Rich, Whole Grain Crackers

My mother claims that I survived off of crackers and yogurt when I first started eating solids. While I have since then moved from being a picky eater to a very adventurous one, I return to my old favorite quite often still!

Now that my daughter is eating solids, I have been exploring making different crackers that would be tasty and nourishing for her (okay….. and for me too!). And why do I soak my whole grains? Read about it here. I have found that making your own crackers is much cheaper than store bought ones. They taste better and you can easily control how nutritious they are. You can make crackers out of any type of bread or pastry dough, so there are a lot of options out there for you.

But I finally found a recipe in my favorite recipe book, Nourishing Traditions, that all of us enjoy a lot. My husband thinks they taste just a little like wheat thins, baby can them just fine as long as I don’t make them to crunchy, and, as for me….I love them (and ate way to many the first day). They are rich, flaky, and satisfying. A great basic cracker recipe. I was never interested in this recipe before because it’s name never seemed inspiring, but I am sorry that I hadn’t tried it before!

These have a period of “soaking” so make sure you start the night before you need them. We have been having them plain, but I bet they would be great with some toppings (such as grated cheese), herbs added in the dough, or butter brushed on the outside with some coarse salt sprinkled on top. I would like to try substituting some millet flour for about 1/4 of the flour. This is really just a pastry dough, so you can also use it as a pie crust.

Rich, buttery Crackers (made out of Yogurt Dough)

The night before cream in a large bowl:

1 cup of plain whole yogurt (I substituted a very creamy buttermilk)
1 cup of butter, softened

Mix in:

3 1/2 cups of freshly ground spelt or wheat flour (I used spelt)
2 teaspoons of salt

This is what my dough looked like at this point.

The dough would look like this when squeezed in my hand


Cover and leave in a warm place for 12 to 24 hours (this is the “soaking” part). Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using white flour to dust your surface and dough, roll your dough out thin. Cut into strips and then cut into squares.


Place your squares on an ungreased cookie sheet and prick with a fork. Bake for about 8 minutes and check, keep checking every two minutes until done. They should be browning slightly on the edges, when done. Take off of sheet and place on a cooling rack and enjoy!

These crackers are great as a basic cracker to use with a cheese plate, or to go with a soup.

KimiHarris

I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!

Comments

  1. Shannon says

    Do you only soak freshly ground flour? I’m not very familiar with soaking but am always trying to eat more healthy.
    Thanks

  2. Mrs. U says

    This sounds wonderful! I’ve tried making crackers before, but they didn’t taste right to my family. I am DEFINITELY going to try this recipe this week. Thank you very much for sharing the recipe.

    Oh, and I LOVE your blog! I am learning so much!

    His,
    Mrs. U

  3. Mrs. U says

    Hi Kimi!!
    I made these yesterday and they are SOOO good and VERY easy!! I followed the recipe to the letter this time, but next time I plan on trying different add-ins to see how it tastes- garlic, flax, pepper, parmesan, etc.

    Oh, and I did use Kamut with these crackers. I will most definitely try all the grains that I have, but I’ve really been wanting to put my Kamut to good use. It was definitely a great grain to use with the cracker recipe! YUM!!

    Again, thank you for sharing the recipe and tutorial!

    His,
    Mrs. U

  4. Sarah says

    I made these over the weekend using yogurt and whole wheat. They are great – I liked them better than the basic cracker recipe from Mark Bittman. I couldn’t figure out what they reminded me of, but then I realized: Cheez-its! That may not be taken as a compliment, but we really liked them. I did not prick them before baking because I like them to puff up – it reminds me of the homemade crackers at our favorite steak restaurant.

    Thank you!

  5. Kimi Harris says

    Sarah,
    I actually think that they taste a little like Cheez-it’s too! I think they would taste even more so if cheddar cheese was added to the recipe. Yum. I have to admit, before I got all “healthy” I liked cheez its a lot! Now I have learned to enjoy recipes like these. :-)

  6. Jessica says

    I just tried this recipe and they turned out great! I used sour cream (because it was what I had on hand) and after reading the posts, I definitely taste “cheez-it” :) Living with wheat sensitivities, it is sooo nice to find good Spelt recipes. Thanks for posting it!

  7. Kathy says

    I’m very inspired by your cracker recipe! I have been making crackers for a while, but I just morphed my tortilla recipe and used that. I am excited to try yours. I just wanted to make some more suggestions for variations that I have tried. The last batch I made I added pumpkin and 1)dusted them with a curry spice, 2)added dried fruit and nuts, 3)added pumpkin pie spices and some maple syrup. I have also made them plain and dusted with parmesan and black pepper, maple syrup and chipotle chile, garlic and wasabi. I’m sure there are more variations, but that is what I can think of. I have a friend who is a submariner in the Navy and is always looking for healthier alternatives while he is out to sea. He will eat anything and loves to have some variety, so I have tried lots of different crackers for him. I hope this give you some ideas (and doesn’t gross you out!)

