The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Rosemary Cracker Bread - Like La Panzanella Croccantini!

jenmenke's picture
jenmenke

Rosemary Cracker Bread - Like La Panzanella Croccantini!



IMG_6864 by jenmenke, on Flickr

oops! pretty big picture! Oh well, I'm a first-timer. I'm having fun trying things on the site. I'm a long time bread-baker, but have been stymied by my inability to get the big ciabatta-type bubbles, which pushed me to a new book and then pointed me to this site. I just wanted to share my own little triumph above. We love the La Panzanella crackers we get at the deli, but they are so expensive and we live far away from the store. I made these by modifying a recipe I found for rosemary lavosh. They turned out awesome -- almost just like the store-bought ones!

Thanks for a great site!

Jennie

 

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

Your crackers look wonderful! Tell us more about the breads you like to bake.


Betty

Floydm's picture
Floydm

That's a big picture, but because it is turned lengthwise it fits nicely and doesn't blow out the site. 


Those look like delicious crackers.  I'm envious... My bread baking is coming along nicely, but I've yet to make a decent batch of crackers.


Welcome to the site!

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Jennie,


These look great.  I'm always on the lookout for good cracker type recipes as they are great to have on hand when unexpected guests turn up.  Could you share your recipe?  I'm assuming no breach of copyright....


Gavin.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

These look wonderful...do please share the recipe!


Sylvia

jenmenke's picture
jenmenke

Hi all. Thanks for kinds words of encouragement. I will post the recipe when I get home from the long weekend. I will confess upfront to sort of making up crazy stuff in the recipe -- well not "making it up" but mashing techniques for regular bread recipes together. I have no idea if they make any difference to these crackers (like steaming the oven, for instance) but I just did them. It works, is repeatable and the crackers are getting better. It will be interesting to hear what you think about it when I post it. So stay tuned.


As for the breads I have been making: always baguettes. I first used the recipe from "The Best Bread Ever" book -- a food processor technique -- years ago. I must say, that recipe is absolutely foolproof. You just cannot ruin it. and it makes great bread. It just wasn't versatile enough. I still make the recipe, because it couldn't be easier and more tasty, but I also wanted to be able to make great ciabatta and rustic loafs. So I bought... can't remember the name of the book, but it came with a video-- Artisan Breads? I can't remember. I'm not home so I can't look... anyway, after tackling those recipes, I found this site and made the soft rolls and also one of the WW sandwich loaves. Much fun ahead, me thinks. I'll be back on Monday.


Jennie

jenmenke's picture
jenmenke

Sorry for delay in posting recipe. (I forgot).


Once again, I preface this by saying who knows if this is "right." But it works. If anyone wants to comment on the necessity of the steps (like steaming the oven or resting the dough) feel free!


 


1.5 cups flour


.5 cup very cold water


1 tsp salt


dash sugar


1/8 c FRESH rosemary chopped (this is a lot, but we LOVE rosemary)


1/8 c olive oil


 


Preheat oven to 450 and put pan in bottom of oven for water. 


 


put flour, salt, sugar and rosemary in food processor fitted with cutting blade. pulse to blend. add oil, pulse. Add water in stream till dough comes together. run for about 20 seconds. (have also tried in stand mixer and doesn't seem to make any difference at all)


 


Turn dough out and knead to smooth ball. Divide into four pieces cover with a towel and let rest 5 minutes. 


 


Roll each section in pasta roller. I tried both the thinnest setting and the one before. The thinnest tastes the best, but is much harder to handle and is VERY easy to overcook!


 


Cut into sheets and place on parchment paper. Spritz with water and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.


 


Put parchment directly into oven on baking stone, add 1/2 cup hot water to pan in the bottom. Flip crackers front to back after about 2 minutes. Watch closely after that. Take out after about 45 seconds to 1 minute. You only want a HINT of brown. Often crackers will still be slightly limp when taken out at the right time


 


Cool on rack.


 

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Thanks.  I'll give these a go.  They look great.


Gavin

gavinc's picture
gavinc

Jennie,


I made them today exactly as you desribed and they turned out fantastic. They go great with a beer (proven fact!).


Thanks for posting your recipe, I will make them frequently for sure.  Similar crackers in our specialty shops cost a fortune and don't taste nearly as good as yours.


