FAIL: Yummy but Crumbly Healthy Ritz Style Crackers
Let me start by saying that I based this experiment on a more successful Cupcake Project Homemade Ritz Cracker recipe, and if you want to make homemade crackers with white flour, you should probably head over there and use that recipe and seems to work just fine.
But as you know, I can’t just make a recipe as it’s written. I have to experiment and try new things and see if I can make healthier versions that work.
I thought these crackers did have really good flavor despite my healthiness modifications, so I might try reworking this recipe at some point, but for now, it really only produces yummy and healthy cracker crumbs.
Here are some things I would do differently the second time through:
1. More flour: Whole pastry flour (soft white wheat) really does not absorb as much water as white flour or standard whole wheat flour. I’m afraid standard whole wheat flour would have too much whole wheat taste to make a good cracker, so I’d be inclined to just start with 3 cups of whole wheat pastry flour and then slowly add more water if it seems needed.
2. Thinner crackers: I should have split the dough between two cookie sheets (especially if I was using more flour, which would increase the amount of dough!) to try to get it thinner. It just wasn’t thin enough to get crisp and crackery in the that amount of baking time.
3. Possibly a long baking time: I know now that the crackers will NOT crisp up as they cool, so I would keep them in the oven until they have the right crispness, even if it takes longer that the official baking time.
4. Possibly replace the coconut oil: I used coconut oil in place of the vegetable oil called for in the original recipe because it’s the healthy oil that I have on hand, but coconut oil does seem to increase the crumbliness of baked goods in my experience, so it might be better to just use more butter, or lard, or possibly even olive oil.
Healthiness Rating: Healthy
Aside from the fact that the whole wheat flour doesn’t get soaked, there’s nothing in this recipe I would consider unhealthy at all.
Yumminess Rating: Kinda Yummy
I thought the flavor was fabulous on these crackers (though that might be because I was going in with such low expectations of how the flavor would measure up to store bought crackers). My husband thought they were actually a little on the bland side. Either way, I have deduct points on texture because they were almost impossible to remove from the pan without disintegrating them.
Buttery Crackers (Crumbs)
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (ground from soft white wheat), plus a few more TBSP if needed
1 TBSP baking powder
1 TBSP turbinado sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
6 TBSP cold butter, cut into chunks
2 TBSP coconut oil
about 1/4 cup water
2 TBSP butter, melted + 1/8 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Put the dry ingredients (the first four ingredients) into the food processor and pulse briefly to mix.
Add 6 TBSP butter, about 2 TBSP at a time, blending after each addition until the butter is thoroughly incorporated.
Add coconut oil and blend again. With the food processor running, trickle in water until the dough forms a ball. (If the dough is too soft you can add a few more TBSP of flour until it’s a consistency you can work with.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and press out the dough into the thin layer across the whole cookie sheet. Score the dough into cracker sized squares or rectangles. Poke several holes in each cracker with a fork.
Bake at 400 degrees for ten minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy.
Melt 2 TBSP butter and mix in 1/8 tsp salt. Brush across the tops of the crackers.
Very carefully attempt to remove crackers from the pan whole. Give up and enjoy your cracker crumbs!