When Alix informed me that she would be making Liptauer cheese for our Eurovision party, I decided to make some Norwegian lefse crackers to go with it. Unfortunately I realised late on Friday night that I should have made the dough earlier that evening so the it could rest for the required 10 hours before baking. Thus it was that I decided to make an truly English contribution – cream crackers. To achieve this, I turned to The Good Housekeeping Cookery Compendium, part 3, Cake Making (The Waverley Book Company, 1956).
8oz self-raising flour
½ tsp salt
3oz grated cheese (optional)
Sieve together the flour and salt and rub in the fat very thoroughly., then mix into a pliable paste with water. Turn the dough on to a floured board, knead it lightly for a few minutes, then roll out thinly into an oblong. Mark lightly into three, fold up the bottom third, bring down the top third over it, seal the edges and give the pastry a half-turns to the left. Repeat this rolling and folding twice. Finally, roll out the pastry thinly and evenly, trim off the edges with a sharp knife and cut into three inch squares. Put on to a greased backing sheet, prick well and bake in a moderate oven for about 20 minutes.
If cheese is included, sprinkle 1oz of it over the dough before folding it each time.
- Assembly was straightforward. I added the water a teaspoon at a time until it came together into a firm, springy dough – perhaps I should have added more water, but I didn’t fancy handling anything stickier.
- After the rolling and turning, (which was very quick – don’t be put off!), it became softer and easier to handle.
- I sealed the edges with water – no idea if that’s what was intended, but it seemed the only way to do it.
- I made much smaller biscuits – 3inches square sound huge for a cracker.
- They needed a lot longer than 20 minutes – I put them in at GM 4 and they needed about 35 minutes to turn golden brown. (I’ll try them in a hotter oven next time.)
They were very crunchy and a bit sturdier than commercially available crackers though with the layering that you would expect from a dough rolled and folded as specified. They are however very plain, so I only recommend eating them with very strongly flavoured cheese or dips (or very strongly flavoured cheese-dip). I will experiment with adding cheese to them as suggested and expect it will lead to a lighter, crumblier texture (and a shorter shelf life!), due to the increase in fat content. The GHCC has several other plain biscuit recipes – including oatmeal triangles, water biscuits, and I look forward to trying more of them in the future.
Cream crackered by Elly