Sunday, October 28, 2012

Bet You Can't Eat Just One - Onion Crackers

I have a weakness, and I may as well come clean. I love to snack, and I can't help myself. And in the great debate over sweet or salty snacks... I definitely come down on the side of salty. I especially love (but really love!) potato chips, pretzels, etc. And crackers. And when I can top off a crispy, salty cracker with a slice of a good sharp cheese, say some aged cheddar then there's no stopping me. That's why, I rarely make crackers and why there are so few cracker recipes on BreadmanTalking. I'd probably eat them all before I could take the pictures. That said, last week I was tempted once again, and gave in ... These onion crackers are adapted from a recipe I found in Bernard Clayton's incredible book Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads. The book is sooo comprehensive. It has literally everything you could ever want. If you're looking for a single bread cookbook, easy to read and use, this is it! It is also at least loosely based on a memory I have of a kind of cracker I used to eat many years ago when growing up in Cape Breton.With a thick slab of a nice sharp cheddar. In previous posts I have mentioned the bakery from my childhood home. Bernie's Bakery. The name practically makes me salivate all by itself!. Bernie was a Polish immigrant who specialized in all the East European breads and crackers. I can still see the Ukrainians, Poles, Russians and Jews lined up out the door on Sunday morning for dark and light rye, along with North American specialties like, cinnamon buns. And crackers like these.

Here's What You'll Need:
2 Cups  (280g) AP flour (or substitute 2/3 C (160g) whole wheat flour)
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbs sugar
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 Tbs poppy seeds
1 egg at room temperature
1/3 Cup oil
1 Cup chopped onions
2 Tbs water (if needed)
Here's What You'll Need To Do:

For this recipe, you will need two bowls, just like for a cake, one for wet and one for dry. Mix all the dry ingredients together in one bowl,

and in the second bowl mix the egg, oil and onions. The onions will likely be 'weeping' and so the amount of liquid will determine if you need the water. Obviously, it's better to leave the onion juice in so you get more flavor. If you drain them and add water instead the onion flavor will be less intense. Why would you do that?

Slowly pour the onion mixture into the flour mixture, stirring vigorously. This dough will be quite stiff, but should not be crumbly. If it is, add a little water, one teaspoon at a time. In the unlikely event that the dough is too wet, add a little flour, one teaspoon at a time. Remember, this is a cracker, not a loaf of fluffy bread. Knead for a few minutes to make it smooth and evenly distributed, then place in an oiled bowl, covered, to relax in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 375F (190C).

Roll the dough out on parchment paper until very thin, about 1/8in (2mm). Using a pizza cutter, or a fluted pasta cutter, cut the dough into cracker sized pieces, then, with a fork, poke holes in each cracker. This prevents them from puffing up during baking (a definite no no!).

Bake for about 10 minutes (it will be longer if the dough is wetter) until crisp and golden. They will be less crisp, but just as tasty, if you used whole wheat flour. Cool on a rack, and then, try and control yourself! I couldn't.


  1. These look delicious! I am definitely saving this recipe for later. We love crackers and are working to get away from packaged crackers with unpronounceable ingredients. :-\

    1. They are delicious! If they seem just a little sticky, try rolling them out on a sheet of plastic wrap, or right on the baking paper. Well worth the effort.

  2. Is there any reason I shouldn't grate the onion instead? (seems like a more effective way to get the juices to come out)

    1. Actually, you are correct. I hadn't thought of that, but, yes, grating the onions would be more effective in getting the onion juices to come out.