Picture on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/27771627@N07/3106387320/


Cheers,


Gavin.

Atropine's picture
Atropine

I have been dying to make some good crackers...cannot wait to try these!


Are there other "flavorings" that people have used successfully?  Can you use basil?  Pepper flakes?  Parm? Etc?

jenmenke's picture
jenmenke

I have made plain and parmesan so far. Both were good. The parmesan melted onto the cracker and therefore didn't fall off as I had feared. I know many of my friends prefer parm, so I will make more batches of those to give as gifts.


My family is rosemary crazy, and since I live in MN and am cheap and don't want to have to pay to buy fresh basil, etc. -- and have several rosemary plants in my greenhouse, that is what I have made the most of.


Last night I served them with room temp cambazola (like a creamy blue cheese) and hot pepper jelly over cream cheese, both spread on the crackers! Who needs dinner?!


Gavin, I saw your photo on flickr! Super cool that my recipe worked for you! (you just never know.) For example, I made them last night in the mixer because that was already dirty. The size of the dough in my recipe seems a bit small for a stand mixer. Plus, if using the mixer, you don't need very cold water, as you usually do in the food processor. 


I can't wait to read more! This is so fun. thanks, Jennie

Atropine's picture
Atropine

this is a awful question, but do you use fresh parm or green can parm?

SourdoLady's picture
SourdoLady

Has anyone ever tried these without the use of a pasta roller? Can it be rolled by hand, using a rolling pin, or is it impossible to get it thin enough that way? I'd really like to try them, but I don't have the pasta roller machine.

jenmenke's picture
jenmenke

parm: I used fresh. I'm no snob, powdered has it's place. I just always have both and when I think of these crackers, I think of fresh. I bet they'd taste good with powdered -- just differnt.


Pasta roller: The recipe I started with when I made my crackers was this one: 


http://afridgefulloffood.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/07/rosemary_parchm.html


She rolls hers. They look more like pita crisps to me, but I bet they taste great. I was after something like the la panzenella crackers, so I added oil, kneaded more, rolled them super thin, spritz with water and used a hotter oven

submerged's picture
submerged

Thank you SO MUCH for this recipe. I made them this morning and they are great. I was a little afraid of the amount of rosemary, so I reduced it a bit. Next time I will use it all. I made some with rosemary and salt, some with rosemary salt and pepper.


The next dinner party will have these on the menu, accompanied by the red lentil/pecan pate from Cafe Flora in Seattle.


I may never buy crackers again.


Again, thanks so much for sharing.


Tina


Phoenix

jenmenke's picture
jenmenke

I can't believe I got this comment when I did. I am actually sitting at my computer editing a video I made to demonstrate how to make these crackers! I have so many friends who want to make them and they aren't the most experienced cooks! So I made a video. I will post it as soon as it is ready. I have also tweaked the recipe just a bit to be more precise since the first posting and will update that at the same time. Glad you enjoyed them!!

jenmenke's picture
jenmenke

 


VIDEO DEMO: 


 


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqurWzkJUUQ


 


 


Jennie’s “La Panzenella” Rosemary Cracker Bread:


 


1.5 cups flour


.5 cup cold water


1 tsp salt


dash sugar


1/8 c rosemary


1/8 c olive oil


 


Preheat oven to 450 


 


put flour, salt & sugar in food processor. Pulse to blend. Add oil, pulse. Add water in stream till dough comes together. It should form a big ball and have little tiny dough pieces chasing the ball around the bowl. Run for about 20 seconds. Add the rosemary during the last 10 seconds. (If you use a kitchen aid mixer, Use room temperature water, use the paddle attachment and mix on medium (6) for about a minute and a half. Add the rosemary during the last 30 seconds).


 


Turn dough out and knead to smooth ball and to evenly distribute the rosemary. If dough is very wet you can work a LITTLE more flour. It should be moist, but not overly sticky. “Tacky” sounds right. Divide into four pieces cover with a towel and let rest 5-10 minutes. 


 


Roll each piece in pasta roller starting at widest setting and moving to thinnest. You can stop short of the thinnest setting, however they aren’t as cracker-like then. The last roll on the thinnest setting is also were the dough becomes harder to manage and has a tendency to stick to itself as it is rolled out. To help, I usually cut the dough in half after it is rolled on the #5 setting on my pasta roller (Atlas=inexpensive) and give it a LIGHT dusting of flour at that point (too much and crackers will be powdery). The thinnest dough tastes best, but is also easily overcooked, so you must stand at the oven door and watch!


