At our neighborhood gourmet food and wine shop recently, I bought a package of rustic crackers to serve with the cheese that I also purchased. The crackers were great—crispy, lightly salted, just the right base for a flavorful Gouda. And then I thought: Sheesh, I could make these myself.
So I did.
This recipe for homemade crackers for cheese is super easy: Just a few ingredients in the food processor, quick prep and baking time, and you’re done. I based this on my earlier recipe for homemade sea salt crackers, adding oats for a bit of heartiness and buttermilk for the flavor (though regular milk would work just fine).
Just as I think excellent artisan bread deserves homemade butter—a fine cheese plate merits some really good homemade crackers.
homemade oat-buttermilk cracker recipe
(makes 2 dozen)
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. table salt
1 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into chunks
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. cold buttermilk or regular milk
sea salt for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place the oats in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse until the oats are finely ground. Add the flour, sugar and salt, and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse to create coarse crumbs. Gradually add the buttermilk (or regular milk) and pulse to combine just until the dough comes together in a ball. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and roll to a thickness of 1/8 inch, forming a rectangle that’s roughly 11 inches wide by 13 inches long. Using a ruler and a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 2 1/2-inch squares. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt, and use the rolling pin to gently press the salt into the dough. Use the tines of a fork to prick holes in the dough to prevent puffing. Transfer squares to a baking sheet (see Note). Bake for 10 minutes; rotate tray in the oven and bake another 10–12 minutes until the crackers are lightly golden at the edges. Reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees and bake 10–12 minutes more (watch that they don’t over-brown) to ensure crispness. Cool crackers on a wire rack, and store in an airtight container.
Note: I've found through trial and error that a double-thick insulated cookie sheet slows the baking and doesn't produce the crispy texture you want in a cracker. Instead, use a single-ply baking sheet, and save the insulated one for cookies.