Bake your own thyme crackers

For a long time, I’ve wanted to try baking my own savoury snacks as a way of avoiding some packaging waste. Months ago I found a great basic cracker recipe in German over on ZERO WASTE MÜNCHEN that I’ve now finally had time to try out. Spot the missing cracker in my picture, which has been eaten and passed the taste test!

home-made, rough-edged crackers on a black baking sheet
No time but plenty of thyme!

Next time, I’ll roll the dough out a bit thinner. I rolled it to 4mm which looked about right before baking, but of course it rose in the oven. So, for those of you who don’t have enough German to read the original recipe, these are the ingredients:

  • 200g plain flour (NB Germany doesn’t seem to have self-rasing flour, but you could perhaps use that and skip the baking powder!)
  • 1 tspn baking powder
  • 50g butter
  • 7 desert spoons water
  • (Plus: salt & herbs for topping, and more water for brushing on)

I tipped my ingredients into a bowl and used a knife to cut the butter pieces into the flour, then added water and started squidging it all together, until I had a crumbly dough that just about held together. I wrapped the dough in my baking sheet and put it in the fridge to rest – for a couple of hours as it turned out.

Later, I turned my dough out onto a floured surface and rolled it out, to about 4-5mm, but next time I’ll aim for 2-3mm. I stabbed it all over with a fork, sprinked salt and dried thyme onto it, and then cut it into pieces before brushing the pieces with water and then placing them onto the lined baking tray.

I put these in the oven at 160 deg celcius for about 12 minutes. Next time I’ll increase the temperature and aim for 10 mins but I was being cautious ‘cos it’s a fan oven. I might also double the quantity of dough and make two varieties, because it doesn’t make very many crackers.

I might add some poppy seeds into the pastry mixture, or put sesame seeds on top, or of course I could use different herbs on top, but thyme works really well.

It is not at all complicated, but what puts me off pastry work is the time it takes. First I need to clear & clean enough worktop to roll out the dough, and then also to clear space in the fridge to let it rest, and then after the rolling-out I have to clear up all the flour-y mess! In this case it rather conveniently took me the 12 mins whilst the crackers were in the oven, to wash and clean everything up. If only I had a freezer, I could maybe make lots of dough at once and save time by freezing some for future baking, but that’s another story!

Speaking of other stories: my baking sheet is a plastic-covered thingy that I’ve owned for some time, and of course I like that I’m not creating lots of baking parchment waste. On the other hand, it will one day become plastic waste so when that happens, I might prefer to use unbleached parchment paper. I already like to use the “If you care” range for occasions when I need to cut the paper to size: it’s easy to find in the organic grocery stores in Berlin.


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