cheddar bunnies, staking out the cracker aisle at Whole Foods for my favorites (but, they’re way too expensive for crackers, delicious or not) to go on sale, and otherwise spending all my time thinking about how much I wanted to make tiny animal shaped cheese crackers but how unbearably annoying it would be to cut out all those little shapes.
Then, since my brain was already in full-on cracker mode, I ended up making a batch of rosemary-olive oil crackers to go on a cheese platter. A few weeks later I was walking around my kitchen, staring into the depths of my pantry, thinking about what to make but also wishing I had some cheddar crackers to snack on. Then I realized that, hello, I can just make my own cheddar crackers and keep them square; they don’t have to be precious baby animal shapes. There’s always a lifetime supply of sharp cheddar in the fridge and I know how to make crackers- well, I know how to make rosemary-olive oil ones, at least- so I got to work.
Three tries and two hours later, I was taking pictures of these cheesy little babies and texting them to my husband. He was significantly less excited, since, you know, they’re just crackers, but ohmygod. I feel like the cracker companies have been robbing me my entire life because this is easy stuff, people.
If you have flour, water, olive oil, and cheddar cheese in your house, you can be eating warm, toasty, cheddar crackers in less than 45 minutes. It takes me that long to make a round trip drive to the grocery store and buy them, so this is definitely a win. Plus, the dough is mixed in 1 bowl, rolls out easily, and you don’t have to cut and transfer each individual cracker onto the pan. Just plop the entire thing onto a sheet pan, use a pizza wheel or knife to cut the dough into squares, and bake.
Crackers, you complete me.
Whether you’re currently having a mini love affair with crackers, or are just the average cracker enthusiast, you definitely need some homemade cheddar crackers in your life. Trust me, you’ll want to make them over and over again. If you’re anything like me, you’ll keep them in your pantry for every time you get the uncontrollable urge to munch on something cheesy, toasty, and crunchy. Which is always.
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour*
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese** (loosely packed when measured)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric (optional-mostly just for color)
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon water
- 1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper; set pan aside.
- 2. Put flour, shredded cheddar, and spices into a mixing bowl. Add all other ingredients and stir to combine. Switch from a spoon to your hands to form the dough into a ball.
- 3. Place dough ball onto a floured countertop, and roll out into a large rectangle with a rolling pin, sprinkling with more flour, as needed, to prevent sticking. Ideally, your dough should be the same shape/size as the sheet pan when you're done.
- 4. Fold dough in half, and pick up with both hands. Lay dough onto the sheet pan, unfold, and trim off any dough that hangs over the edges of the pan. Then, use a pizza wheel or a knife to cut the dough into small squares. I got about 104 1-inch squares. If desired, use a wooden skewer or other small kitchen object to push an indent in the middle of each cracker (optional- just makes them look more authentic).
- 5. Add an extra sprinkle of salt over the top of the crackers, then bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden. Let cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
- *White whole wheat flour has a milder flavor than traditional whole wheat. If you only have regular whole wheat, try using 3/4 cup each of whole wheat and all-purpose.
- **The sharper the cheddar, the better. A mild cheddar won't make these crackers taste very cheesy.