  8. Dana says

    I made these today and they turned out great! I’ve been looking for a good cracker recipe–and have tried several that flopped. My girls kept eating them, then asked if they could have them for breakfast tomorrow!

    I don’t have a grain mill, but I used organic whole wheat flour and buttermilk. Worked great!

    Next time I’ll roll them a bit thinner. I had “helpers” and had to work fast!

    Blessings–
    Dana

  9. BunnyHop says

    This recipe is FANTASTIC! My husband and I are total foodies and are always collecting new bread and pastry recipes, especially those made with only whole grains. Using yogurt as the leavening is a revelation.

    I have been looking at your other recipes, too, and have found other things I want to try as well. :0

    Thank you!

  10. TK says

    I’d really like to try this dough for the potato samosas but spelt and wheat have gluten. Any suggestions for a gluten free flour that works well with this recipe?

    Thanks!

    TK

  11. Joni says

    I need a good wheat cracker that taste like wheat thins. My hubby loves them and wants me to make my own. I have never made crackers. But I do make my own bread, pasta etc. I tried one today but just had no taste so I am going to try this one. It will be great because I make my own yogurt as well. Just a thought for those of you that have a hard time rolling out the dough thin enough as I do. I am going to try and use my pasta cylinder to roll out the dough to the thickness I need. I think that will make it so much easier. I find if you knead it a little it should roll out find in the cylinder.

  12. AnnMarie says

    OMG These are awesome! I was pretty sure last night when I tasted the dough that I’d love them. They are even better baked LOL. I didn’t quite believe the folks who said they tasted like CheezIts, which just might be my favorite food (after milk and chocolate). But they really do! I put shredded cheese in half my batch, but it wasn’t worth it. The plain ones are so awesome I didn’t want to eat dinner!

    I tried the pasta maker like Joni suggested. It didn’t work very well because the dough is so moist. I got lots of holes and it just wasn’t working. But I found it very easy to roll, again since it was so moist. I wasn’t sure how thin to make them, but various thicknesses worked (tho a few get REALLY browned, almost burnt. But you know what? Even they tasted okay!)

    I pricked a few, but it wasn’t necessary. A few (maybe 25%?) puffed up a bit, but not much at all and most stayed flat (maybe due to how thin I rolled them?).

    I made only a half batch and I should have made more! Oh, and I estimate about 400 crackers in a whole batch, and 8 cookie sheets full. It also took about 9-10 minutes, and I might not have cooked them enough to be crispy. And about 8 calories per cracker if anyone’s wondering (with whole milk yogurt).

  13. AnnMarie says

    Me again! Two more things. First, I was amazed at how filling these are. I really didn’t need dinner after eating about 10-15 of them. But they were so yummy I couldn’t put them down!

    Mine aren’t crispy/crunchy, even the thin ones. Bake them longer? But some were almost burnt as I said. Leave them sitting out? (Or would that make them soggier?) Put some dry crackers in with them (I have some really dry ones made from bread)?

    Thanks for your wonderful recipes!!!!!

    • Rebekah says

      My understanding from a recent read on another blog is that the way to get crispy crackers is that when you finish baking, turn off the oven and leave them in 1-2 extra minutes and they’ll crisp up while the oven cools. I’ve not tried it myself but somebody else was claiming it works. I’m going to give it a try. :-)

  14. Meg Dickey says

    As I was reading through NT I did notice this dough recipe, but didn’t think much about it until now – and after actually trying them! Wow! They are great! I had been paying $5 a box for these spectacular crackers from Dr. Kracker, but these are far CHEAPER, and taste just as good – especially once I sprinkle the cheese and seeds on top! :)

    Also, TK’s comment about using GF flours instead of wheat – I had passed this link on to a GF friend of mine, and she modified it using her “basic GF flour mix”… which is the same flour mixture she always replaces wheat with in her recipes. (something with potato starch, garbanzo bean flour …?) She said it worked fine, even with the soaking. Just a thought.

    Thank you!

  15. ellen says

    Hi there,

    it sounds great! it’s one of the first things I’ll do once I move to my own place and have a kitchen…
    I have a question: do you know if there is anyway to avoid using butter?
    Thank you very much for the recipe

  16. Gia says

    Love your site!! If you don’t have fresh ground flour (working on that) would you skip the soaking part?