 


Place dough on parchment paper. Spritz with water from a spray bottle and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Slide parchment directly into oven on baking stone and set timer for 1:45. Flip crackers front to back after about 1:30. Watch closely after that. Take out after no more than 30 seconds minute more.


 


*I set my parchment on a large cutting board that I use to slide the parchment from the cutting board to the oven baking stone. I have heard from someone who tried this recipe that didn’t have a stone and used a cookie sheet and they thought they turned out great. I would imagine you would need to up the cooking time by quite a bit. You want to flip them when they bubble, but aren’t brown and they will still be “floppy.” And take them out when just the bubbles are starting to color. The pieces will still be “pliable” but will crisp up as the cool.


 


Cool on rack.


 

Susan's picture
Susan

A job well done.  Thanks!


Susan from San Diego

xaipete's picture
xaipete

I loved it. --Pamela

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

that after the first pass thru the pasta roller, the dough was folded into thirds and then passed thru again.  I can see how this would greatly improve the lightness of the crackers by sandwiching more bubbles into the dough.


Great Video!  I also love the way you peek into the frame to maintain eye contact with the viewer.  Just like we could look back at you!   :) 


Thanks,  Mini


 

gavinc's picture
gavinc

I've made these quite a few times since your first post of these, and they are great.  We made a few batches at Christmas and gave them away in nice jars.  It was interesting to see you bake them in the whole piece, which is a lot less fiddely than what I've been doing.  I have been cutting them into pieces them placing them on the backing paper for baking. Buy the time I've rolled out the next piece of dough the oven batch is ready for tuning.  You get into a rythm.


The crackers remain favourites and are definitely addictive!


Regards,


Gavin.

nlparr's picture
nlparr

This recipe looks delish!    One question, what kind of flour do you use?  Regular flour or bread flour?  Thanks for the recipe and for your response. 

jenmenke's picture
jenmenke

I've used both bread flour and AP. I think AP might actually be better. Let me know how it turns out!

kathinks's picture
kathinks

Hi...can't wait to try these! I'm wondering about the chain in the bread pan at the bottom of your oven. What is the purpose of this? Is there water in with the chain?
k

jenmenke's picture
jenmenke

I don't use it anymore. I did that to increase steam in the oven. But I don't use it even for bread baking. Its a pain, gets rusty, etc. I now just use a cast iron pan that I use only for that purpose that gets left in the oven all the time. Works just as well. And with that said, I don't even use much steam for these crackers. There is no "rise" necessary. It only serves to perhaps increase the bubbles.

I just noticed that my picture is gone. I bet that was on mobileme.com which is now gone. I'll try to figure out how to update that.

thanks!

Jennie

 

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Jenmenke.  Saw the photo and HAD to have it.  The problem is, I don't have a pasta machine.  Do you think rolling it out as thin as possible will work?  Have you tried the rolling method with this recipe?

John

jenmenke's picture
jenmenke

geez... I don't know.... Maybe? I haven't tried it and I can't imagine being able to do it that thin. But then again, I am an absolute disaster with a rolling pin. I can't even get pie crust even. Your biggest challenge would be keeping it even, because the baking to crispness without burning is so dependent on the uniformity of the dough. It's worth a try though! For what it's worth, I think my pasta roller cost about $25. You could probably find one on ebay for a song!

Song Of The Baker's picture
Song Of The Baker

Jenmenke.  My thoughts exactly.  I will take your warning and not try it.  Those look so good that would be very disappointed if they did not turn out.

I will try to pick up a pasta maker or borrow one.

John

 

breadesky's picture
breadesky

In comparison to folded and non-folded crackers. The ones where I took it to #5, and then folded and ran it through the pasta roller again had the most bubbles. And were the most fun. You can use a rolling pin and get very thin crackers as well. Then use a pastry cutter or pizza wheel to cut them. This is in the bread bakers apprentice. Mist the counter with spray oil, a little flour. Make a rectangle with the flour and then roll out. You can make a giant sheet if you want and them break apart after baking. I've used honey in place of the sugar. I don't think I will ever buy commercial crackers again. And not going to spend $5- $6 for these in the store or at a farmers market.