Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Olympics and Daring Bakers' Challenge: Crackers!

So, all the buzz lately has been about the Olympics.  And, understandably so!  I've been counting the days since January!  I remember watching as a kid, and loving it (I think it was only every 4 years back then), but when I moved out on my own, and had nothing better to do than sit on the couch for hours on end, is when I truly started to appreciate it.  Then of course, 4 years ago, watching the infamous Michael Phelps do what no other human has accomplished before....well, that's just good stuff!  Every time my soon-to-be 5 year old son watches, he says "That's me!", whenever someone wins.  Of course, he also thinks he's an Autobot.  Uhh...yeah.

Ok, on to crackers.  This month's challenge was to do 2 different types of crackers, 2 different ways.  I don't have a pasta roller attachment for my mixer, so my options were a bit limited.  I've had this Rosemary Sea Salt cracker on my pinterest to do list for a while now, so this seemed like the perfect time.

Rosemary Sea Salt Crackers
from Pastry Affair

I did not alter the recipe, except for maybe the cooking time.  Mine seemed to cook in less time.  It was a beautiful dough to work with.  It came together nicely, and wasn't sticky or too dry.  Just perfect.  The recipe called for large grain sea salt, but all I had was finely ground.  They were still tasty.

For my second cracker, I decided to do a graham cracker.  I chose Alton Brown's recipe, because, hello....it's Alton.  Need I say more?  That being said, I was thoroughly disappointed with the recipe.  Everything from the taste to the instructions, and to the end product.  This is not something I would repeat.  Ever.

Graham Crackers
adapted slightly from Alton Brown

The only change I made to the recipe was to sub wheat flour, for white.

The recipe calls for ingredients in weight, not volume, so here I am, weighing out my ingredients.  I know they say it's more accurate that way, but seeing as how the recipe was a dud, I'm having my doubts.  I decided to shape the dough into a log, and use the slice and bake method.  I'm not sure if this was my downfall, or if it was using the wheat flour, but it did not turn out well.  The recipe says to bake for 25 min, but mine were burnt to a crisp after that.  I tried again, for 10 min, and they turned out ok.  But, the dough was so coarse and didn't really taste the way a normal graham cracker tastes.  Of course, I'm just going by the store bought taste/texture, but those store bought ones are pretty darn good!  Anyhoo, here they are.  Mission complete, if not totally successful.

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