  17. Gia says

    Thanks! Soaking wouldn’t be problem since I am used to preparing ahead. I always have a bowl with sourdough (no knead method) proofing away. I can’t wait to try these crackers. I have been trying different cracker recipes and they all come out pretty bland. I will be making this tonight!! Have you ever tried it with starter?

  18. Gia says

    Just realized with all the no kneadbread I gave been making I am soaking already!! The soaking serves the same purpose as kneading in this respect. I made some crackers, I used half starter halk milk. They came out pretty good. I will be gettting some yogurt however to make the recipe properly. But it is good to know I could use starter if need be. Thanks for all the GREAT recipes and insight!

  19. Sara C says

    I love the Nourishing Traditions cookbook and have been using it a lot lately. I’ve been wanting to try the Yogurt Dough recipe, and stumbled on to this page when looking for more ways to use this dough. I just finished baking a half recipe of the crackers, which turned out great! They’d be good with herbs mixed in too. I used most of the other half of the yogurt dough to make a quiche crust and some to make homemade pizza rolls! They were awesome! I stuffed them with proscuitto, pesto & Dubliner cheese…mmmmm! You could totally make pizza crust or calzones with it as well. This is a great, versatile recipe.

  20. Hillary says

    Yummy! I have been trying to find a good cracker recipe – that seems to be all my kids eat, i want to control the indgredients in the crackers! These are delish. I used my homemade yogurt and wheat flour, I didn’t roll them thin enough but they are still wonderful and soft for little teeth. thanks for a great recipe and the pictures are awesome, it’s goo dto know what the dough looks like in the process!

    • Renee says

      If that is true, you could always omit the salt during the soaking process and instead sprinkle salt over the crackers before putting it into the oven.

  21. Rachel says

    Yum yum yum! These are fantastic and my son just loves them. Firm favourites of ours from now on! Cheers, Rachel from New Zealand.

  22. Sophie says

    Hello,

    I have made this yoghurt cracker recipe from Nourishing Traditions, and loved it. I like to add sunflower seeds. But I have a question: I don’t have a dehydrator or grain mill so I don’t prepare flour at home. I only use commercial flour. I can get our local spice guy to grind up whole wheat berries in a very good industrial (but small size) grinder that he has. However, this means that the wheat will not have been soaked, and certainly not sprouted, beforehand. Is getting freshly-ground wheat – ground until a floury consistency – better than using commercial flour? Or is it basically the same thing? Regardless, I do soak, and I see that you say that it is still important even with store-bought flour, which is great because I had been wondering if that was a bit pointless. Any advice regarding ground wheat vs regular flour??

  23. Stephen says

    Great recipe! I like the yogurt in it. Letting it sit in a warm place for 12-24 hrs will cause the yogurt to bloom and make for a lighter dough. I went grain wild: used mostly whole wheat but added corn flour (corn meal milled a little longer), some ground flax seeds (for my joints), and some quinoa, a grain known to for a high level of “complete protein”. I also went half and half with butter and olive oil.

  24. lauren says

    thanks for the great idea!! I’ve seen the yogurt dough recipe in my copy of NT but have never been tempted to try it till now! Just curious if others find they like the taste of them with yogurt or buttermilk? or is there much difference?

    also , how do you store them? in the fridge, or cupboard??

    thanks!!!

  25. Johnnal says

    Hi! I am so excited to try this recipe! We are on a strict gluten free diet though due to celiac and I can’t use spelt. What grain would you recomend? I have a GF blend that I use in alot of baking, but it contains Xanthum Gum and I would like to just have the grain as I am even trying to cut that from the diet. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated as we are VERY new to all of this. Love your site, we’ve already tried a couple of things and I’m becoming a soaking convert.

  26. mindy says

    Hi,
    Looking forward to making these for my daughter and her childcare and was wondering if anyone knows how best to store them? I heard people asking about freezing or refridgerating, any suggestions? thanks

  27. Ashley Ramsey says

    Kimi,

    At what age would you give these to a baby? I have an eight and a half month old that I would like to introduce these to, but I’ve never given her butter or salt before.

  28. says

    Just had to share. I made these today and used bacon grease for half the butter, and added a couple T. fresh chopped rosemary. They are amazing! Also to simplify the process, after soaking, I formed the dough into three logs and refrigerated them. Then I sliced them thinly to form crackers instead of rolling out. And to make them thoroughly crispy, when they started to brown I turned off the oven and left them in there to continue to crisp as the oven cooled off. I may have reached cracker perfection. :) this is a great recipe to play with!

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