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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Pepper Jack and Oregano Crackers

I decided that, along with my cheese, it would be cool to make complimentary crackers. I think every cheesemaker should be able to make things to compliment their cheese. Just simple things like wine and chocolates. You know.

All joking aside, one of my goals for this year was to make crackers. I have tried this before with mixed results. It's hard to get the thickness and bake time right. I had some issues with the first batch.
To my credit, the burning was NOT my doing. The oven decided to randomly start cleaning itself about 5 minutes before it was time to take the crackers out. I was pretty much devastated. Crackers are far too much work to burn half a batch.

The dough was pretty easy to make, and cheap except I had to buy an 8 oz. bar of pepper jack cheese. Eew! But it was for the sake of the recipe, which was out of my Garde Manger book. After I made the dough, I put it in the refrigerator for several hours. It could probably sit there for a week or two if needed.

The recipe had me run my hunk of dough through a noodle roller (good ole Kitchen Aid!). At first it was impossibly crumbly, but then I got smart and dusted the dough with more flour and ran it through the roller in smaller hunks. For the first batch I cut the crackers with a diamond wavy-edged cutter, but I didn't push down hard enough or the waves were too intricate for my chunky dough (thanks to the shredded cheese in it). The second time around I used even more flour and cut the crackers with a small water glass. They turned out a lot better.

The second batch turned out well, but my phobia of the randomly self-cleaning oven prevented me from baking them long enough. The insides weren't crispy enough. But the first batch was plenty crispy! If they didn't have that burned flavor, they would have been perfect.

The recipe itself was good, but I don't like pepper jack cheese. I am going to try two more varieties; blue cheese pecan and cheddar walnut. I'm sure those will turn out great.

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