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Nov 17, 2008 08:56 AM

Homemade crackers and bread

My daughter was just diagnosed with a severe allergy to sesame seeds (already allergic to nuts and eggs) so it seems that the safest route is going to be homemade bread and crackers. I've started to tackle the bread and have turned out a few nice loaves. I've ordered the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes book as well as the La Brea Bread one. Still, I would appreciate any great bread tips you may have. We love all types of bread. I need a basic sandwich loaf for sure. I found one online that my family loves but I don't think it's the perfect one yet.

The thing that really has me thrown is crackers. Any suggestions on some good homemade crackers or a basic technique?

Any advice at all would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

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  1. janehathaway, Tastespotting has some very nice looking crackers.

    Google cheese straws or crackers for lots of other recipes. These are particularly easy.

    1. I made these crackers a few weeks back and they were quite good. I recommend baking them thin and use pastry flour, don't re-roll too many times and it gets tough, cut them with a ravioli roller into squares at the third rolling.

      I think you can sub some of the things you can't have in this cracker. I hope this helps. This website is one of the sites i frequent and they are quite considerate when there is an allergy concern and usually helped out.

      I made the multigrain bread in Cindy Muschet's baking book (SurlaTable) and it was a sweet, chewy and very rewarding. i think you can opt out most of the egg and nut in simple recipes. Happy cooking! your daughter is a very lucky girl.

      1. Good Eats just recently had an episode on crackers. He used a pasta roller to get the dough nice and thin. The seeded cracker recipe does call for sesame seeds, but you could certainly leave them out or substitute something else.

        1. Does your daughter like crusty bread or soft crust? My favorite sandwich bread is from CI's Best Recipe cookbook. My kids don't like a heavy crust, though, so I bake it in a loaf pan at a lower temperature. I can post it if you're interested. It isn't hard but, as most bread, does take time. There are variations for stand mixer, food processor, and by hand. If you want it, let me know which you'd be using.

          The most helpful thing for me is a bread maker since I rarely buy bread but need sandwich bread every day. Making it all from scratch is great but there are days, especially as ski season comes up, when I don't have the time/energy. I make the dough in the bread maker and then follow CI's directions for baking the bread in the oven. I rarely bake in the bread machine.

          1. These flatbreads are really, really lovely. You can decide how crunchy you want them. Just break them up into cracker sizes:

            1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
            1 tablespoon chopped rosemary plus 2 (6-inch) sprigs
            1 teaspoon baking powder
            3/4 teaspoon salt
            1/2 cup water
            1/3 cup olive oil plus more for brushing
            Flaky sea salt such as Maldon

            Preheat oven to 450°F with a heavy baking sheet on rack in middle.

            Stir together flour, chopped rosemary, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Make a well in center, then add water and oil and gradually stir into flour with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Knead dough gently on a work surface 4 or 5 times.

            Divide dough into 3 pieces and roll out into three pieces (shape can be rustic; dough should be thin).

            Lightly brush top with additional oil and scatter small clusters of rosemary leaves on top, pressing in slightly. Sprinkle with sea salt. Slide rounds (still on parchment) onto preheated baking sheet and bake until pale golden and browned in spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Break into pieces.